|Project by SDAdmiral||posted 12-27-2014 04:25 PM||1055 views||4 times favorited||4 comments|
I got a Lie Nielsen dovetail saw for Christmas so I had to try it out! This was my first attempt (after 1 practice board) at hand-cut dovetails. The oak and sapele that I used are both very hard, so getting tight joints that I could take back apart after dry fitting was a challenge! There are a few sloppy spots but I didn’t think it looked too bad for a practice project.
The top board is actually about 15 separate oak boards glued together, which I found to be quite frustrating. I started with 4 stair tread scraps (each comprised of narrower strips of wood) that I have forever been trying to find a use for instead of burning. I glued them together trying to get as much edge-to-edge surface as possible, but I had to have two end-to-end joints. After the first attempt the end-to-end joints came apart when I was flattening the panel, so I started over and used some biscuits. Of course at this point I was frustrated and didn’t plan my biscuit locations very well, so one of them ended up exposed after I trimmed the top to size. I decided to leave it that way so that I will get a reminder every time I look at it and hopefully avoid the same mistake on a “real” project.
Flattening the panel proved to be very hard work. The grain direction was running across the board so I couldn’t run it through my planer, and I don’t have a drum sander. I figured I would make short work of it with a hand plane, but all of the individual pieces were oriented with opposing grain slopes! Oak is not very well suited for planing up-hill, so that was fun. After it was all said and done, I spent considerably more time working on the top than on the dovetails!
All-in-all I learned way more than I set out to with this project!
-- - Andrew -