Dovetails


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I agree with pkinneb, I use a fret saw because it's smaller and can be turned 90 degrees easier than a coping saw. I assume that you're referring to cutting the base of the pin sockets on the tailboard? If this is case, I've also learned that making additional vertical relief cuts through the middle of the material being removed from the pin sockets improves my ability to turn the sawblade 90 degrees. 

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Sorry....I wasn't thinking when I mentioned (above) only cutting the base of the pin sockets. This suggestion also works when cutting the bases of the tail sockets on the pin board (I guess that I'm used to cutting half-blinds only). 

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I remove the waste between the pins by making a series of quick cuts from the end of the board almost to the base line with the band saw - makes the rest easy to remove with a chisel.

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On 4/2/2022 at 7:32 AM, sjeff70 said:

'Boards that a person buys from a lumber dealer are just slabs with the wane cut off.'

I'm misunderstanding this. If lumber dealers didn't cut with grain orientation in mind, how would people get desired grain patterns or parts that shouldn't move much?

I made a gross over simplification of the matter. In reality a sawyer is sawing to grade which means they are rotating the log and taking slabs off the outside of the log to get high grade material and as they move in the grade decreases.  Sawing for grade is complicated. In working with dry slabs that have reached EMC i mill them no differently than commercial lumber.

Keep in mind youtube woodworkers have to work to a different set of standards because of the awful peanut gallery that is the comment section. This has tended to lead to some misinformation or possibly it's better to say it's lead youtubers to play it overly cautious or to become overly concerned with process that may not be necessary in all circumstances.

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Save scraps of the same board, and split off little wedges to glue into the gaps. They will virtually disappear, since end grain faces the same direction. I also like the cut the joint just a hair proud. Easier to sand the ends flush than flush the face to a recessed joint.

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14 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Save scraps of the same board, and split off little wedges to glue into the gaps. They will virtually disappear, since end grain faces the same direction. I also like the cut the joint just a hair proud. Easier to sand the ends flush than flush the face to a recessed joint.

The little pins on the ends are soo small I was worried I was going to break them. Is there any rules of thumb on size to make those end pins or is it really just how you like the look?  I just set my dividers so I would have three tails and just left space that seems reasonable to cut for the pins but hand. I think I tired to have 1/4 inch in from the sides for those little end pins. 

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21 minutes ago, Woodworking_Hobby said:

y rules of thumb on size to

A hair bigger than your smallest chisel is my goal. My smallest chisel is just over 1/8" which makes the smallest part of the pin about the width of my bandsaw blade kerf.

 

21 minutes ago, Woodworking_Hobby said:

Do you glue your dovetails?  Any tips on not getting the glue into the end grain or does that just come with practice?

Have the pins sit a hair proud then after the glue you'll sand or plane them back removing the glue. If the pins are shallow it's harder to deal with.

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3 hours ago, Chestnut said:

A hair bigger than your smallest chisel is my goal. My smallest chisel is just over 1/8" which makes the smallest part of the pin about the width of my bandsaw blade kerf.

 

Have the pins sit a hair proud then after the glue you'll sand or plane them back removing the glue. If the pins are shallow it's harder to deal with.

Eventually did you get one of those triangle shaped dovetail chisels?  I can see where they can help but it seems like such a specialized shape that you only use in the corners and was not sure if it really helped that much clean them up after sawing. 

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43 minutes ago, Woodworking_Hobby said:

Eventually did you get one of those triangle shaped dovetail chisels?  I can see where they can help but it seems like such a specialized shape that you only use in the corners and was not sure if it really helped that much clean them up after sawing. 

If your talking a dovetail chisel, I do have 3 jappenease chisels that have the "Dovetail grind" on them but I use them as a regular bench chisel. Most often I'm using my stanly sweetheart 750s to chop out the waste between the tails. The stanly 750s are nice and thin and you can get into corners just fine. So no I don't think that specific dovetail chisels are needed.

If you are talking about a fishtail chisel, I do not have one of those. That is more for handcut half-blind dovetails. If you get into that my sugesstion is to buy two half inch hardware store chisels and put a skew grind on them. You could also do this for the dovetail chisel above but chopping end grain it can be nice to have a decent steel that both takes a sharp edge and will hold that edge for a while.

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apologize if I'm repeating something someone said earlier. Something that may help you with cutting the dovetails for a better fit is to use the blue tape method. Derek Cohen who is on this forum (and every other one I've visited) has a nice tutorial on using this method. google In the Woodshop. I haven't tried it b/c I've become competent over the years but if I were starting out or teaching dovetails I certainly would use it

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2 hours ago, noviceneil said:

apologize if I'm repeating something someone said earlier. Something that may help you with cutting the dovetails for a better fit is to use the blue tape method. Derek Cohen who is on this forum (and every other one I've visited) has a nice tutorial on using this method. google In the Woodshop. I haven't tried it b/c I've become competent over the years but if I were starting out or teaching dovetails I certainly would use it

Thanks I looked at the site quick and looks pretty good!  I will read it in more detail when I have some time tonight. Also I think I need to make my pins a hair larger and that might help as I am starting out. 

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On 4/8/2022 at 5:43 PM, wtnhighlander said:

Save scraps of the same board, and split off little wedges to glue into the gaps. They will virtually disappear, since end grain faces the same direction. I also like the cut the joint just a hair proud. Easier to sand the ends flush than flush the face to a recessed joint.

@wtnhighlander when you say wedges do you mean to split of a little chip or just to shave off a thin strip like comes off a hand plane?  

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On 4/17/2022 at 8:45 AM, Woodworking_Hobby said:

Has anyone tried liquid hide glue for dovetail joints?  From what I read it is a little easier to sand over and finish and was not sure if that would help where I was trying to fill some gaps. 

It would probably work very well for that. I've never used liquid hide glue but i've heard good things.

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Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on how to best clamp a dovetail box?  I am assuming you do not want to over clamp the joint as you could bow out the ends and you just need enough pressure for the glue to set?  I was thinking just some clamps across the ends would be good but wanted to see what others did on their boxes. 

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