Passed my dovetail test, so I’m saying hello

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Steve Diogo posted 226 days ago 956 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Steve Diogo's profile

Steve Diogo

87 posts in 227 days

226 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: handtools dovetails beginners

Hi all. Just a quick note to introduce myself as a new member. I just started working wood about six months ago and quickly developed a strong interest (i.e. obsession) in traditional techniques and handtools, which I never expected. I’ve spent the past few months making nothing but scrap and shavings, as I have been focusing on learning to cut straight lines, measure correctly, plane, make a few key ebay tool purchases and sharpen my tools. I’m learning mostly by watching videos by Paul Sellers, Rob Cossman and the Wood Whisperer and practicing, practicing, practicing.

Last week, after trying and failing daily (literally) I finally executed a successful handcut dovetail. I am celebrating by buying a new Veritas dovetail saw (my first new tool purchase), starting on a Christopher Schwarz Dutch tool chest and officially joining the forum here at LJ.

Don’t have much experience to offer, so I’ll mostly be reading and maybe asking questions. But I also think it’s helpful for beginners to talk to other beginners. I can watch the masters work and sometimes get inspired but also frustrated. Sometimes it’s nice to just know someone with a little more experience and practice figured out something I’m working on… and maybe I can offer that to other newcomers too.

All the best!



22 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4318 posts in 1683 days

#1 posted 226 days ago

Congratulations on your dovetail.
I am a big fan of Paul Sellers also. In my opinion he is the best teacher around.
I never yet cut a dovetail in my life!
I am 64 years old and I do not feel bad about it.
Be very welcome on Lumberjocks.
You will find an encyclopedia of knowledge and a bunch of nice guys loving woodworking and tools, power and hand tools.
Tools (hand and power) is what I like , more than to use them.
Again, be very welcome.

-- Bert

View Ross's profile


110 posts in 607 days

#2 posted 226 days ago

Welcome to Lumberjocks Steve. Nice dovetail joint. Also, good choice for a dovetail saw. Nicely balanced saw with a very comfortable handle. I think you will really like it. Tip: put a bit of candle wax on the sides of the saw for a smoother cut.

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

View CJIII's profile


72 posts in 239 days

#3 posted 226 days ago

Looks good, Welcome to LumberJocks!

-- Woodworking with Limited Tools

View Sandra's profile


4291 posts in 710 days

#4 posted 226 days ago

Welcome Steve!
I’ve only been obsessed for 2 + years. Never cut a dovetail but have made enough mistakes in my journey to hopefully be helpful to some.

You’ve landed in a great place.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile


4291 posts in 710 days

#5 posted 226 days ago

If you’re thinking about getting into handplanes, there are some LJs who sell refurbed ones here that I’d highly recommend. Getting a used one that’s well tuned and sharpened gives you a good benchmark from which to start.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View shopdog's profile


552 posts in 2120 days

#6 posted 226 days ago

Hi Steve,

Another welcome to LJ. It’s a great place to learn, and hangout.
Good start with the dovetails.
I have to admit, after 30+ years of making sawdust, I never made a dovetail joint…maybe it’s time to try.

-- Steve--

View bondogaposis's profile


2495 posts in 986 days

#7 posted 226 days ago

Welcome to LJ, nice DT, there is wealth of information here w/ a lot of helpful people.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JayT's profile


2188 posts in 846 days

#8 posted 226 days ago

Hey Steve, welcome to LJ. Dovetail is looking good. I’ve just recently started on learning to hand cut them, as well.

If you are getting into hand tools, there are several threads that may be of interest. These have been ongoing for a while, so some are pretty long, but don’t feel you have to read them from the beginning. Just start checking them out periodically and then jump in to some of the discussion.

Hand Planes This is one of the epic threads, lots of info and great help, but quite a bit of insanity, too. We like to welcome new folks to the asylum.

Hand Saws

Tool Chests, Boxes & other storage/organization


Measuring & Marking Tools

Edit: Forgot the Chisels

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View 489tad's profile


2299 posts in 1646 days

#9 posted 226 days ago

Welcome and the joints looks good.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Dave T's profile

Dave T

194 posts in 2255 days

#10 posted 226 days ago

Hi Steve. Welcome. I’ve been woodworking for almost 10 years and still consider myself a beginner :)

View sikrap's profile


1003 posts in 1994 days

#11 posted 226 days ago

Welcome!! One suggestion I would make is to check and see if there’s a woodworking club near you. I learned a LOT from the guys at my club. Plus, you can visit their shops and try different tools before you buy.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13833 posts in 973 days

#12 posted 226 days ago

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View SuperCubber's profile


251 posts in 919 days

#13 posted 225 days ago

Welcome, Steve! Glad to have you!

View MrFid's profile


518 posts in 539 days

#14 posted 225 days ago

Nice looking joint, and welcome! This site is awesome, you’ll love it. Also, good choice on dovetail saw. The Veritas is super comfortable, and cuts nicely. Did you get the fine tooth, or the regular (14 tpi or 20 tpi, I think those are the numbers). I have, use, and enjoy the 14 tpi (regular) saw.
My next challenge will be hand cut half-blind dovetails.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

389 posts in 1633 days

#15 posted 225 days ago

Hey Steve,

Welcome to the slippery slope of hand tool collecting and using. The great thing about hand tools is that you can easily sneak them by the wife and into the shop with little notice. ‘What is in that box dear?’ Oh, not much, just a saw from Lee Valley.’ Try that with a SawStop ..

Enjoy the trip to the bottom. Soon you too will be obsessed with rusty tools and will have visions of sugar plum tools dancing in your in your head.


Ps nice dovetails

showing 1 through 15 of 22 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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase