Wednesday 7 March 2018


After I have cut off my dovetails a couple of weeks ago, now it's time to cut new dovetails.

I wanted to do a short retrospective to conclude what I'm working on. And I noticed that I haven't written a post about the project itself.
I wrote that I cut off all dovetails and how I have jointed the legs. And now I'm at the next phase already. 
Long story short. The actual project is a mid-century inspired phone bench. The frame with the legs is roughly done. I only have to shape and refine the legs. The top panel is already glued up and roughly to dimension. And now I'm working on a top box for a drawer.

As alway I have thought trough this a couple of times and finally decide to use visible dovetails as corner joints for the box. Even if my dovetails in softwood are meanwhile pretty acceptable, I'm still struggling to get them better in hardwood.
That being said I have thought about how to do it better. After I've seen videos how Frank Klausz ist cutting dovetails I doubt myself.
Anyway, here comes what I've tried this time.
I made good experience with having a template to cut to, like Paul Sellers has shown a couple of times. So I decided to go that way this time.

Sawing dovetails with template

Of course you have to cut the template properly too. But as mentioned cutting in softwood works pretty well for me.
As you can see in the picture I have clamped it to the back of the board to be cut.
For me this is working pretty well. It helps to stay square and it guides you through the cut.

Something else I have tried this time is to tilt the board so that you can saw straight to the line and don't have to tilt the saw. That's something which I recognised works pretty well for me too.

Tilting the board

Now then, here is the result...

Straight saw kerfs

Pretty straight saw kerfs, no overshooting, no chipout.
Satisfied with the result so far. I stopped at this point because it was still too cold in the shop.
Next I will chop out the waste. Trying to guide the chisel as accurate as possible.
Meanwhile I will think about how to improve the making of the pins. Something I recognised in my other projects that I often end with to small pins, sometimes not being straight. That in mind I will focus on accuracy also.

Luckily the temperatures are actually raising. Good chance to get back into the shop.
But I found something which is fun to work on too. Leather crafting. Check out my first project here. Used the colder days to get familiar with that. From my point of view it has some parallels to working wood. Cutting accurately to your line, making an accurate sewing line, having sharp tools, using chisels and awls. More to come soon.

That's all folks!

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