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Forum topic by tas121790 posted 1270 days ago 1701 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tas121790

4 posts in 1403 days


1270 days ago

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 1641 days


#1 posted 1270 days ago

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1756 days


#2 posted 1270 days ago

+2 on Poplar.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1829 days


#3 posted 1270 days ago

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

2116 posts in 1639 days


#4 posted 1270 days ago

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 1462 days


#5 posted 1270 days ago

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

14587 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 1270 days ago

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

View tas121790's profile

tas121790

4 posts in 1403 days


#7 posted 1270 days ago

“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

14587 posts in 2273 days


#8 posted 1270 days ago

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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