Workbench Build #8: Still Dovetailing......

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 06-13-2011 02:59 AM 3552 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: First attempt (ever) at hand cut dovetails.... Part 8 of Workbench Build series Part 9: Bittersweet Dovetails »

Today I attempted the fisrt set of pins on the apron board.

Here are the tails from the previous post:

Dry fit – first on top of the bench and then in place:

Lessons learned here:

- It is very tricky to dovetail a 1-3/4” thick board. Especially when it is your first hand cut dovetail.
- Be very patient!

I ended up with some gaps but it will still be usuable – the joint is really tight so will be serving the intended purpose.

On the other end – I am going going to rabbet the end of the front apron and only cut the dovetail half depth so hopefully the accuracy will be a bit better….

Thanks for looking.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

12 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 06-13-2011 03:19 AM

Absolutely fantastic.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shopsmithpoppi's profile


37 posts in 2519 days

#2 posted 06-13-2011 03:47 AM

HeY I am really loving this table! I want one for my self now and cant wait to get my shop tools all together and ready to make sawdust. First thing I am building is a Work bench.

Oh and sorry JL7 to bring this up here but is that a pencil mark or did you crack one of your pins?

-- Think it, See it, Design it. Build it, Enjoy it!

View JL7's profile


8647 posts in 2934 days

#3 posted 06-13-2011 03:59 AM

Steve – that comment is much appreciated….........I accept it from the fact that I actually tried to do this joint after many hours of trying to talk myself out of it. The joint itself is not absolutely fantastic, but I’m glad I went through the motions…..thanks.

Rebel – must be a pencil line you see – haven’t cracked off a pin yet. Good luck on your bench build….....


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3411 days

#4 posted 06-13-2011 04:16 AM

I think it looks great. Sure is a lot better than I could do. I generally try to avoid dovetails unless I can make them with my Kehoe jig, then they are pretty easy to do. My motto: never do it the hard way when easy will do!

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 3711 days

#5 posted 06-13-2011 04:23 AM

for your first set of dovetails i think it came out great. from what i can see in the picks it looks like the gaps are small enough that you can use the following trick: file the gaps with a little yellow glue, then sand the whole joint the dust will create a filler that matches the surrounding wood (if you even care to do it) i think the joint looks just fine and its something you can come back and compare to as you continue your woodworking journey.

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2912 days

#6 posted 06-13-2011 05:22 AM

Hi Jeff,

huge piece of dovetail there. Have you recovered from dizziness tailing from altitudes? :)

The bench is gorgeous


-- Back home. Fernando

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2952 days

#7 posted 06-13-2011 05:33 AM

Great job, nice looking bench.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3257 days

#8 posted 06-13-2011 05:35 AM


-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2587 days

#9 posted 06-13-2011 06:11 AM

Jeff – Nicely done, bench is really coming together!


And I like those chisels you’re using! :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View JL7's profile


8647 posts in 2934 days

#10 posted 06-14-2011 02:53 AM

Hey Rowdy – I wasn’t familar with the Kehoe jig, but it looks pretty slick….this project is a bit large for that….but basically I’m with you, never seriously considered cutting my own dovetails, but this particular project I guess didn’t really have a choice and I (think) I will appreciate going through the motions.

DavidH – I will defineately be doing some gap filling, and I have used the glue/sanding trick – thanks for the tip.

Fernando – I am dizzy most of time – but I found peace at the top of the dovetail stool…..:)

Smitty – this is the front ral project for the chisels and I’m pretty happy with how they are working…..

Thanks for all the comments!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3621 days

#11 posted 06-14-2011 02:57 AM

Great job. Your joint is perfectly fine, in fact its good. After you plane it and sand it, it will look perfect. You can always mix a little bit of sawdust with glue and rub it around the small imperfections and it will blend perfectly.

-- Yves

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2809 days

#12 posted 06-14-2011 03:49 AM

You once said you would like a little input on your dovetails. I dont think you need any. Very nice half blinds. very nice

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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