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Forum topic by tas121790 posted 01-31-2011 02:06 AM 1770 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tas121790

4 posts in 1457 days


01-31-2011 02:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetail wood type

I took a woodworking class at a community college and the only wood we had to use for dovetails was warped construction pine from menards. It would frequently split and break and i was wonder if there was a better wood to use for practice that was reasonably priced whether it was hardwood or another variety/grade of pine doesn’t matter. I also understand that the first time making dovetails isnt going to turn out well, i just want a medium that allows good results and allows skill improvement.


9 replies so far

View barryvabeach's profile

barryvabeach

159 posts in 1695 days


#1 posted 01-31-2011 03:24 AM

+1 on Poplar. Pine is just too soft and crumbles easily, poplar is a dream in comparison.

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1810 days


#2 posted 01-31-2011 04:22 AM

+2 on Poplar.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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dbhost

5383 posts in 1883 days


#3 posted 01-31-2011 04:26 AM

Poplar again… Pine is a BAD lumber to use for dovetails. I have tried, repeatedly, without success, to cut clean dovetails in pine. It blows out worse than cutting DTs in plywood….

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View wseand's profile

wseand

2232 posts in 1693 days


#4 posted 01-31-2011 04:47 AM

I would go down to your local lumberyard and see if they have some PC Maple, I get it for 1.40 a BF. If you have a lumber yard near you go check it out and see what they have.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile

Lumber2Sawdust

136 posts in 1516 days


#5 posted 01-31-2011 06:30 AM

I was in a class with Rob Cosman in December. He actually makes everyone start cutting dovetails with pine when he teaches a dovetail class. The biggest reason he does that is because pine is soft and will show your mistakes (if you are practicing, you WANT to see mistakes). One of the bad habits people develop is to lever the chisel against the board when chopping out waste. The result is rounding over the edges of the join, making it look sloppy. Similarly, if you are blowing out the board when chopping dovetails your technique needs some work.

If you have the tools to do it, make sure your boards are flat, wherever you get them from.

Poplar would be a good second choice, but I would recommend whichever is cheaper.

good luck

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#6 posted 01-31-2011 06:50 AM

The pine should not have been quite that bad. It must have been salvaged from beatles or fire??

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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tas121790

4 posts in 1457 days


#7 posted 01-31-2011 07:05 AM

“Similarly, if you are blowing out the board when chopping dovetails your technique needs some work.”
This certainly doesn’t surprise me, we spent all of 4 hours learning about dovetails, never once learned about proper chisel technique (or sawing for that matter). Half way thought the semester i concluded that im going to have to just sart reading up and teaching my self.

Thanks for the replies.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#8 posted 01-31-2011 07:11 AM

That is a good point. A dull chisel will blow pine to smitherines.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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