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Forum topic by jwmalone posted 07-24-2016 05:59 PM 430 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


07-24-2016 05:59 PM

Ive made plenty of box joints and such, but I finally have a costumer who wants oak with a stain finish on a cabinet. So it will have 6 or so drawers (sewing cabinet) were do I go for basic instructions for dumb asses on dovetails. I want to think this through from the beginning not jump in with an oh hell I know how these are made attitude. That never works out good lol. Thanks guys, will be using a router most likely

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa


13 replies so far

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2593 days


#1 posted 07-24-2016 07:48 PM

You’ll need a dovetail jig, or an Incra fence on a router table.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2321 days


#2 posted 07-24-2016 07:50 PM

Or a good dovetail saw and a good sharp small chisel…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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JohnDon

61 posts in 631 days


#3 posted 07-24-2016 11:55 PM

If you have the passion for learning how to make hand cut dovetails, go that way. It sounds, though, that until now you’ve felt no real urge, and it’s now mostly to satisfy a customer’s request, so I’d say go with a dovetail jig- not as artistic, creative, or flexible, but a much, much easier learning curve.

Next, find out what this customer specifically wants: half blind or through dovetails, fixed or variable spacing. If he/she just likes the ideal of “dovetails”, and not too particular beyond that, I’d get a cheap jig like the one you can get at HF to make fixed spacing half blinds. make the dovetails and be done with it. If the customer wants a less manufactured look to the dovetails, get a Leigh jig, which is about as good as you can get short of hand cut dovetails. If you’re thinking of making more dovetails beyond this customer’s project, definitely go with the Leigh.

There are lots of youtube videos showing how various jigs work.

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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


#4 posted 07-25-2016 12:54 AM

Well Johndon Its not that I haven’t had the urge just haven’t had time. All projects thus far have been painted no need for dovetails for the strength factor or the aesthetics. This lady’s father was a furniture maker, I saw several of his pieces. I would never attempt drawers with anything less than a dovetail for function (pride). She knows I’m not an old pro (friend of moms) but she likes the other stuff I’ve made so ask if I would take this on. I have a dovetail jig and ordered a guide bushing today. I think she wants to see how far I will go to make it a quality piece, potentially a huge door opener to other work. hand cut is certainly in my future. Thanks for the advice.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

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Tttony

53 posts in 3012 days


#5 posted 07-25-2016 01:01 AM

I use a Keller dovetail jig, they are thru dovetails not half blind, I actually just posted last night on lumberjocks a kitchen remodel that I did a boat load of drawers and pull outs. Take a look and if you have any questions I will answer them to the best of my knowledge.

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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


#6 posted 07-25-2016 01:10 AM

Thanks Tttony, will do

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


#7 posted 07-25-2016 01:39 AM

GER21 Thanks a lot dude I googled incra fence as if I didn’t have enough stuff to throw money at you give one more. Seriously, thanks I didn’t know that even existed. I was thinking about making something like that. I mean I made a jig/fence thingy that makes perfect box joints, that incra system looks really nice thanks for the info.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

290 posts in 210 days


#8 posted 07-25-2016 02:12 AM

I have the 12 inch Porter-Cable dovetail jig. Works fine, but if I had it to do over I’d go with the 24 inch Leigh jig or a Keller style jig.

That said, a good hand cut dovetail guy will have them cut in an amazingly short time. I, unfortunately, am not yet “good”. I am adequate at best, and have a big dovetailed blanket chest job coming up.

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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


#9 posted 07-25-2016 02:36 AM

Kirk, How do you go about laying out for hand cut

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 948 days


#10 posted 07-25-2016 03:02 AM

I usually start about 3/4”-1” from each edge to the center of the end tails. I figure how many tails I want then I use dividers to evenly space them. I’ve only made one dovetailed drawer (many other things aside from drawers) but I’d put about 3-4 per 4” drawer side because that seems about typical from what I’ve seen.

I use a dovetail marker and try to keep the narrow end of the tail a consistent width.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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jwmalone

769 posts in 164 days


#11 posted 07-25-2016 03:09 AM

Thanks fridge, that’s sorta the info I’m looking for basic refresher course

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2183 posts in 1487 days


#12 posted 07-25-2016 03:20 AM

I use the PC 4212 jig and like it. The advantage of the jig is in doing many drawers, where you can set up (the fussiest part of using any jig), and then systematically crank through them with great efficiency. My kitchen remodel called for 20 drawers, including drawers-within-drawers (2 of those). I appreciated the jig for those.

What I like about dovetails, compared to box joints, is that they are stable and strong even without any glue, if fitted properly. Of course I did glue them.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 948 days


#13 posted 07-25-2016 03:54 AM

No prob bud. If you’re in a rush. Jig it. You can always use it later to bang stuff out.

If you want to get into hand cut dovetails I would suggest learning how to cut box joints first. you want to practice cutting to a line. Not cutting dovetails. You’ll spend forever marking up when you should be spending time learning how to cut to the left and right of a line accurately. Every so often I grab a piece of scrap and mark a bunch of 90 degree lines a go to town.

Pretty much all hand it joinery is cutting to a line and building confidence in doing so.

I’ve only had a dovetail saw for a year and a half but I practiced a lot in the beginning. Very rewarding as well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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