Okay, so you’d think that doing the dovetail joints would have been the hardest part of this box, right? Me too. I figured on this nice leisurely Sunday afternoon, I’d do the simple task of cutting the rabbets into which the box bottom would fit. Then I’d glue the dovetails and heck, maybe even glue the bottom on. But it turned out to be not so simple, and after much groaning (and nearly cursing), I’m left with two busted pins and only one rabbet done.
See, I realized that on the walls the rabbets have to be stopped, because otherwise I’d cut off the bottom pins and part of the bottom tails. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, since I don’t have a tiny little saw or anything. So I started with a nice deep knife line – as deep as I could manage. Then I started carefully chiseling away toward the knife wall. But on nearly my first pass chiseling near the pin, I broke off part of the pin. Long story short, I had two breaks on each pin (see pic below). Fortunately, I have all the pieces so I will be able to glue them back together. I figured I’d might as well carry on chiseling since the pins were already shot. So in the end, I got an acceptable rabbet for one wall.
I’m kind of hesitant to begin the other walls. Part of me thinks I might be better off to just go ahead and chisel off each pin at the rabbet line, just get it out of the way, and then do the rabbet as normal and glue the pins back on. With such tiny pins and tails, it might actually be the easiest way.
EDIT: I just had an idea. Maybe I could just define the lines with the knife, then run the chisel along the rabbet (bevel down) like a plane, and then repeat: knife line, chisel plane, etc. Maybe that would work.
[This entry was originally posted on my personal website, Adventures in Woodworking.]