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So this Dovetailing business?...

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TRITON

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One thing i would say to be aware of is using a marking or cutting gauge to scribe right across the timber. While this help you register both sides, the area not being cut out the outer surface has been damaged and can cause breakout.
I mark in pencil, then make and scribing or cutting on those lines and not across the full width.
 

paulrbarnard

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Attempt #2 is already feeling alot easier and less baffling. Still a long way to go but I think I can see what you all mean now when you say it will become just common practice if you keep doing it. It feels a bit like a riddle and once you figure it out you know the answer but nobody else does.

The pine was definitely a lot harder to get the middle part of the cut flush with the chisel though it just seemed to take massive splinters out of the middle, but the rest of it was definitely easier with pine. Felt alot more forgiving.

Anyway I'm feeling good about this. Thanks a lot for all of the advice.
Looks a lot tighter. I have a bit of a confusing time when I look at your dovetails as something was looking “off”. I just figured it out, it’s more normal to have the tails wider than the pins or at least have them the same size. Your tails are much narrower than the pins.
 

Kaizen123

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@paulrbarnard thank you for the advice. You know what I did actually muck it up a bit because the tail didn't fit initially and I thought 'hang on, what have I done now?' because I had thought of it as a pretty clean cut along the lines (except the bottom) but the boards just didn't go together. I decided to take a chunk more out of the pin thinking it was too narrow and STUPIDLY then realise I just had the board the wrong side up trying to fit it. So I had to then edit the whole thing. It's been a long day.

@TRITON I am marking with a pencil and a marking knife just because that's all I've got really. I have never even touched a cutting gauge. I see everyone using them but for me I'm happy with my pencil just for now :)
 

Peter Sefton

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Kaizen123

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Crikey! Must have had a good teacher! YouTube, coffee and this forum is my teacher at the moment :D those look pretty much perfect though no? Their first time! Awesome.
 

Jacob

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One thing i would say to be aware of is using a marking or cutting gauge to scribe right across the timber. While this help you register both sides, the area not being cut out the outer surface has been damaged and can cause breakout.
I mark in pencil, then make and scribing or cutting on those lines and not across the full width.
All the old stuff I've seen is strongly gauge/knife marked right across and highly visible. I think the exceptions are done the same but then have marks planed off. If you are having to do hundreds as fast as possible thats how it goes. DTs aren't for looking at anyway.
 

Jacob

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Says you!
Well they get look at the nowadays but didn't in the past. Drawer fronts with lapped DTs to hide them, or carcase DTs covered with a moulding strip and out of sight, and so on. Normal.
 

Jameshow

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All the old stuff I've seen is strongly gauge/knife marked right across and highly visible. I think the exceptions are done the same but then have marks planed off. If you are having to do hundreds as fast as possible thats how it goes. DTs aren't for looking at anyway.
I like a good dovetail - shows workmanship!
Not IKEA fixings!!
 

Ttrees

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Aye some excellent craftsmanship is often hidden.
Times are changing though, well so says by the local ads and antique places if that's anything to go by.
Cheaper than weetabix from the Swedes.
Beautiful pieces, but not all too practical in modern households.
Seemingly it's a time for revolution in terms of design, rather than going by the classical
examples which doesn't seem to fit in anyone's home anymore.

We could well be in the dovetail revolution of furniture ages.

Tom
 

Kaizen123

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Honestly this second attempt was almost there. Feeling more confident now and going to try and get in another few practices over the weekend.

@Peter Sefton I'm 20 minutes into your video and I'm gonna save the rest for doing it over the weekend! I don't have a dovetail saw so I'm using a coping saw. I did buy an Presch one but the blade is thicker than I hoped it would be and I find it hard to pull without it jumping all over the place. Apparently the Japanese ones are pretty nifty?
 

Peter Sefton

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@Kaizen123 trying to cut a straight line for dovetails is going to be a challenge with a coping saw, I like to use a western style "push" saw but lots of makers love Japanese pull saws. They usually have rattan rapped straight handles but after testing in the worksop we found this pistol grip gave more precision for beginners.

Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 20.20.26.png


Enjoy your weekend cutting dovetails!

Cheers
Peter
 

Kaizen123

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That looks like a some mad weapon from an apocalyptic zombie film I love it. To be honest I'm enjoying getting used to my chisels more than anything so not being able to cut straight down the line is ok at the moment as I'm cutting a couple mm outside the mark and chiselling the rest. Long term though, I am gonna have to get myself one of those badboys! Flippin beaut!
 

Bod

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The advice I was given for cutting dovetails, was to clamp the pieces in the vice for cutting, with the cuts vertical, doing half the cuts then repositioning for the 2nd cuts. It being easier to cut vertically than at an angle.
Using a saw with very little or no kerf, I've found helps greatly.
I'm in the coping saw camp, to remove the bulk of the waste. I've been known to clamp guide blocks to the back of the work to ensure the saw cuts went to the line not passed them.

Bod.
 

Jacob

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Or the Draper - less than £10 and hardpoint. All you need really. Good for beginner because it will be sharp and straight.
If you want to splash out Spear & Jackson £30 new, or similar price old on ebay.
 

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