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Marking Knife Question On Dovetail Pins

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Forum topic by langski93 posted 03-03-2013 06:40 PM 1166 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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langski93

103 posts in 2898 days


03-03-2013 06:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have had modest success hand cutting dovetails. I cut tails first by pencilling in the marks and splitting the line on them. I then mark my pins with a quality Czeck Edge knife. However, when I try to cut to the waste side of the pin my saw inevitably falls into the micro kerf made by the knife and ends up splitting the line. This results in gappy and loose DTs where the saw kerf from the pin cuts are too strong. If I mark my pins with a pencil I have a much easier time cuttng to the waste side as there is no marking knife kerf. The saw is a LN and I don’t think it is a remarkably thin plate. Any thoughts or similiar experiences? Thanks ahead of time.

-- Langski, New Hampshire


7 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

892 posts in 2417 days


#1 posted 03-03-2013 06:46 PM

langski93, I had the same problems when I used only a marking knife for dovetail layout. I moved away from the knife and now use pencils only. My work got a lot better because the saw was not falling into a saw kerf and making the joint sloppy as you describe above. I also went to pins first because I don’t need to worry about not getting a pencil into small pin recesses in the tails board.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 1382 days


#2 posted 03-03-2013 07:20 PM

The knife line is extremely small. It requires very very good sawing skills to split a knife line. Most guys will do better leaving the whole line

-- Ron in Kokomo

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Loren

8313 posts in 3113 days


#3 posted 03-03-2013 07:45 PM

You might put your left thumb against the edge of the
saw and start it by pulling back on the corner of the
board. Then take another backwards stroke at
a shallower angle across the board to establish the kerf.

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Loren

8313 posts in 3113 days


#4 posted 03-03-2013 08:32 PM

Also, it is not much trouble cut them a little wide
and pare to the line. There’s a little trick I learned
from Krenov where you pare the pins a little
concave and it makes the joint go together
easier and tighter at the outside corners.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#5 posted 03-03-2013 10:16 PM

I also like pins first because they are easier to mark and I also use a pencil. Either way is correct, just personal preference.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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langski93

103 posts in 2898 days


#6 posted 03-03-2013 10:57 PM

Thanks for all replies. Loren, I have been making my first saw stroke (pushing) across the whole surface by using my thumb. I will try nimbling from the back corner forward or even just making a couple of pull strokes to set a kerf.
Ron, my problem is that I am splitting the line where I don’t want to. I want to leave the line, but the saw teeth slip into the kerf created by the knife. If nibling or using a pull stroke does not work I am going to go to using just a pencil.

Cheers

-- Langski, New Hampshire

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 1382 days


#7 posted 03-08-2013 05:16 AM

You did not say what wood. Soft wood? A lot of guys use pencils in soft woof for that reason.

-- Ron in Kokomo

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