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Curved chest dovetailing

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Blog entry by Stefflus posted 451 days ago 1261 reads 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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I’ve been triple dared to show how I dovetailed my chest, so I’ll give it a try.

After shaping the walls, I stood them up at the right tilt individually. In this position I could make a simulated miter line by means of a jig that guided a batten with a pencil at the end.
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After cutting almost to the line at the bandsaw (1mm clearance at bottom, 7mm at top), I stood them up square in corresponding pairs, and at the right tilt. While in this position I could plane the end of each wall flush with the corresponding outer flat.
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When this was done I could scribe the inner profiles of each wall onto the other. This is a good, trustworthy reading. -But note that since the walls are sloped, the end of each wall will not correspond with the inner profile of the other wall while working on a flat table, for that one would have to move the wall in the sloped plane. Also the inner profile doesn’t match the outer perfectly, but that doesn’t matter too much.
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I modified a scribing gauge to work at 180 degrees, so I could scribe an approximate tail and pin bottom on the outside. Inside I had the trustworthy transfered line.
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I don’t have pictures or drawings of the tail layouts, but I think it is easily explained.
I put a plumb line down the center of each short wall, where the tails would be. Then I marked out the tails width with a compass. Using a large protractor I made a mark on the plumb line at the correct angle from the tail compass marks. Then I used the mark on the plumb line to draw one pair of tail sides, ensuring that both corners would be mirrored. However, each tail on the same side might have a slightly different angle due to inaccuracy, but it doesn’t matter in any practical way, and it is not visible.
When the tails where marked, I made a level line by measuring out the tails:
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Now I had to cut the tails while the walls where standing in their correct position but slightly protruding, so I could use the level line as a sawing guide. I stopped 3mm from the line, removed the waste with a fret saw, then chopped to the inner -trustworthy- line with a chisel. Now I had to transfer this to the outer tailbottoms, so I taped a fence onto my dovetail saw:
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After cleaning up the tails, I transfered the tails to the pins with an awl, and the process is pretty much the same from there, except that one must take care never to make the pins too small. I made them a little too large, and spent alot of time adjusting them with a paring chisel.
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-- -Steffen, from Norway



5 comments so far

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1920 posts in 503 days


#1 posted 451 days ago

Thanks for sharing this with us, Stefflus. This is one of the most impressive displays of joinery I have seen here, and you make it look easy.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View KCConst's profile

KCConst

31 posts in 533 days


#2 posted 451 days ago

Great work Steffluss. Quite a challenging task that would undoubtedly be taken for granted by an average consumer. Only craftsmen would understand an appreciate the thought and effort undertaken by such work. Congratulations, well done.

-- "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" Wooden

View BBF's profile

BBF

141 posts in 473 days


#3 posted 451 days ago

Thanks for sharing. You do very nice work.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1217 posts in 609 days


#4 posted 449 days ago

Excellent!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

465 posts in 347 days


#5 posted 284 days ago

Wow. Great design. Oldschool, modern and norwegian at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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