Fish tail chisels

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D_W

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I've never seen a center pin like that on an older piece of furniture.
 

Woody2Shoes

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You can make your own. Ashley Iles ones seem to be available at Ashley Iles Dovetail Chisels
I have a pair of two cherries ones from Axminster and I like them.
PS sorry the above is for skews not fishtails but for dovetails the skews are fine.
 
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Cheshirechappie

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Don't see why, Derek. You're not undercutting the side of the pin, just into the back wall of the socket.

Granted, you'd have to work cautiously with pins that fine, though.
 

Alan Bain

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I've found I can make the joint without needing fishtail chisels although they'd be nice they aren't a 'must' the key is pairing down out from the centre on the pins as long as it's bevel edged, you could easily pick up an old pair of BE chisels off fleabay and grind them out of square. I've often wondered if they'd even save time or not to be honest...
I have both - never get the fishtail chisels out and the only set of skew chisels that I have is something that most of you guys wouldn't guess the use of (they're about 1 1/2 inches wide - and not for a lathe).
I'm intrigued.... please do tell what you use them for.
 

D_W

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The acute angle inside a plane mortise. IT can be done a lot of ways, but it's much easier to get at the corner with a skew chisel that can get down to all visible parts of the cut without leaving a ding anywhere else.

 

D_W

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It may not be clear from that picture, but if you try to do that move with a straight chisel, the sides of the chisel bruise the back of the bed at the top, and this chisel does the heavy material removal before this (splitting off all of the material as the cheek is widened (it starts just as a regular square mortise the width between the abutments, so it needs to work clear of the bed).
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I've never seen a center pin like that on an older piece of furniture.

David, you are looking at the wrong furniture! :)

These slim dovetails are quite common among high end work, and increasingly so in modern high end work (partly aesthetic, and partly a sign that they could not be machine made).

HTFinalPictures_html_m6d1c0de1.jpg


This piece was recently published in FWW magazine ..

FROM FWW #285

FWWPublicationLingerie%20Chest_html_m1fecd096.jpg


The dovetails ...

TopOfTheWorldToYou_html_m233f38e0.jpg


Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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In addition to a fishtail chisel, another tool that is of great usefulness in half-blind dovetails is a kerfing tool. This deepens the kerf in the sockets, making waste removal easier. In its simplest form, this can be a card scraper. 10 years ago I build a dedicated tool. You can make your own, here ...


MakeKerfingChisel_html_63d1a258.jpg


Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Benchwayze

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1/4" bevel edge does it. File it down if it's a bit chunky - some of them are a bit crude.
Agree here. It's all I ever used (Marples by choice. ) From Workshop Heaven I bought a set of dovetail chisel and included were two fish tails. The chisels. as a set seemed too light for me and I sold them on. I have also seen a couple of bevel edge chisels that were ground into a 'whale-tail' shape but I can't recall who made the video. Might have been Rob Cosman.

John
 

D_W

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David, you are looking at the wrong furniture! :)



Regards from Perth

Derek

I probably should've been more precise. My parents have a bunch of furniture about 125-200 years old with hand cut dovetails. I don't think they know much about furniture, but they only buy things with dovetails (so it's upper mid range furniture, not the super showy stuff, but wouldn't have been average fare).

The tails seem to have about 1/8th at the thin end and I like the proportion of that with the pins on the end better than the ultra thin ones.

Aside from normal glue separation, one of those drawers failed , but not as you'd expect - the long grain of the drawer side severed with a sever line parallel to the drawer front. No clue how that happened (the pins and tails were undamaged). So, it's not really a strength issue (nobody is going to abuse that furniture, nor the stuff my parents have).
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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The tails seem to have about 1/8th at the thin end and I like the proportion of that with the pins on the end better than the ultra thin ones.

Not all the drawers I make come to a sharp end. Only when I think it suits the piece. Below, the ends are about 2mm (compared to the 3mm of the one's you like of your parents) ...

ApothecaryChestFinal_html_23b3cc36.jpg


These are similar ...

EntryHallTableForANieceFinal2_html_c96fff0.jpg


Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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The ones in your bottom picture would be typical on their "production" furniture from the period.

There are overcuts on the drawers inside some, though, but they all look handsome in proportion. I'm sure they were going for aesthetics as the pins would've been bigger if it was just a strength issue. All of the drawer sides are narrow as yours are, and with quartered wood (pine, chestnut, etc).
 

Racers

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This is my home made one 6mm O1 steel with a pear wood handle, its very useful better than a pair a skews as you can use the same chisel for both sides.

DSC_0002-1 by Racers, on Flickr

Every tool is a luxury tool, you could do your woodwork with a piece of knapped flint.

Pete
 

--Tom--

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Nice work Pete, like the look of that.
Could I trouble you for some dimensions?
How wide is it at the bevel end
How wide is the narrower shank
How much splay does the fishtail have
 

Racers

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Nice work Pete, like the look of that.
Could I trouble you for some dimensions?
How wide is it at the bevel end
How wide is the narrower shank
How much splay does the fishtail have
Hi Tom

Its 15mm wide at the end the shank is 6mm wide.
The splay is about 1 in 4.5, but any angle steeper than your dovetail angle will do.
If I was to make another I would use 3mm O1, it would be easer to make and heat treat and still strong enough.

Pete
 

--Tom--

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thanks Pete, I’ve got some 3mm O1 already I was going to use (left over from making a new blade for a plane) so may give it a go this week.
Without a lathe the handle will be a more basic affair though.
 

Racers

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thanks Pete, I’ve got some 3mm O1 already I was going to use (left over from making a new blade for a plane) so may give it a go this week.
Without a lathe the handle will be a more basic affair though.

Hexagonal tapered one like the old carving tools, I made one from ash years ago and its had a good pounding and has held up very well, even with out a ferrule.

Pete
 

--Tom--

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Hexagonal tapered one like the old carving tools, I made one from ash years ago and its had a good pounding and has held up very well, even with out a ferrule.

Pete
That’s the semi plan, though may go octo as can just knock the 45s off a square block.
 
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