The dovetail is an important carpentry joint, hand cutting dovetails is an essential skill for any serious woodworker. Machine cut dovetails can be ok but definitely lack the beauty and charm of the real thing. If you want to master hand cut dovetails joints then this short youtube video by John Bullar, author of "Furniture Making, A Foundation Course," should set you on the right path.
Heres my Dovetail Joints How To
1. Ensure all parts are cut to exactly the same widths, and all ends have been cut square with the faces and edges.
2. Layout all the parts and mark on the outside and top edge of each piece which pieces join to which and their correct orientation, leaving no doubt later on when you cut the joints.
3. Always layout and cut the tails first. They are the patterns for the layout of the pins.
4. All cutting and chiseling should be done from the face side (out side) to the center of the wood, this helps prevent chip out on visible surfaces.
5. The sharper your tools the better!
6. Good dovetail saws are very expensive, If you don't one then use a hacksaw instead with a 14 -25 t.p.i. blade, you will find it will cut almost as well and at a fraction of the price!
7. Never cut or mark the wood below the base line for the joint.
See also Youtubes most popular woodworking video