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Sizing hand cut dovetails

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SlimShavings

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I'm interested in how ya'all determine the size for your pins and tails when you do handcut dovetails. Thought I read somewhere that there were "10 suggestions" or something like that for laying them out. I know there is suppose to be a 1/2 pin at each end. I kinda just make them look good. But with all the furniture repair I do , I see there are all kinds of variations.

Dave
 

Philly

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Hi Slim
It really is a matter of taste, in my opinion. But making sure you can get a chisel in between the tails to chop out the waste is pretty important! DAMHIK :lol:
I also like the Rob Cosman method of layout! Have you seen his dovetail vids?
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Chris Knight

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Slim,

If the joint is hidden, as in carcase corner joinery, I size for strength with equally sized tails and pins. For drawers I size and space to look attractive but I also like my drawers to be strong, so I don't go for ultra slim-line pins.

On the question of spacing, I generally measure using a pair of dividers but sometimes I use the Klaus method and cut the pins first purely by eye, then mark up the tails from the pin board. This means that no measuring at all is required and with a bit of practice, I find I am able to space the pins pretty evenly.

I have also left half tails rather than pins at the edges of board on occasions and from a structural viewpoint, I see no real difference with leaving half-pins, although a looks a bit odd.
 

Rob the Poser

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I just tried it and it worked fine for me. Try the root link under my sig and choose either Dovetails or Joinery>Dovetails. The article I'm talking about is the first one on the list.
 

Pete W

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Rob's link works fine for me.

Great resource, Rob. I've used it often in the past. Good to see you around this side of the Atlantic! :) (I reckon we now have as many North American woodworkers visiting as there are Europeans dropping in on the big US forums.)
 
A

Anonymous

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Dave

whatever looks best on the piece. The only rule I follow is a half pin at both ends
 

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