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Joinery #2: "The Ugly Dovetail"

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Blog entry by A Slice of Wood Workshop posted 06-14-2012 04:59 AM 4059 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Butt Joint Part 2 of Joinery series Part 3: The Half Lap »

I’ve always been amazed at the dovetail joint. The way it locks in together and that the dovetail was used to build houses back in the day. Well instead of just staring at them, I decided to give it a go.

FWW Disclaimer- I’m not an expert, don’t copy me. (it’s a joke)

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood



11 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6241 posts in 1490 days


#1 posted 06-14-2012 12:34 PM

WOW! I admire your willingness to show your mistake! It was a little hard to watch :)

Check out my hand cut dovetail episode of Blue Collar Woodworking. I’m no expert, but the tips I share were learned from people a lot better at it than most!

Keep up the good work. I enjoy the videos!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4142 posts in 1641 days


#2 posted 06-14-2012 01:24 PM

You get points for the attempt—- and now you know your mistakes so the next one will be lots better. When I was first learning to cut dovetails, I probably watched a 1000 youtube videos and each one had their own distinct approach. You’ll soon find a way that works well for you.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1850 posts in 880 days


#3 posted 06-14-2012 06:53 PM

O.K., I’ve watched this video 5 times now, and the only thing I see that could be considered a mistake is that you needed to sharpen your pencil. Right?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

897 posts in 1863 days


#4 posted 06-14-2012 07:05 PM

Hey oldtool, thanks for chiming in. I know one of the biggest mistakes I made is in the part I stated “lesson being learned”. I held the pins/tails (haven’t figured out which is which yet) on their ends instead of placing and marking them on the end of the board. Does that make sense? I cut the second set of pins/tails and attempted the fit (off video first) and noticed something was drastically wrong and figured out I marked it wrong.

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1850 posts in 880 days


#5 posted 06-14-2012 07:20 PM

Actually, and I’m saying this with tongue in cheek, while your dovetails are not the “traditional style”, they could be used on a project if you wanted.
Think of it this way: finger joints works well, because there is plenty of side grain to side grain contact to glue together, and all those boxes don’t come apart. So I contend that just because you don’t have the additional mechanical strength of a “traditional” dovetail, if your reversed designed joinery is tight and the glue can do it’s job, and you like it, then do it.
March to the beat of you own drummer, don’t be one of the sheep that follows the leader. Just sharpen your pencil for a tighter joint.
Thanks for posting the vid, I enjoyed,
Tom

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1586 posts in 1981 days


#6 posted 06-14-2012 07:28 PM

If you’re just doing it for practice, one way to recover from this is to just cut the bad tails off and cut a new set using the pins (which look OK) to lay them out.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4837 posts in 982 days


#7 posted 06-14-2012 07:43 PM

The tails are the pieces that angle from wide at the end grain to narrower at the other end… so it looks like you cut yours Pins first, sort of.

I cut tails first, because I find it easier to mark the pins on the end grain than I do marking the pins on the tail board.

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

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6241 posts in 1490 days


#8 posted 06-14-2012 08:07 PM

The easiest way to remember is that the “tails” are shaped like the tail of a dove, narrow at the base, wide at the end. The “pins” are the other parts.

When I was watching you cut the first piece and you colored in the waste with a pencil I immediately thought “he’s coloring the wrong part, those are the parts he is supposed to be saving, not cutting away!” Which is why you ended up with a backwards joint.

I’ve done the same thing more than once!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

897 posts in 1863 days


#9 posted 06-14-2012 10:01 PM

Thanks guys. Now I know a little more. Maybe I’ll get some more practice tomorrow and see what I come up with.

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1880 days


#10 posted 06-16-2012 04:39 PM

Everyone starts from somewhere!!!! Great attempt, and the more you do it the better you’ll get. I’ll be waiting for your big pro lesson next year :)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Dave's profile

Dave

11184 posts in 1530 days


#11 posted 06-17-2012 11:03 PM

I loved it. That was the most entertaining thing I have seen all day. Great lesson and a wonderful video. Nice!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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