First hand cut dovetail


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Poplar is ok but harder woods are better. Not bad so far. Practice gets you better. On those size boards try just to do three tails. Here are a few hints in no particular order: Go a little ligh

Does that count as a hoard?

Day 2 - much better. Block the thread if you like but I'm going to post every morning until I get to 30, or until I get a great joint several days in a row, as a personal motivation to keep going. S

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Poplar is good. It is on the soft side but also works very easily. As you dial in perfect technique you will not need lots of energy. It will compress if your chisel levers. It will compress if your chisel is not sharp. 

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Looks like a lot of 'first times'.....so you're in good company!!

One a day is a good plan - you'll notice a lot of improvement quickly, I'm guessing.  Poplar is a good wood for practicing.  IMO better than pine - pine is maybe "too soft".  Often, an assembly is a hardwood (such as a drawer front) with a softer wood (maybe poplar sides) and you can be a lot more aggressive about leaving a tight - almost too-tight - fit because the softer wood will compress when assembled.

 

Remember....keep the saw in the waste side of the line!

 

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Pretty good first try. Agree with jfitz to cut on waste side and use pencil to rub against entry side of tails, try fit take apart and pare away grey graphite smudges. You are guaranteed a good clean fit. Might take you awhile with this method, but as your marking and sawing technique improves there will be less waste to pare away.

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Way to get at it. I did the 30 day challenge and only lasted about 10 out of boredom. 

When practicing, remember that practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. 

I still have my first hand cut dt and I'm pretty sure it's gappier than that. Good luck and have fun.

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Day 2 - much better. 4ed6b89976c3005c0a514aac54980eee.jpg

Block the thread if you like but I'm going to post every morning until I get to 30, or until I get a great joint several days in a row, as a personal motivation to keep going.

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Way to get at it. I did the 30 day challenge and only lasted about 10 out of boredom. 

When practicing, remember that practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. 

I still have my first hand cut dt and I'm pretty sure it's gappier than that. Good luck and have fun.

Here's my other motivation.... 10 drawers for my bench. 7bc071a21d3f406952342d62b8f5755f.jpg

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Great job!  Don't know about perfect practice, but structured practice is the goal.  After you finish each day, look over the joint, think about what worked and what didn't, write yourself a note on what you will improve next day, then in the morning focus on that item until you are satisfied, then move on to the next issue. Most people practice (anything, not just wood working) until it's "good enough" then quit practicing.  The best keep going in a focused way until it's great. Good luck!

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Great job!  Don't know about perfect practice, but structured practice is the goal.  After you finish each day, look over the joint, think about what worked and what didn't, write yourself a note on what you will improve next day, then in the morning focus on that item until you are satisfied, then move on to the next issue. Most people practice (anything, not just wood working) until it's "good enough" then quit practicing.  The best keep going in a focused way until it's great. Good luck!

Good points! I think part of my problem has been the tails on both of them have been too narrow, making it difficult to mark the pins with a pencil. This morning I was able to get my marking knife in one side but since it's a right marking knife I had a hard time marking the left side of the pin location. Does everyone have right and left marking knives or a two sided knife?

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I have a question and being a noob to this i might as well as a noob. What tools do you need to do hand cut dovetails?

My list (not all required...)

Lie Nielsen Carcus Saw

Two dividers

Set of Narex chisels

Coping saw (lots'o debate on coping saw vs fret saw, see Chris Swartz's post if you want to know more...)

Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge

Veritas dovetail marker

Marking knife

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I have a question and being a noob to this i might as well as a noob. What tools do you need to do hand cut dovetails?

NEED:  an easy to control saw you can cut straight with, chisels and banging instrument, a fine point instrument to transfer lines. 

A marking gauge is nice to scribe shoulder lines,  bevel gauge is nice to keep angles consistent,  fret/coping saw is nice to remove the bulk of waste.

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6 hours ago, N00b-in-training said:

Little better this morning but clearly too tighten the tail. Split the board.... 0f870e9d8ccfb6a0b53797f923177ef0.jpg

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Jason when doing a test fit if you start to feel resistance while pressing the parts together with your fingers just stop and take a look at the joints. Then you can take a chisel to the offending pin. Be careful to undercut at the base line before you take a shaving otherwise you can split along the grain.

You can always fix a split though with some glue.

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6 hours ago, N00b-in-training said:

Little better this morning but clearly too tighten the tail. Split the board.... 0f870e9d8ccfb6a0b53797f923177ef0.jpg

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I'll take too tight to to loose any day.  A chisel can fix too tight pretty quickly. Not so much the other way around. 

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Little better this morning but clearly too tighten the tail. Split the board.... 0f870e9d8ccfb6a0b53797f923177ef0.jpg

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I'll take too tight to to loose any day.  A chisel can fix too tight pretty quickly. Not so much the other way around. 

Even too loose isn't that hard to fix, if you keep your scraps handy until the end!

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