LumberJocks

Loose dove tails

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by kdavid posted 535 days ago 813 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kdavid's profile

kdavid

21 posts in 1658 days


535 days ago

Morning….Newbie dove tailer here…...after many attempts I still cannot achieve those snap tight joints. They are snug but the are random gaps.. Any help would be appreciated….Kirk

-- Kirk..... " Hope I die before I get old "


16 replies so far

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1563 days


#1 posted 535 days ago

If you would post photos, maybe that could help identify problem areas?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9830 posts in 1255 days


#2 posted 535 days ago

Are you cuttin them by hand? What kind of dovetail saw? Marking knife or pencil!

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

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4081 posts in 1088 days


#3 posted 535 days ago

Need to see/hear your process along w/pics. Are you cutting by hand or using tools with tails? How do you transfer your tails or pins? etc.
kevin

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

88 posts in 922 days


#4 posted 535 days ago

what type of wood would be helpful to know as well.

-- Chris, Long Island

View Jerbone's profile

Jerbone

29 posts in 560 days


#5 posted 535 days ago

Not that mine are any good but I was trying to learn on red oak and having a hell of a time. I then switched to some thinner poplar and was able to create some passable joints after that. Also as they mentioned, I switched from marking with a pencil to a marking knife which helped out a lot.

View kdavid's profile

kdavid

21 posts in 1658 days


#6 posted 535 days ago

I’m using a Veritas dovetail saw and a knife…should I use a coping saw or just chisels…Thanks again

-- Kirk..... " Hope I die before I get old "

View mikema's profile

mikema

175 posts in 1223 days


#7 posted 535 days ago

Use a pencil, and leave the pencil line when you cut. Also if you are cutting tails first, mark where you are going to cut the pins off of the tails. Reverse is true if you cut pins first. If I had to guess looking at the picture, It appears you marked both tails and pins before you cut them.

Finally, keep practicing. It is not a skill you can learn over night. You will end up making a lot of book-ends until you are comfortable with it.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog: http://sawdustnewbie.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

7464 posts in 2285 days


#8 posted 535 days ago

I recommend starting with wider pins. You can always move
over the delicate pins when you get the method down.

I think it is much easier to follow a line straight up and
down than to follow an angled line. This is why I cut
the tails first… because all the pin cuts are straight
cuts.

I mark the pins from the tails with a 2” long section of
hack saw blade sharpened to a claw profile. The offset
on each side is something like 1/24” I suppose. It’s
important to be consistent in your methods of cutting
and marking so you can control the end result. How
you stand when sawing is pretty important too.

You can always pare pins cut a little wide to fit. I’d
err on the side of making them a little wide, especially
as you master sawing perfectly straight up and down.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View DKV's profile

DKV

3100 posts in 1141 days


#9 posted 535 days ago

Also as a newby to dovetails (1 year on and off practice) I agree with Mike and Loren. Start big and use pencil. Do not touch the pencil line when cutting. In fact, when I’m cutting and I think I may be too far into the waste side I find that I have a perfect fit. Another idea that took me a long time to realize, do your tails first and don’t really worry about being perfect on the line, next to the line, etc. The tails are nothing more than a template for the pins. The pins you need to go slow and careful. The last thing is practice, practice, practice. Dovetails are not easy. There are some great videos on Youtube. Many, many different methods. You have to experiment with all the suggestions and pick your own. Probably a combination of several different people. Don’t think that everyone does it the same. You would be cheating yourself. Just when you think you can’t watch another Youtube video…watch another. The person doing it may be the break through you need.

-- 2014 will be a different year...at least for me it will.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10707 posts in 1643 days


#10 posted 535 days ago

DT noob here too. Ive been cutting them quite a bit lately with some success, some failure. Here’s a post that i saved a while back from LJ Derek Cohen. The first link on the page opened my eyes to some things i wouldnt have ever thought about.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/52649

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Loren's profile

Loren

7464 posts in 2285 days


#11 posted 535 days ago

Oh yeah. When I cut the tails I flip the board and don’t
shift my stance. I use a bowsaw which is it’s own funky
thing… if the stance is the same the angles tend to
be close to uniform.

When cutting the pins I do the same thing. I hold
the saw differently of course and I probably use
a different stance. I still flip the board and keep
the same stance rather than moving around.

So, I have two stances to do the same every time,
not four.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View 12strings's profile

12strings

402 posts in 1021 days


#12 posted 535 days ago

Not sure which of those you cut first (tails or pins), but it looks like your tails are not square, so if tails first, I would cut them, then check every surface with a square to make sure it is square before marking the pins. Trim your tails with a chisel until you think they are just right, and square, then mark your pins from there.

And like others said, if using pencil, plan to leave your making line…if you cut into your line, you’re sure to have gaps. As you gain practice, you will know instinctively how close to get so you have little if any paring to do at the end.

I’m one who prefers knife lines myself, so in my case I will often notch a place out for my saw against the knife line on the waste side, so my saw already has a place to sit.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View kayakdude's profile

kayakdude

90 posts in 1413 days


#13 posted 535 days ago

i use a leigh jig D4 i have own it for years and used it for years if any thing my joints get to tight and you can make a box in about 10 minuts and good to go time is money so dont waste it , and alway use square bords so you dont want to use cheap pine i use mostly oak, ash, walnut or chesnut wood tulip woods also a good choice
kayakdude

-- kayakdude

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1433 posts in 998 days


#14 posted 535 days ago

There are very few projects for which dovetails are more than footnotes to the success of a piece. Fuggettabatttum! Concentrate on design and basic construction: the things that really count. Nothing detracts more than sloppy attempts at dovetails in an otherwise well executed work. It suggests that the rest of the effort ain’t up to par.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

887 posts in 747 days


#15 posted 535 days ago

The Five Minute Dovetail is a great way to practice and improve hand skills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=793rDKO1sIw

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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