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My dovetail journey #2: My second hand cut Dovetail

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Blog entry by George_SA posted 743 days ago 1322 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My first hand cut Dovetail Part 2 of My dovetail journey series no next part

I sharpened my chisel for the second try and decided to stay with the pine for no. 2; Reason 1: The free pallet hard wood needs to be cut and planed to size (for which I didn’t have time today) and the pine is just ready to use. Reason 2: If I can learn to make a dovetail with softwood, then it will be easier in hardwood. This logic is based on my experience with welding. I learned to weld on 1.6mm square tubing and welding angle irons and other thicker material was very easy. Furthermore I have no fear of welding square tubing. (I may be wrong in this, as the same logic may not necessarily be true for wood :-). No 4 will be in some type of off-cut hardwood as the pine that I have been using will be finished after no.3

Lessons learned:
1) Sharp chisels make a HUGH difference. With a sharp chisel you can even try softwood.
2) I need to get a better dovetail saw or at least I need to sharpen my present one. I need to get a triangle file for that though. (I have a saw offset tool to set the teeth after sharpening that I inherreted from my father) and which I have used many moons ago.
3) I need to practise making straight cuts.
4) Using a chisel to get rid of the waste works much better than using a saw and with a sharp chisel it is quite quick.

All in all I think my second try went well, but I still need some practice before trying a box.



No 1 and no 2 comparison




No 1 is left and no 2 right

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity



7 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

540 posts in 908 days


#1 posted 743 days ago

George,
It’s going in the right direction. As someone once said – ” a journey of a thousand miles starts with just a single step” – I think.
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1458 posts in 868 days


#2 posted 743 days ago

Grorge,

You are well on your way, now put 2 side by side and practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

Work Safely and keep your irons Sharp. _ Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View stefang's profile

stefang

12525 posts in 1930 days


#3 posted 742 days ago

Quite an improvement on no. 2 George. I can see that you will master this skill very quickly. Just one little suggestion that you make the shoulders for your pins and your tails about 1/32” more than the thickness of your material. That way the pins and tails will wind up a little proud of the sides, and you can plane or sand them down to be even with the surface on both sides. Maybe you already did this, but I can’t tell from the photos.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1174 posts in 1780 days


#4 posted 742 days ago

What helped me the most was purchasing a marking gauge and marking knife. Using the marking gauge to score the depth of the shoulder around the board gives you a clean baseline that you can set the chisel edge in directly for chopping. The marking knife (with a bevel on only one side of the blade) can score lines that exactly trace the border of your tails or pins, rather than the slight offset a pencil or xacto knife will give you. I also saw just shy of the scored lines then pare to them with a very sharp chisel.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

745 posts in 820 days


#5 posted 742 days ago

That is a great improvement George!

I have not had a chance to do my practice yet becasue it has been so hot in my shop, but I should be able to get to it this week. I will post my attempt and we can encourage each other!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View George_SA's profile

George_SA

192 posts in 809 days


#6 posted 742 days ago

Thanks for all the encouragement.

Bobasurus; thanks for the advice of a marking knife. I will see whether they are available here.
Kay, a nice sharp fine tooth backsaw or dovetail saw helps in making good cuts. before my next try I want to sharpen my saw. I looked at some backsaws and a dovetail saw today, but in my neck of the woods they aren’t better than what I already have. Furthermore make sure your chisels are very sharp. (I use the scary sharp method and a honing guide)

Try no 3 will be next week when I get back to my shop. I must say that the dovetails are quite a nice warming up exercise before starting in the shop.

-- There are some things that money can't buy - Manners, morals and integrity

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4500 posts in 888 days


#7 posted 742 days ago

Looking good for practice… Keep at it and you’ll get there eventually. I’m still working on it myself. I’ve found poplar to be much better to practice in. I don’t have an actual work bench, and I work out of the spare bedroom in my apartment, so I don’t really go chopping away with chisel and mallet, but stick to paring instead.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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