Dovetail practice

Forum: Woodworking

What kind of wood is best to us for dovetail practice? Pine is cheap, but doesn’t really translate to most nice woods because it’s so soft, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on practice wood.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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5 Replies

RobsCastle ...

I see nothing wrong with using pine if your just practicing, as it will possibly just get chucked upon upskilling whe you do the next one.

Dont just pass on it because its pine

Here is a tool makers chest from pine bits

a1jim ...

I would suggest poplar harder than pine and you can get a cleaner cut with chisels.

Madts ...

Also alder is a wood to use.


Whitacrebespoke ...

Depends where in the world you are. Popular is a good choice but here in U.K. that will cost you a lot of money.

I’d suggest using a decent quality red deal or Scandinavian red wood it’s a pine species so readily avaliable cheaply. Go to the merchant and select your own boards and practice in 12mm 1/2inch thick stock as less waste to remove. A yellow pine might also be good if your in the states.

Dovetails are as much technique then anything else. Sharp tools used correctly will yield results. If you can master dovetails in pine harder timbers will become much easier.

Bondo Gaposis ...

Whatever you can get cheap or something from the scrap bin. Poplar is a good choice, soft maple is too.