Handcut Dovetail Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by Fettler posted 12-14-2013 11:11 AM 1676 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been working on this boxes this week after work. The pin boards are made from Black Walnut, Tail boards are Spalted Maple and the top/bottom are Aromatic Cedar. I picked up the cedar/maple from Rockler’s Seattle store for 50% off. The store is closing down after 30 years and moving to a new location so they liquidated their lumber stock piles (it was pretty picked through when I got there).

This is the 3rd box I’ve made in my lifetime. I rough dimensioned the stock using a table saw and bandsaw; final dimensioning was done with hand tools. The stop dados were a pita, I would have used a router table but i haven’t put one together yet. I ended up using a Narex mortising chisel (it was the only 3/16” chisel i had) and a LN small router plane with a 3/32” blade.

I spent a good chunk of the construction time honing and attempting to sharpen the Narex chisel. While the steel is fairly hard it didn’t take as sharp an edge as my LN chisels. Bevel down it didn’t cut very well, bevel up it was difficult to control (the dado turned out really rough).

I finished the tail/pin boards with Renaissance wax, leaving the finish from the smooth plane. I left the tops/bottoms unfinished and lightly sanded the top.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

8 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2060 days

#1 posted 12-14-2013 11:27 AM

Very nice joinery Rob the dove tails look excellent…well done and thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2813 days

#2 posted 12-14-2013 01:59 PM

Clean work Fettler! I like the grain combos.

I spy a mallet and coping saw with a cord or nylon wrap
for gripping. What is it and how did you do that?

Me likey.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1369 posts in 2900 days

#3 posted 12-14-2013 03:53 PM

Nice clean lines, great dovetails, and wood combo’s.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 12-14-2013 04:26 PM

You did a nice job on these dovetails.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2721 days

#5 posted 12-14-2013 05:27 PM

Fine work, sir. Your dedication shows in he details.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 2233 days

#6 posted 12-14-2013 05:38 PM

I wish i could take credit for that mallet, but it was made by Mr. Rob Cosman; signed and wrapped by the man himself. He converted me from square head mallets to turned head and I haven’t looked back since.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View bygrace's profile


181 posts in 2205 days

#7 posted 12-15-2013 02:50 AM

Good looking box. I really like the dovetail joinery. I see a box like that, with the dovetails, in my future. Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2412 days

#8 posted 12-18-2013 03:33 PM

Your dovetails look amazing! Like the attractive wood combo. Great job!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics