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Thread: Dovetail Practice Wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Great Pacific Northwest

    Dovetail Practice Wood?

    I think my project this Spring will be boxes for the grandkids. Not especially fancy boxes, but ones for their miscellaneous treasures. I would like to try dovetail joints, either through or half blind, maybe some of each; maybe some with finger joints. The designs are still fluid.

    This will be a first for me making dovetail/finger joints and will also be learning how to operate with an Incra Positioner. I expect a fairly steep learning curve. Before I mess up a bunch of nice hardwood, I thought I'd first try the Incra set-up and practice on something less expensive.

    What's a reasonable wood for practicing?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Poplar. Inexpensive, stable, and stains and finishes nicely for when it comes out nicer than you thought.

    Once had a student who insisted on poplar for a nice chest with drawers. In the end, he put a walnut stain on it and it was hard to tell it wasn't walnut. He did a nice job with a secondary wood and enjoyed the learning process and was rewarded with a very nice project successfully done.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    I've had an Incra LS system for many years and have made literally thousands of half-blind DTs with it. If you have the auto-centering scale, it will help on the initial setup; between it and the bit height, you'll be in business. I used whatever scrap I had when I first got my system - poplar, pine, mdf. When I was satisfied with the fit, I ran a series of pieces to make a small box as a further test.

    I have my system set up on my router table, of course. But, I also placed threaded inserts to the right of my table saw so I can use the LS for repeatable cuts for specialty pieces.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Great Pacific Northwest
    Carol, Bill,

    Thank you for your replies. Poplar it is and I do have the centering scale.


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