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Thread: Handcut Dovetail Help

  1. #1
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    Handcut Dovetail Help

    I'm taking a break from my dovetail jig and Veritas dovetail guide to learn the classic handcut dovetail. The concept of the joint is actually much simpler than jigs, or actually even just using the guide. That is why I lie it so mich. I'm having fun with it but success is alluding me. My major sticking point seems to be cutting in relation to the line.

    Do I split the line, cut on the waste side, leave the line intact, leave a shadow of the line? Help please. I'm nearly there but need some tips from those more experienced.

    Thank you.
    Kevin

    In arte voluptas - in der Kunst liegt Vergnügen - in art lies enjoyment

  2. #2
    Do you use a marking knife or a pencil? I mark with a knife-pencil line is too wide- saw just short of it with dovetail saw- clean most of waste with scroll saw and then fine tune with SHARP chisels.
    Get some sloppy ones under your belt- practice-practice and then a little more practice is the best advise.

  3. #3
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    Mike Henderson posted a tutorial some time ago here http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ight=Dovetails, apart from that I would suggest the as Michael did, practice, practice and keep practicing. I used to make a set of dovetails on a scrap piece every day before working on any project, and I posted some pics of all the scraps I made. If one of the IT gurus can find you'll see what I'm talking about. I never seem to be able to find what I'm looking for when using the search engine.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  4. #4
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    I have been using a pencil, but will start using a marking knife.

    Michael, when you say "saw just short of it," what do you mean? So the mark is within the was area, our outside of the waste area?

    I have been studying Mike Hendersons page for a couple days now. He explains very well and does top notch work.
    Kevin

    In arte voluptas - in der Kunst liegt Vergnügen - in art lies enjoyment

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Sadaj View Post
    I have been using a pencil, but will start using a marking knife.

    Michael, when you say "saw just short of it," what do you mean? So the mark is within the was area, our outside of the waste area?

    I have been studying Mike Hendersons page for a couple days now. He explains very well and does top notch work.
    Leave the line and edge up to it. If you cut to line they usually are loose-especially with pencil. You will get skill and then you probably can go to line. Just do them- You will get better.

  6. #6
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    Here is my advice on how to cut dovetails, start with learing how to saw a straight line.

    Check out this thread from a while back.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...o-do-dovetails

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    On the right I used my Veritas dovetail guide. On the left they are done sung the normal layout method. That way was hard but somehow more satisfyng. I need to work on consistency. I'll get there.
    Kevin

    In arte voluptas - in der Kunst liegt Vergnügen - in art lies enjoyment

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Sadaj View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    On the right I used my Veritas dovetail guide. On the left they are done sung the normal layout method. That way was hard but somehow more satisfyng. I need to work on consistency. I'll get there.
    Kevin- looks like pine?? Try practicing on something harder- maple-oak. i hate doing that kind of work in pine or other soft wood. It just will not hold the detail. Ps. looks good for what you are working on.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael stafford View Post
    Kevin- looks like pine?? Try practicing on something harder- maple-oak. i hate doing that kind of work in pine or other soft wood. It just will not hold the detail. Ps. looks good for what you are working on.
    Thank you Michael. I had some 2x4s that I cut down for practice. I will practice on some oak, which I have plenty of here at the house. I'm just gonna keep cutting them till I like they way they look. It's funny, I watch the YouTube videos and they make it look easy, effortless. It's hard. I really enjoy it a lot more than using a jig.
    Kevin

    In arte voluptas - in der Kunst liegt Vergnügen - in art lies enjoyment

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Sadaj View Post
    Thank you Michael. I had some 2x4s that I cut down for practice. I will practice on some oak, which I have plenty of here at the house. I'm just gonna keep cutting them till I like they way they look. It's funny, I watch the YouTube videos and they make it look easy, effortless. It's hard. I really enjoy it a lot more than using a jig.
    i think you will do better with harder wood. Make sure tools are sharp. PS- once you get going- it can be addictive.

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