Last week I received my Veritas dovetail saw and planned on having a dovetail practice session this past Labor Day weekend. Saturday, after straightening out my shop, I got out all of the tools that I would need and laid them on the work table near the front vise. I always have plenty of maple at the plant so I had brought home several pieces of soft maple that had been surfaced 4 sides to 3/4 in. x 5-1/2 in.
I planned on making 4 practice corners and to take a break after completing each one. This way I could think about how each step went and analyze every step to see what were my major errors so that I could improve my skill as much as possible before going on to the next corner.
Before this practice session it had been close to a year since I had hand cut any dovetail joints since I have mostly been involved with remodeling our home during this past year. After I completed these 4 practice corners I would then make some sort of dovetailed box for a simple project.
The following pictures should be self explanatory and you will see that my dovetails are not perfect. This is what I want to correct and I think that after a few more practice sessions such as this I will get to the point where my dovetails are satisfactory and efficiently cut.
I believe that it was a rewarding experience and has improved my skill at cutting dovetail joints. I would encourage any of you that would like to improve their skill to do the same sort of practice exercise. I will have several more such sessions in the coming weeks.
-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau