To use the jig, start by marking out the width and spacing of the dovetail pins on the outside-facing side of all your project’s pin boards (label the outside face, to help you orient the board for cutting later). Remember, you’re drawing the “narrow” side of the pins. Figure 6 shows the angle of the pins in red for illustration; no need to mark pin angles on your boards, since those are set by the fence angles. Draw an “X” to indicate the waste areas between the pins. Use a square to draw a line across the end of each pin board to indicate pin depth — just a thin hair deeper than the thickness of the tailboards.
Now set the jig in the table saw’s right-hand slot. Hold the stock firmly against the left-hand pin fence, with the pin board’s inside face against the fence. Set your table saw’s depth of cut to just reach the depth line on the pin board. Now cut on the waste side of each mark that delineates the right-hand edge of the pin (Figure 7). For accuracy, use the saw kerf in the jig to line up your cuts.
When all the righthand cuts are done, move the jig to the saw’s left-hand slot and repeat the process, this time cutting on the waste side of the left-hand edge of each pin. (If you have trouble keeping your lefts and rights straight, try labeling each pin mark “right” or “left.”) You can remove the remainder of pin waste by taking multiple closely spaced saw passes, as shown in Figure 8.
Once pin boards are cut, use the pins themselves to transfer the dovetail layout to the inside face of each corresponding tail board (Figure 9). Label the inside face of each tailboard and mark the waste side of each line. Then, draw a square line across each joint to indicate tail depth.
Now flip the jig around front to back and use the tail-cutting ramps to saw out the tails (Figure 10). First, reset the saw’s depth of cut so that the blade just nicks the joint depth line. Use the left- and right-hand ramps to cut along the right- and left-hand tail marks just as you did with the pins, moving the jig from one miter slot to the other as necessary. Hold the outside face of each tailboard against the fence and make sure to cut on the waste side of each line.
Rather than chopping out the waste between tails by hand, it’s quicker and neater to saw the waste out using a band saw (or scrollsaw). I use a 1/8″ wide, 14 TPI blade in my band saw, setting the saw’s fence to guide the stock so that the blade cuts just shy of the joint depth line (Figure 11). Use a chisel and/or knife to clean up the inside corners of the tails and pins, as necessary, and to trim them for a tight, clean fit.