|Forum topic by Ben||posted 12-18-2015 12:50 AM||939 views||0 times favorited||16 replies|
12-18-2015 12:50 AM
So, I find myself in a strange situation:
I’ve cut 19 dovetailed drawers for my kitchen, a tool tote, numerous storage boxes, etc… All by hand, and with fairly nice results.
It’s strange though. It seems like the very 1st drawer I ever made is tighter than the most recent, with a few exceptions. I don’t seem to have a problem laying out, or cutting square/plumb. The trouble arises in cleaning out the waste.
So far my technique has been as follows:
Start with the tails. Cut out majority of the waste with coping saw. I usually cut to within 1/32”- 1/16” of my knife line. Then I chisel out the rest. This is where the trouble happens. Lately I can’t seem to avoid tearing out large pockets of end grain, just below the surface. The result is that when I go to sand the box out after glue-up, I expose these little pockets and the box is ruined. This has happened twice now trying to finish a small table Im working on.
It doesn’t seem to help any if I angle my chisel so as to create a small hump in the middle and gradually taper it square, or if I just chop straight down square. I even tried a few ends without the coping saw, and chiseling the entire thing. Starting with very light taps on the knife line, then chopping in from the end, and repeating.
I have been using the Paul Sellers sharpening technique – freehand cambered on diamond stones, then stropped. I can freehand cut a piece of paper as he does in his video, but the chisel still doesn’t want to pare through the end grain cleanly. Current drawer box is curly hard maple.
I was so frustrated today that I made another box using table saw sleds. This took just as long and had its own set of problems. Namely the jig nor the piece sitting perfectly square resulting in either cutting too deep or not enough, then having to chisel it all anyway and wind up with the tearout again.
I really want to understand what my issues are in technique.
Sorry for the longwinded post.
Latest box is curly hard maple.