View Poll Results: How awesome are your handcut dovetails.

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • Achieve flawless mastery every time

    0 0%
  • Manage to get them to come out sometimes

    10 26.32%
  • Managed to make a perfect set once, never repeated

    3 7.89%
  • They look ok after shims and gap filling

    6 15.79%
  • Well at least they're sturdy

    3 7.89%
  • An angry beaver appears to have attacked my work

    2 5.26%
  • This is something I'd like to attempt someday

    8 21.05%
  • Doing this appears to be a new level of insanity, not for me

    6 15.79%
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Thread: Mastery of hand cut dovetails

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    4,599
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    I've been playing with more hand cutting dovetails. Taking the "do one set per day and twice on Saturday" approach and they're starting to look like something resembling dovetails, although I've been sticking with the plain through dovetails for now (planning to move to blind/half blind and mitred once these start to look better).

    Was curious how many other folks have gone down this route or decided not to
    I did that some time ago and I must admit that my technique improved a lot. As many of those things, if you stop practicing you loose the knack of it unless you've doing them for years. You can see my exercises here:http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...+cut+dovetails
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bailey View Post
    I agree that the category which matched my experience was absent -- I too, did not vote for that reason.
    I think you guys are maybe taking that to literally. Who could have imagined the most controversial thing would be a definition of flawless and mastery I don't think I can change the options now - but consider:
    "Achieve flawless mastery every time"
    to instead mean:
    "I'm quite good at these (even if I'm not Frank Klausz)"

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    2,435
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    I think you guys are maybe taking that to literally. Who could have imagined the most controversial thing would be a definition of flawless and mastery I don't think I can change the options now - but consider:
    "Achieve flawless mastery every time"
    to instead mean:
    "I'm quite good at these (even if I'm not Frank Klausz)"
    Hey! I just don't want to antagonize the woodworking gods otherwise my dovetails might start fitting into the "An angry beaver appears to have attacked my work" category.

    As a golfer, I know all to well not to get too confident that you have it all mastered. Humble pie really has a bad after taste that lasts a long time.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Hey! I just don't want to antagonize the woodworking gods otherwise my dovetails might start fitting into the "An angry beaver appears to have attacked my work" category.

    As a golfer, I know all to well not to get too confident that you have it all mastered. Humble pie really has a bad after taste that lasts a long time.
    You should work in computers, you'd think a bunch of techies wouldn't be superstitious but boy you never say anything to tempt the pager or you'll be the one buying beer later.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,745
    They are easy for Roy Underhill.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #16
    I'm a hybrid woodworker, using hand and power tools about equally. The very first set I did turned out perfect. I sure sweated that bunch, though, and it's a good thing we weren't timing it. Not since have I hit perfection, but most of them are pretty presentable. If in a rush, I cut the tails with a dovetail bit in a router table and set up a jig for the bandsaw. I've done them on the tablesaw, too, but really those methods aren't much faster than doing them by hand.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Haugen View Post
    but really those methods aren't much faster than doing them by hand.
    That's sort of the conclusion I've come to as well. The jigs and what not can be faster for bulk jobs but for one offs it's often faster by hand, at least once you get past the learning curve. Perhaps that says more about the quality of my jigs than anything but.. there it is.

  8. #18
    I do them by hand or a few reasons.

    1. I have reached a point where mastery of skills is more important to me than production.
    2. I'm adept enough that if I'm only doing a few drawers, I can get them done quickly enough to suit me.
    3. I get a lot of personal satisfaction being able to say "made by hand".

    That being said, if I had a production run of drawers I would do them by machine.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
    1,553
    Recently started hand cutting dovetails. I thought my chisels were sharp enough, found out just how wrong I was. Seems I needed to go back to the stone and hone those skills first! What a huge difference in getting closer to being able to turn out something acceptable to a project.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,035
    I find them attractive. I use them when a client wants them. I prefer other joints when I have the choice. Like red oak furniture in the 70's (at least on the left coast) I am overloaded by them of late but, they are always an eye-catcher when showing your work. They are a skill I should improve upon if for no other reason than that those same skills translate to other joinery ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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