|Project by yuridichesky||posted 12-09-2013 09:00 AM||1932 views||8 times favorited||13 comments|
Recently I’ve been doing dovetail work (tool tray for my workbench), and it’s the reason I decided that I needed some dovetail marking gizmo.
Quick googling gave me a favorite, Paul Sellers’ dovetail gauge: simple design, quick to build, easy to tune and true:
But. It does not allow to mark two surfaces – face of the board and end of the board – at once. So I decided to “improve” Paul Sellers design by extending tapered shoulder. And since it looks like a cross I called it Dovetail Cross (btw I didn’t find anything like that on the web, so did I invent something new here?).
As with my previous project I started with prototyping in pine before cutting the oak:
Prototyping really helped me to decide about the joinery for this cross: some kind of half-lap joint with a “twist” – little recess for cleaner look and stronger joint:
Besides the really nice and clean look and unnecessary strong joint it gave me quite a bit of headache to make it tight and square.
For the gluing I had to make true-square block – yet another extra work:
Initially I decided to do all final adjustments and truing by sanding the jig on big dead-flat stone. But it didn’t work at all: no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t able to provide uniform pressure along all the legs, so it was off the square either on one side or on another or both. As a result I sanded off 1/32” of the legs’ width without getting even close to the square. Then I tried block plane and chisels to true it up, but without any success neither.
The rescue came from this little scraper:
It allowed me to remove as little material as I needed to finally make it dead square for each leg.
So here it is in action – two marking lines on the face of the board and end of the board without moving the gauge:
The legs of the cross are long enough to mark two 3/4” thick boards at once:
So now I have a tool that allows me to mark easily all the lines of 1:7 dovetails no matter how close to the side of the board line is, plus it serves as a small try-square as well. The making of this tool took me at least 20 times more of time and work than Paul Sellers gauge, and still I’m quite happy about how it turned to be.
Thank you for stopping in!
-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)