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Hand Tools doings #15: Dovetails - Fit First Time!

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 04-14-2008 01:56 AM 1241 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Dovetails - not quite so ugly - but still not so good Part 15 of Hand Tools doings series Part 16: Sharpening with questions, of course »

OK – I know these are still not great—- but they fit the first time with NO paring. Still not the prettiest things you’ve ever seen – but I’m getting there.

The difference I think is I’ve started using a coping saw to cut out the waste and instead of chopping out the remainder with the business end away from me—- I’m chopping with the board sideways on the bench so that I can tell if the chisel is vertical or not.

My chisels are still a long way from sharp enough so I really need to keep working on that.

But long and short—- THEY FIT!

Photobucket

Photobucket

You can see from the top view that I still have a long ways to go getting the line straight——but still I’m getting there.

Thanks for looking.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine



10 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 3231 days


#1 posted 04-14-2008 02:17 AM

wow those look great. they look just the same as the ones i did on my podcast. you’ve made so much improvement since that first entry and i feel that within the next couple of tries you’ll have exactly what you are looking for.

View Roper's profile

Roper

1370 posts in 3176 days


#2 posted 04-14-2008 02:20 AM

nice betsy,lookin good.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3285 days


#3 posted 04-14-2008 02:59 AM

Betsy,

I am proud of you. This is looking great. I hope that you saved the first dovetail set you cut just so you could make a comparison.

You are truly an inspiration. If I could get caught up on the posts here I would run out in the shop and start cutting some too.

At the rate you are going Kelly Mehler will be asking you to teach the class this summer. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3359 days


#4 posted 04-14-2008 04:13 AM

Thanks guys. I’m really happy with my progress.

I think Kelly might be safe——- but I still have 6 weeks or so to practice!

Thanks for the encouragement!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2134 posts in 3177 days


#5 posted 04-14-2008 04:46 AM

Dovetails are tough, I’m still working on mine, too, Betsy. Hang in there…

(By the way, they are looking progressively better and better!)

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3359 days


#6 posted 04-14-2008 05:13 AM

Thanks Steve——things are starting to click for me now——finally figuring it out and am starting to see the difference.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 3451 days


#7 posted 04-14-2008 05:47 AM

Getting better and better all the time, Betsy.

Is you health back up to snuff yet?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3359 days


#8 posted 04-14-2008 05:54 AM

Thanks Gary. My health is getting better. My one concern now is how long I can avoid surgery – because that will really set me back.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View David Selditz's profile

David Selditz

4 posts in 3159 days


#9 posted 04-14-2008 07:00 AM

Betsy, This is the signature joint of a crafts person and you’ve executed it well. Though I’m not the best dovetailer, I was introduced to an exercise years ago by Gary Rogowski who calls it “the 3 minute dovetail”. It’s simply a warm-up exercise before you begin your day in the shop where you gather a few pieces of waste, square them up and thickness them about 3-4” wide by 4/4, grab a knife and mark your half pins on the end and a center pin (actually, I start with tails) and just begin the process without too much concern for accuracy. After doing this for a few weeks you’ll be amazed at the improvement in your accuracy. Consider it a sort of Zen exercise. I still do it on those occasions when I’m feeling rusty and I need to find my dovetail “center”. Sam Maloof always said “Just keep doing what you’re doing”
Regards,
David

-- http://www.davidselditz.com

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3359 days


#10 posted 04-19-2008 06:36 AM

Thanks David—I saw a spot on Finewoodworking about a 5 minute dovetail. It sounds like a good idea.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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