An immediate question is which piece should be the pins and
which the tails? Either way we go, we begin by cutting the
piece with the rabbet. I chose to put the pins on that piece
because I thought of it as a drawer front - where you wanted
to dovetail the drawer sides into the drawer front and
didn't want your dovetails to show. And on drawers, you
always put the tails on the drawer side.
To get started, there are three dimensions that are needed
in making this joint. It's nice to have three marking gauges
but you can certainly do with one and just mark each
dimension after you set the gauge.
The first I'll set is the distance of the rabbet. I'm going
to use 3/16 inch but you could probably get by with 1/8
inch. You don't want it too small or you'll chop through it
when chopping out the sockets.
Scribe across the piece that will have the rabbet. In this
case, it will be the pins piece.
Then scribe the end of that same piece to mark the depth of
Take your marks around the sides.
Then mark the end of the other piece of wood, the tails
piece in this tutorial.
Then set the marking gauge to the thickness of the wood. I'm
using three marking gauges but you can do it with one.