Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: first hand cut dovetails

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726

    first hand cut dovetails

    Here are a few pics of my first attempt at hand cutting dovetails. I used scrap pieces of pine. I think I'll use something a little harder next time, the pine was really soft. Any suggestions or pointers would be appreciated. I need more practice!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails first handcut (600 x 400).jpg   first handcut 1 (600 x 400).jpg   first handcut 2 (768 x 512).jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Well, you're one set of dovetails ahead of me...I've never tried hand-cut dovetails, so I'm not likely to have any decent advice. Looks like you're off to a good start.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    191
    Hi John,

    Your dovetails are better than my first attempt It looks like you cut too close to the line with your saw, so you did not have any room to sneak up on a final fit. Try leaving more material so you can get a tighter fit with your chisels.

    -Gari

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    John,

    Looks good. As you continue to hone this skill you will find that some woods compress more than others. Soft wood can allow tails/pins to still go together even if just slightly fat and come away looking like a star whereas hard woods tend to not have as much flexibility.

    Keep up the good work.

    Lee Laird

  5. #5
    Looks good to me for a first try. I see the fit was a bit tight by the cracked board. Not giving you grief here, I have done the very same thing many, many times.

    My only advice is when you go to chop out your waste, you let the chisel start about 1/32 away from the line. That is because as you pound the chisel in, it has a tendency to slide back about that much. I see you got two chisel marks past the line. By starting the chisel just 1/32 inward of your line, and angling a bit towards the front of the board, you get a nice crisp line.

    Personally I love making dovetails. I do all mine by hand and have no plans to change any time soon.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Well, you're one set of dovetails ahead of me...I've never tried hand-cut dovetails, so I'm not likely to have any decent advice. Looks like you're off to a good start.
    Vaughn...you did not hear it from me, but this is the secret to dovetails. "They are easy", now just don't tell the non-woodworkers this so they are still impressed.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    711
    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 09:47 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726
    Thanks for the advise so far.

    Travis, I noticed that when I would put the chisel on the line to cut it would work back into the line.

    Alan, here's my method, please feel free to make any suggestions.

    I started with the tails I think.
    I decided on a 1/2" space between the tails.
    I divided this in half and marked 1/4" lines in from each edge of the board on the end grain.
    I then came to the center of the board and marked a center line.
    I moved 1/4" either side of center and made a mark across the end grain.
    I then took my bevel gage set at about 6 deg. and marked the tail locations.
    I then removed the waste using a coping saw and chisels. I used this board as a template to mark for the pins. I remove the waste the same way.



    When you are paring the waste do you remove about halfway and then turn the board over and remove the other half to avoid blowing out the edge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,487
    John, if I'm chopping the waste out, I'll go about an 1/8" on one side and flip the board over. Set your chisel about a 1/16" from your line for chopping and pare it back. Make sure your chisel is sharp, sharp, sharp so you're cutting the fibers and not crushing them!

  10. #10
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    711
    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 09:46 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. Mastery of hand cut dovetails
    By Ryan Mooney in forum Neander Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 04-12-2017, 06:13 PM
  2. Hand cut dovetails exercises
    By Toni Ciuraneta in forum Handtool Project Showcase
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-26-2014, 01:27 AM
  3. dovetails
    By ken werner in forum Neander Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11-21-2010, 05:25 PM
  4. Hand cut dovetails tutorial - full and half-blind
    By Mike Henderson in forum Neander Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-17-2010, 12:15 PM
  5. A Discussion of Hand Cut Dovetails
    By Ken Close in forum Neander Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-15-2007, 12:25 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •