So it turns out that the historically correct way to make a marquetry covered box is with full blind dovetails. OK I’m a good sport. How hard can it be. Anyway it will give me a chance to use all those silent, pretty tools again. (I’m going to have to remove that bench mallet from the silent category, especially as it relates to whacking holdfasts.)
I believe that the joint was used primarily to provide a very strong corner with no end grain showing to telegraph through the veneer. It also lends itself to glue-up after completely finishing the inside surfaces.
So let’s get started. You may remember the little rebates I made on the ends of the pieces in the first segment. Here they are again with the dovetails laid out. I have no idea which are the pins and which are the tails.
(I’m OK with that.)
Cut the line until the kerf reaches the outer surface of the piece at the top and the line on the inside.
Chop out the waste….
and plane the little edge to 45 deg. You should get a knife edge on the outside and reach the bottom of the cutouts at the top.
Mark the counterparts and cut the on the tight side. You can pare them to fit quite easily.
Here’s the first piece.....
and here’s the set.
An acceptable fit for a beginner I guess. (I kept feeling that I could have made better fits with real wood.)
Here’s how the joint looks assembled. I’m leaving them slightly big for now. I will refine them a bit when I assemble the marquetry before gluing. They have to match the marquetry pieces’ length exactly.
Here’s the whole box dry fitted. It is remarkably strong already and needs to be “worked” apart.
Next up will be the dado for the bottom. As I mentioned I will need to make a router plane for that. Here it is. No, really, it’s in there. This is a rotting and severely bug-eaten piece of Cat’s Claw Mesquite.
So I made a router plane out of it. More on that later. First I needed to define the edges of the dado.
By then the oil was starting to dry on the plane so it went to work.
I like it. It is small because it is only for small jobs like this. It fits my hands nicely with my thumbs in the shallow recesses in the back. It may get more shaping as I get used to it but it is comfortable already. It certainly needs better sharpening, just wanted to get a photo before I quit for the day.
Sorry about all the pictures. I’m just so new to all this hand tool stuff that I’m taking pictures of everything.
You can’t be enjoying this as much as I am but I’m really pleased and flattered that you are along for the ride.
Thanks for looking in.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/