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I've got the DTs...

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MikeW

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When I started doing DTs by hand, I used a wore out, recent vintage Gent's saw. Quickly gave up. I could never keep from twisting my wrist.

When I got my first Japanese saw, I gave it a try. Same thing. But I do use the thing for other joinery without twisting.

I got home today from an installation of some cabinets to find a Stanley #68 I ordered from a good guy who sells tools on WoodNet, Walt. So out to the shop and though they are still a little rough, here is my first attempt with a Gent's saw for years.

That's an 1/8" chisel for scale.



Mike
 
A

Anonymous

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Looks pretty good to me Mike, especially being the first attempt in a long time. I find DTs require a few practice cuts before tackling the main project just to get ones hand and eye back 'in'
 

Frank D.

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They don't look too shabby Mike (that's an understatement),
only one kerf looks like you went off line. I'm so-so at sawing, and I find that letting the pins and tail ends protrude about 1/16 helps. When I plane them back, so they're even with the boards, the gaps disappear a little. I can even hide a gap slightly by planing towards it; by the time I get everything even the fibers have spread just a little and everything looks better.
Thanks for showing,
Frank
 

Alf

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Well they must be a spot on fit, Mike, 'cos otherwise I'd have thought you might have split off one of your tails with the grain going that way. :wink: Wish I had such "difficulties" with using any saw. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Johnboy

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I hadn't noticed the grain direction on the tails. I tried to cut some dovetails with that grain direction on the 'Rat once. Not reccomended!!!

John
 

Mittlefehldt

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I didn't notice the grain either till Alf pointed it out, very observant. I did dovetails once in grain like that, won't make that mistake again.

Seriously though I think a lot of people beat themselves up because their dovetails are not a perfect fit.

I was looking at a piece of pine furniture recently in an antique store, what we call locally a flat to wall cupboard, I believe in England they might refer to it as a Welsh Dish dresser though I could be wrong.

At any rate the piece was at least a hundred and fifty years old, and while the front dovetails on the drawers were near perfect, the back of the drawer had Dovetails with bigger gaps than Mike's, and with no evidence of ever having been repaired I would say had held up just fine.

I see that a lot actually and I suspect that often as not the more visible front DT's are done by the master whereas the rear ones which are not seen that much if at all, are done by apprentice's, or the cabinet maker rushes them, say just before retiring to the alehouse.
 

MikeW

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Alf":1f63cktl said:
Well they must be a spot on fit, Mike, 'cos otherwise I'd have thought you might have split off one of your tails with the grain going that way. :wink: Wish I had such "difficulties" with using any saw. :roll:
Cheers, Alf
Very good Alf!

I almost always do practice DTs that way for mainly one reason.

I usually have scrap that unless I dimension it is mismatched in width anyway but mostly because I can use the tail board several tries by going around it a few times without trimming it.

When I started doing it this way I learned I cannot beat them together because the tails will pop right off. Especially with a Pine tail board like this one.

When I do practice (very rarely) I don't mark out the pins, but I do cut pins first (oh no, don't say it :-# ) and mark/cut the tails from them.

When I actually make them for real, I usually do tails first etc.

Mike
 

MikeW

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Alf":ime9eyfy said:
MikeW":ime9eyfy said:
...practice...I do cut pins first...When I actually make them for real, I usually do tails first etc.
That's... different. :-k :-s
There really is a "rational" reason :lol:

Wanna know what it is? No? Well, here it is anyway :D Half the reason is because when I cut small pins for practice I find it easier to start with them.

As for "real-life" dovetails...look at this picture taken from an earlier post. It tells the whole story. See why?

 

MikeW

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Alf":3t9tgvej said:
MikeW":3t9tgvej said:
As for "real-life" dovetails...look at this picture taken from an earlier post. It tells the whole story. See why?
'Cos you used the 'Rat? :D
Well, I did there, and usually do.

But I make my hand cuts the same way, with a half tail at each end. So I begin with the tails and cut the pins from them.

When I practice, I simply (and not very accurately) cut some pins across the board and then stand it on the edge of the tail board and using a pencil mark the tails.

And I do practice once in a while. But it's been a while and the new to me saw gave me a reason to cut some. It's a pleasant diversion.

For relaxation, I also make some moldings from time to time with either my wood planes or one of the combos--which, btw, are going to do us a tutorial? You know, showing us the reason we all need at least one combo plane? :lol:

I'll provide the profile...
 
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