LumberJocks

Hand cut dovetails

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by ducky911 posted 04-09-2012 03:35 PM 674 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ducky911's profile

ducky911

223 posts in 1444 days


04-09-2012 03:35 PM

Hi, been learning hand cut dovetails and will post my new project in a few weeks.

Question ..this doesn’t apply to me as i use a pencil. But i have noticed that in the finished projects some of us leave the scribed thickness scratch I always assumed that if i scratched it would sand out? I was wondering if there was some history to this?

Bob


6 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#1 posted 04-09-2012 04:21 PM

Some think its a way to show the dovetails were cut by hand. Originaly most dovetails where hidden, like in drawer carcasses, so the line wouldn’t be seen.

I myself typically sand or scrap them off if they can be seen. Today, its a personal preference thing.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1653 days


#2 posted 04-09-2012 05:11 PM

My personal thought on it: if you want to hide the construction details, don’t use exposed joinery. If the scribed lines stay or go is only an artifact. I wouldn’t go out of my way to hide them or show them off.

Of course there are some on the other end of the spectrum that use a dovetail jig and then scribe in the layout lines to make it look hand made.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1259 posts in 1839 days


#3 posted 04-09-2012 05:25 PM

I like leaving the scribed lines. It’s just part of the dovetail joint, in my opinion, and looks kind of nice.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

3455 posts in 2615 days


#4 posted 04-09-2012 07:16 PM

Shows me an intent to create quality hand work. When we shop for antiques, drawer contruction is one of the first considerations.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Loren's profile

Loren

7556 posts in 2303 days


#5 posted 04-09-2012 07:40 PM

The scribed lines may get planed off on a piston-fit drawer.

Whether the lines are left is a matter of aesthetics. Dovetails
are a tough old joint and their emergence as a symbol of
fine craftsmanship is relatively recent. In the past, fine casework
was often not through dovetailed because the end grain
was considered ugly. Drawers running on wood
take more abuse than drawers on modern slides due to
friction, wood movement and damage from wear, so the
mechanical advantage of dovetails were an advantage
in drawers but cutting them perfectly or investing any more
time than necessary to get the drawer action right was
not always a priority, even in nicer casework.

The advantage of the scribed line over a penciled line
is the scribed line will hold the edge of a chisel.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9914 posts in 1273 days


#6 posted 04-09-2012 08:05 PM

”...there are some on the other end of the spectrum that use a dovetail jig and then scribe in the layout lines to make it look hand made”

David, Ouch! I never thought of it, but I guess it’s done. Wow, that strikes me as deceptive practice but maybe that’s harsh. After all, pieces also get ‘stressed,’ and finished are applied to look worn at the edges from day one so scribed, machined dovetails isn’t really much different.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase