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Dovetail joint

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Dalboy

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I have not hand cut a dovetail joint of any kind since leaving school quite a few years ago I am now in my 60's, but I have cheated and cut them with a jig and router.

I thought that I would have a go as I would like to produce some nice pieces with hand-cut dovetails so today I found a piece of wood that was an offcut from a prepared plank and set to it to produce this joint.

Is there anything I could do to have improved this attempt. (the darker area is where I wet it to show it better). It has not been glued.

I know that I need to practice but I still was quite pleased with today's effort

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MikeG.

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Were the boards properly prepared? By that, I mean were the faces flat and parallel? Because it seems to my old and tired eyes that the pins are differing in thickness. Look particularly at the half pins on the outside edges of the boards. The one on the left looks considerably bigger than the one on the right, which makes me think that the pin board was either tapered, or you misaligned the boards when you marked out the tails.

That apart, there don't appear to be any nasty gaps, or signs that you needed a lump hammer to smash them together!
 

Dalboy

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MikeG.":3euwzriy said:
Were the boards properly prepared? By that, I mean were the faces flat and parallel? Because it seems to my old and tired eyes that the pins are differing in thickness. Look particularly at the half pins on the outside edges of the boards. The one on the left looks considerably bigger than the one on the right, which makes me think that the pin board was either tapered, or you misaligned the boards when you marked out the tails.

That apart, there don't appear to be any nasty gaps, or signs that you needed a lump hammer to smash them together!
Yes the board was correctly prepared what you see is a slight mismeasurement by myself one is 1/16th" smaller than the other. (note to self measure twice and cut once :lol: ) The board was originally one piece just cut in half and join ends square.

Thank you for your observations Mike. Luckily this is only a practice piece will be a few more before using a dovetail joint on a project in anger
 

dzj

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Personally, I prefer to see slight inaccuracies on hand made pieces.
(Not scribe lines, though.)
As for "but I have cheated and cut them with a jig and router".
It's only cheating if you 'forget to mention' the jig. :)
In any case, good job!
 

Dalboy

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dzj":2o2msq05 said:
Personally, I prefer to see slight inaccuracies on hand made pieces.
(Not scribe lines, though.)
As for "but I have cheated and cut them with a jig and router".
It's only cheating if you 'forget to mention' the jig. :)
In any case, good job!
Most times you can see a jig cut dovetail. I will eventually like to get them as near as perfect as I can as I said plenty of practice.
 

dzj

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Dalboy":p5fx1ef1 said:
Most times you can see a jig cut dovetail. I will eventually like to get them as near as perfect as I can as I said plenty of practice.
Most times? Even on a predominantly hobbyist forum such as this, you'd be caught out every time. :)
With customers, that's a bit different.
1 in 10 knows what a DT is and most of these folks think machines do a better job.
I fear I'm straying from the subject of this thread, though.
As for practicing, sure, a practice run or 2 with some off-cuts or cheaper stock is fine, but judging by
the photos, you already got the hang of it.
 

Benchwayze

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You don't seem to have forgotten very much since you left school in the 70s(?) The joint looks quite neat to me. Neater then this 19th century example!



FWIW. Hand cut dovetails always look better, but a dovetail is a dovetail. For strength and longevity, it matters not how they are cut. Aesthetics? Well that's a different story! :D

John (hammer)
 

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