Make Your Mitered Through Dovetails Perfect with this Paring Block

Welcome to my shop! Today I’m going to show you how to make a miter paring wedge jig. 

I had a few people ask how I made this little jig, and I figured I’d show you how, because it is seemingly simple, but it has some minutia. 

If you’re not familiar, this is a jig that you can put over the edge of a board to help you pare a miter. In my case, I use it for a mitered through dovetail, but you can use it for tweaking miters on literally any joinery. 

I have two of these jigs, one made out of plywood and one made out of walnut. I made the plywood one first, and it is about 6’’ long and 3’’ wide and close to 2’’ thick. The walnut jig is 4-1/4″ by 3″ and is 1-5/8″ a thick. You want to have enough room to actually clamp this jig to your work piece and not have the clamp get in the way. Because my walnut jig is smaller, it’s a little bit annoying to get the clamp in the right place, so I would recommend dimensions closer to the plywood jig so you have more surface area. 

So I have two different blanks here, which I will use to make a couple of new jigs, and I’m going to make exactly the same ones I already have. I have a chunk of walnut that is an off-cut from a gunstock manufacturer in Northern California. For the other blank, I have a lamination of three pieces of 3/4 inch plywood.

So I’m going to take the blocks to the machines and get the rough finished blocks ready to go. 

With the blocks roughly cut to width, I need to make the final miter cuts, as well as the big rabbet on the bottom. I think it’s easier to cut the miters first so that you have all the support for this slightly more critical cut. 

Here’s where things become a little bit more technical. With the rabbet, you want the jig to be able to lap over your workpiece without touching your table or your clamping surface. For instance, when I put the jig on this piece of wood, I have a little gap at the table, which ensures that when I clamp the jig in place, it will also clamp the workpiece. So the thickness of the workpieces that you use the most will determine the depth of the rabbet. In my case, I do mostly 3/4, so the depth of this rabbet is about 5/8 of an inch. 

The width is another important consideration because it’s going to determine how much support area you have for your chisel. On the walnut jig that I currently have, I don’t have a whole lot of support, so this time I’m going to make it a little bit wider. To determine how wide that cut is going to be, I just set my fence to roughly where I want the rabbet to start. This time I’ll set it at about an 1-1/4’’.

So with that in place, I can make this rabbet. 

All right, let’s clean this guy up and get it a little prettier looking. 

And now I can test these out on a couple of mitered pins. The jigs are super convenient and make the process of a mitered through dovetail very easy. So that is the miter paring L-block jig! Hopefully you make one of these in your shop, because they are super easy to make, and they make this process easy. 

Thank you as always for joining, I greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions or comments about anything here in the shop, please feel free to leave me a comment. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Until next time, happy woodworking!

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