Tool box #4: Dovetailing the box

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Blog entry by Boatman53 posted 532 days ago 1311 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Dovetails Part 4 of Tool box series Part 5: Back panel »

Since no one could give me a reason not to use the different dovetail spacing I went ahead cut the two styles that I liked. End to end comparison.

The pin board is offered up to it’s mate to mark the tails. Since there are many to mark I took the time to clamp everything so it wouldn’t shift.

Next came the cutting out. Yes I use the band saw. When I made the samples I cut to the line and assembled them right from the saw, I did no paring. The teak isn’t quite as forgiving, so I left a little wood in the waste side of the line so I could hand fit everything.

First one is done.

Second one is done.

Third and forth are done, but I should have waited till tomorrow. It was getting late and I wanted to finish tonight. I pared just a bit too much and got some gaposis. Not bad where it is and easily fixed, but still wish I had taken my time.

Here is the box assembled.

Thanks for following along.

Next will be to make the back panel. I’m going to hold off gluing the box together till I make and fit all of the dividers and tool supports, some of which will be morticed into the side.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

11 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


1215 posts in 1809 days

#1 posted 531 days ago

Nice dovetails. I use the bandsaw when cutting out tails, too.

-- Allen, Colorado

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14721 posts in 2300 days

#2 posted 531 days ago

Nice work. Dovetails are as much about aesthetics as structure in most cases, my opinion. If you like them, they are perfect ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View yuridichesky's profile


315 posts in 588 days

#3 posted 531 days ago

I never made it right with pencil marking. Only when I switched to the marking knife it got better (not too much better, though).

Very nice work! Can’t wait to seeing completed project.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View stefang's profile


12865 posts in 1959 days

#4 posted 531 days ago

Excellent work Jim.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Boatman53's profile


836 posts in 821 days

#5 posted 531 days ago

Thanks guys. I’ve tried a marking knife (not a good one mind you) and I usually end up cutting a bit of the pin or it doesn’t stay tight to the pin. I don’t do dove tails very often. The last ones I did were the big ones on the workbench last fall/winter prior to that it must be about 8 years and again they were in 2” thick teak on a new butterfly hatch for a boat of course. These little guys are small, 1/8” at the top, I had to modify some tools to get in there.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View Don W's profile

Don W

14824 posts in 1192 days

#6 posted 531 days ago

nice dove tails Jim.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View terryR's profile


3034 posts in 933 days

#7 posted 531 days ago

Those look great, Jim! I am also bad about staying in the shop at night for ‘just one more’...and whatever usually comes out sloppy, too. I bet we ALL have that problem sometimes! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Boatman53's profile


836 posts in 821 days

#8 posted 531 days ago

I know I’m not alone. Just sharing that even with thirty years experience in wood working my excitement with the project and the lack of time (which will get crunched even more as we get closer to spring) over rode my common sense. They are easily fixed and after the box is varnished almost invisible. I do avoid tricky machine cuts at the end of a long day, no exceptions.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1491 days

#9 posted 531 days ago

Thanks, Jim. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


10717 posts in 1315 days

#10 posted 531 days ago

Very impressive bandsawn dovetails! I’ve got a nice bandsaw Hmmm…...

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Boatman53's profile


836 posts in 821 days

#11 posted 531 days ago

Thanks everyone.
Gfadvm…. Do some practice ones on some pine before you take on the hardwood. A sharp well tracking blade is helpful also, but the cuts aren’t long so tracking isn’t that big of an issue.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

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