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Dovetail Practice Session #1

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Blog entry by helluvawreck posted 09-08-2010 08:58 PM 1017 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

http://www.jq-expo.com/lj_img/dovetail_marathon1/dovetail_ma1_14600.jpg

-- 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



9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2334 days


#1 posted 09-08-2010 09:07 PM

looks good!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1521 posts in 1881 days


#2 posted 09-08-2010 09:44 PM

Those look really nice so far. Nothing another practice session couldn’t take care :) I’ll be doing some practice sessions too for the half blind dovetails on my drawer fronts over the next few weeks. I have a Japanese pull saw for dovetails though so I have to get used to that pull stroke.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View lew's profile

lew

10088 posts in 2441 days


#3 posted 09-08-2010 09:52 PM

Great Job! Looks like the saw is working pretty good!

Like Eric, I have been using the Japanese style pull saws for dove tails. For me they provide more control.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dub560's profile

dub560

606 posts in 1599 days


#4 posted 09-09-2010 01:19 AM

that’s better than what i could come up with and that’s a fact you know. i chop my dovetails on a jig with a router

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View schloemoe's profile

schloemoe

691 posts in 1623 days


#5 posted 09-09-2010 02:14 AM

Nothin wrong with that nuthin at all…..................................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www. woodrehab.blogspot.com

View kenn's profile (online now)

kenn

788 posts in 2405 days


#6 posted 09-09-2010 06:21 AM

You’re getting there and practice is the only way to get better. One of my tricks was to make dovetailed birdhouses. I got tired of just pracrticing and needed some new birdhouses…there are still hanging in the trees at least 5 years later. Keep it up.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View ocwoodworker's profile

ocwoodworker

204 posts in 1690 days


#7 posted 09-09-2010 07:03 AM

How ironic. I did the same thing. I cleaned my shop only over the holiday since I came down with the stomach flu (I couldn’t take it any more lying on the couch) and decided to pull out my dovetail handsaw and practice a bit. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Rewarding, isn’t it? Love the attention to detail. Keep splitting the lines and post the progressions.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1801 days


#8 posted 09-09-2010 09:34 PM

Dang ! you :-) , you realy force me down
in to the basement in the near future not just to practish , but allso to clean with the big broom :-(

ceep up the good work
Dennis

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1552 days


#9 posted 09-10-2010 02:21 PM

Thanks for all the kind posts. I really do appreciate it.

-- 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

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