I use a hand-held router and a straight bit with an auxiliary base. (The
problem with the regular base is that it runs into the pins or tails before the
bit can get near enough to trim them flush.) This auxiliary base "raises" the
router up so it doesn't hit the dovetails, see upper drawing at
The auxiliary base is simply a 3/4"-thick piece of stock with a
wide rabbet cut on the bottom, as you can see in the center drawing. The rabbet
provides clearance so the bit can reach the pins and tails. To make the base
more stable, I cut it extra long. (Mine was 11".) And for added control,
there's a block at one end for a handle.
To use the jig, set it on the
workpiece and lower the bit until it just touches the face of the piece. Then
turn on the router and trim the dovetails flush. To reduce the chance of
chipout, I backrout, moving the router from right to left and nibbling away at
them from the outside edge towards the center of the workpiece, as shown in the
By the way, this jig isn't just for dovetails. It will also work great for trimming
box joints or wood plugs.