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Dovetails in extremely splintery hardwood?

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Forum topic by Chelios posted 1033 days ago 612 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chelios

567 posts in 1664 days


1033 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Any of you have experience cutting dovetails in real splintery wood like cocobolo, zebrawood, or the like?

I have my last little board of cocobolo that I thought could make a nice little dovetailed box but I am afraid the tails are going to be very hard to keep clean.

thanks as always


5 replies so far

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Dallas

2855 posts in 1085 days


#1 posted 1033 days ago

When I was making some dovetails on some Chinese mahogany, I had to put a backer and a face board made of scrap oak I had laying around.
The mahogany would blow out front and back even when I used a plywood face and backer.

I don’t know it that’s the right way to do it, but it worked for that job.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Chelios

567 posts in 1664 days


#2 posted 1033 days ago

Good idea thanks. I assume you were using a dovetail ji/router? Same principle might apply for hand cut?

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Dallas

2855 posts in 1085 days


#3 posted 1033 days ago

No, I was cutting them by hand with a fine tooth back saw and cleaning up with chisels. The job ended up looking good, but I have to confess, I’ve only done a few more since then and they weren’t anything to brag about.
If I hadn’t had to the first ones, I probably still wouldn’t do them.

(I also have a jig and router to make them, but it’s been collecting dust since about 2007!)

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Dark_Lightning

1668 posts in 1707 days


#4 posted 1033 days ago

Since you would only be cutting on the push or the pull (depending on the type of saw) you would only need a backer board on the “away” side of the cut. I use a jig. I don’t have the time for hand-cut dovetails. YMMV.

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Chelios

567 posts in 1664 days


#5 posted 1033 days ago

Thank you for the great tips. I am going to try them now. I plan on taking my time on this.

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