Tool box #4: Dovetailing the box

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Blog entry by Boatman53 posted 03-07-2013 03:07 AM 2462 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


3549 posts in 3424 days

#1 posted 03-07-2013 03:34 AM

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

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#2 posted 03-07-2013 06:57 AM

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

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

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2204 days

#3 posted 03-07-2013 08:39 AM

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


16219 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 03-07-2013 09:22 AM

Excellent work Jim.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Boatman53's profile


1059 posts in 2436 days

#5 posted 03-07-2013 12:33 PM

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

19050 posts in 2807 days

#6 posted 03-07-2013 12:36 PM

nice dove tails Jim.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View terryR's profile


7464 posts in 2548 days

#7 posted 03-07-2013 01:46 PM

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


1059 posts in 2436 days

#8 posted 03-07-2013 02:06 PM

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


32086 posts in 3106 days

#9 posted 03-07-2013 02:09 PM

Thanks, Jim. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2930 days

#10 posted 03-08-2013 02:51 AM

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


1059 posts in 2436 days

#11 posted 03-08-2013 02:57 AM

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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