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Dumb dovetail question

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Forum topic by Grantman posted 10-11-2010 10:20 PM 1168 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


10-11-2010 10:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource tip joining

I’m starting to finally cut my first dovetails. When sawing, do you split the line? Cut to the line? I’ve read that using a knife rather than a pencil makes the joint cleaner. That would, I think, make it harder to split the line.

Where do you “aim the saw?”

And I guess that would hold true to other joints, but let’s work on dovetails first.

Thanks.


10 replies so far

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2663 days


#1 posted 10-11-2010 10:43 PM

If you are just starting out you may want to cut inside the waste side to be safe and if you need to take a bit more after. I do agree that a knife line makes it easier as its much more precise than a thick pencil mark, but that is just my opinion.

Also, its best to do all the cuts of one direction before switching to the other direction(cut all left sides of tails, then all right sides, etc). This will help with muscle memory and you’ll get more accurate and consistent cuts. I think it was Woodsmith that had a great video on doing dovetails by hand. The Wood Whisperer has a good one on dovetails as well.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2583 days


#2 posted 10-11-2010 10:43 PM

you saw on the waist side of the line
if you cross the line you will have a loose fit

go to this site and look how T-cheisel aka Tom Macdonald does it and explain it
http://www.thomasjmacdonald.com/media/category.php?cat=Tool-Box

Dennis

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2440 days


#3 posted 10-11-2010 11:09 PM

Dovetails, tenons, crosscuts… pretty much any cut, you always saw on the waste side of the line. And yes a thinner line is better so a knife cut is best, though sometimes hard to see. If you are careful about which way the bevel of the knife cut faces, it will create the saw guide for you and the saw will track/slip to the vertical wall of the knife cut. This way yours eyes don’t have to be so good. ;)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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Eric_S

1551 posts in 2663 days


#4 posted 10-11-2010 11:36 PM

Swirt I’ll have to remember the bevel trick. I never thought of that.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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Grantman

109 posts in 3493 days


#5 posted 10-12-2010 01:07 AM

Thanks. Cut to the line on the waste side it is….

Oh, and Jorge, my ‘aim the saw’ was simply a poor wording of where to cut. Aim it for the waste side is the answer.

Grantman

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 3255 days


#6 posted 10-12-2010 01:53 AM

The above pretty much covered it. No question is “dumb” if you do not know the answer.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1684 posts in 2390 days


#7 posted 10-12-2010 06:02 AM

Most of the time, I overcut on the waste portion when I think I need to adjust the depth cut. If you file the deep side of the pins, then you have a loose fit if you dont overcut.

The saw must be aimed at the corner of the wood nearest you at 45 deg taking the first 3 cuts on backward motion (not the cutting direction).

Swirt, the bevel of knife is a nice technique. I normally use mechanical pencil .5 or .7mm leadpoint.

-- Bert

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Gofor

470 posts in 3255 days


#8 posted 10-13-2010 12:54 AM

I usually accentuate the knife cut with a chisel tap, bevel toward the waste side. Dovetail saw falls right into the groove on the waste side.

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2440 days


#9 posted 10-13-2010 06:13 AM

The knife bevel technique greatly improved my hand sawing. I use it for crosscuts and fine rips too. I do have a harder time with it on end grain though. i use an exacto knofe for marking dovetails and it it doesn’t usually leave a solid enough bevel to consistently register the saw against…. I should add Gofor’s method to mine for dovetails.

On crosscuts and other larger cuts I use a homemade striking knife and that works really well as it is more solid and leaves behind a crisp wall on one side and a crushed bevel on the other.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2583 days


#10 posted 10-13-2010 07:24 AM

that was realy a hefty marking knife Swirt..lol

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