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through dovetails long or short?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 07-24-2014 04:45 PM 857 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

434 posts in 1849 days


07-24-2014 04:45 PM

When you set your marking guage (or other method for determining the length of your tails and pins) for through dovetails, which of the following do you do?

a. Try to make them exactly right to minimize cleanup planing when you are done.

b. Make them slightly too long on purpose and plane off the end grain to make them level.

c. Make them slightly too short on purpose, so you can plane the drawer side down a little and avoid having to plane end grain.

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


10 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#1 posted 07-24-2014 04:51 PM

A

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#2 posted 07-24-2014 05:09 PM

I’ve only practiced hand cutting dovetails a little, but if I recall correctly Marc Adams and other instructors at a woodworking event recommended cutting the pins and tails a little long and flushing them up later.

Marc Adams has a nice “Dovetail Refresher” video; about halfway through he talks about scribing the lines a little deeper than the thickness of each piece of wood.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ns5WBBE2L4

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

8309 posts in 3113 days


#3 posted 07-24-2014 05:15 PM

C.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1892 days


#4 posted 07-24-2014 05:15 PM

B.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2282 days


#5 posted 07-24-2014 05:22 PM

I usually do B, but it can be a lot of work to plane that end grain down, especially on big piece like a blanket chest. It’s really easy to have little pieces break off in the joint, but a super sharp blade, skewed, will do it. I dream of doing A and having it work.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 889 days


#6 posted 07-24-2014 06:13 PM



B.

- exelectrician

Ditto. A little proud.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13734 posts in 2083 days


#7 posted 07-24-2014 11:33 PM

A. Why intentionally cut something wrong?

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17966 posts in 2032 days


#8 posted 07-25-2014 12:32 AM

B

if they are long intentionally, its not wrong, its a process.

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

View sweetwilliam's profile

sweetwilliam

3 posts in 867 days


#9 posted 07-25-2014 12:25 PM

B. But only slightly. Rather work on a little end grain than a whole panel.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1834 days


#10 posted 07-25-2014 02:03 PM

B. I set my gauge to the thickness of the stock plus a little, maybe a dollar bill folded in half.

If you’re Canadian, though, the loonie will leave a lot of planing to do.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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