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Cutting dovetails - a confession

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Alf

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In another thread far, far away, Chris asked the question I hoped nobody would:
waterhead37":r4cyf9ey said:
A good first step - now we want to see the dovetails you cut with the aid of your marking wotsits!
Immediately I cursed my foolishness in mentioning the dovetail wotsit at all. Blabbermouth that I am. :roll:

You see I have a dark secret that I've been loathed to confess even to close friends. Perhaps some will have guessed already - a hardened neanderthal owning a Woodrat is a bit of a giveaway after all. You see, I can't do hand cut dovetails. There, I've said it at last. Better out than in. :oops: I've tried again and again, and it's always the chiselling out of the waste that lets me down every time (latterly anyway; before that it was the sawing of the waste, before that the initial cuts, and prior to that the marking out... :roll: ). The results have been to hideous to imagine. Oh, the shame. :( Periodically the guilt overcomes me and I go into the workshop and have another go. Firewood is the inevitable result.

So my friends, imagine my delight when, after nearly 45 mins of careful, plodding, concentrated work with saws and Japanese chisel on just one joint in 12mm oak, I ended up with this:

It's not glued, merely a wipe of shellac to bring out the contrast. No shims, filler or chunks of wood to fill in the gaps, no, not one. :shock: They're not perfect, and they're not spectacular, but at last I feel like I might stand a chance of actually being able to cut honest-to-goodness hand cut dovetails now. For real. When it matters.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? (tm The A Team) :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

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Superb, congratulations, they are neater than my handcuts.

You aren't supposed to using the 'rat - we're in the HAND TOOLS section. You might be demoted from Mod to just a mere bod like the rest of us!
 

Aragorn

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No no no - it's just too much to believe! Alf not being able to cut dovetails by hand. You're pulling our collective leg.
Nice looking dovetails if you ask me (worthy of the Leigh)
 

Chris Knight

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Alf,

They're perfect. Now you can sell the Woodrat and no longer feel you have to spring to its defence in the recurring rat versus Leigh Wars - who needs either?

Truly they are extremely neat - I'd be proud of them.
 

Pete W

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Alf":102usbip said:
They're not perfect, and they're not spectacular
Well, they look pretty spectacular to me. Very nice!

And if you'd just posted that pic, you could have got clean away without the confession :).
 

Neil

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They look perfect to me, Alf...

So what is the secret - is it your new Japanese chisels making all the difference? :wink:

NeilCFD
 

SimonA

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I have to agree with everybody else on this Alf......they're spot on.....but tell me again how these fit into the "coffee table" :lol:

Nice job Alf!!

SimonA
 

Alf

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Well thanks very much, folks. I think maybe the camera is fibbing a bit, but they're not bad <helplessly grinning like a Cheshire cat>.

'Fraid the 'Rat won't be going anywhere; I value it too much for doing all sorts of things, particularly sliding dovetails. Besides, it's still quicker than I am. :oops:

Pete, confession is good for the soul :wink:

Neil, d'you know, I'm not sure you're not on the money. Sounds crazy, but it just might be the case. Hmmm... I wonder if I can work the "if those chisels make that much difference, imagine what the L-Ns could do" angle... :wink:

Simon, cheeky. :p

Cheers, Alf

Putting off cutting another lot just in case it was a fluke. :shock:
 

Noel

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The LN chisels at $250.......wonder what they'll retail overhere for?


Rgds

Noel
 
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Alf they look perfect to me. Nice work indeed!!

Cheers
A very impressed Tony
 

Alf

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Noely":29z6hpz8 said:
The LN chisels at $250.......wonder what they'll retail overhere for?
Too much :(

Philly":29z6hpz8 said:
So, the Japanese chisels. What's your impressions?
Well it's early days yet, but I rather like them. They certainly win in terms of speed of back flattening, but how I'll feel the first time I have to grind out a chip may be another matter... :? The balance isn't bad for "el cheapos"; possibly the reason the DTs came out better was I was able to hold the chisel near the blade with more certainty. In fact, for the price, they're a bit of a miracle really. Yes, the hollows in the back vary rather, and the angle of the back to the shaft of the blade varies too, but nothing you can't live with. Am I a convert? If I can resist the L-Ns the first time I see them for sale, then you'll know I am. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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