dovetails - clearing out the corner of thin tails

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 07-21-2016 06:12 PM 489 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2314 days

07-21-2016 06:12 PM

Google failed me! lots of great how-to’s regarding dovetailing on the web, here included.

But I am trying to find some references / videos on the best way to clear out the waist when cutting very thin dovetail tails for a half blind drawer. i find that the bottom of the tails, in the corner, is very hard to clean up without the side of my chisel banging into the side of the tail.

7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


1310 posts in 1733 days

#1 posted 07-21-2016 06:25 PM

Hi Jimmy,I use a left and right skew chisel.Lie Neilson makes fish tail chisels that look nice.
Someday I plan on getting a set of Japaneese fishtail chisels even though I don’t need them.
I admit t having a weakness to Japaneese chisels.
Good luck


-- Aj

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


4640 posts in 2287 days

#2 posted 07-21-2016 06:27 PM

They make skew chisels and dovetail chisels for such things, but I am able to get by w/ my 1/8” bench chisel for tight corners in dovetails.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View diverlloyd's profile


2592 posts in 1793 days

#3 posted 07-21-2016 06:29 PM

Try a fishtail chisel or adjust the angle of the sides of the dovetails or chisels to match each other

View CharlesNeil's profile


2361 posts in 3806 days

#4 posted 07-21-2016 06:38 PM

I agree, I use a 1/8 chisel, the slimmest I have found are Ashley Isles

View rwe2156's profile


2844 posts in 1416 days

#5 posted 07-21-2016 07:25 PM

Careful on fishtails make sure its not a double bevel chisel.

Lie Nielsen sells a single bevel fishtail chisel perfect for this work.

Rob Cosman makes a dovetail chisel. You can make one, too.

Really any 1/8 chisel with a very low side bevel height like the brand Charles mentioned.

AL and LN have the lowest side bevel heights of any chisel going.

FWW has a very good chisel review PDF download with all the specs.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View shipwright's profile


7940 posts in 2733 days

#6 posted 07-21-2016 07:34 PM

I cheat and cut the waste away with my chevalet. Works like a charm.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View tubaforewilly's profile


11 posts in 618 days

#7 posted 08-05-2016 12:20 PM

If you have any chisels that you would consider junkers you could grind a skew into it, re-bevel somewhere in the 25-30 degree range and it would work after sharpening. I did that and all of a sudden two chisels that I thought were garbage became prized!

-- I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

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