Most people, I’m sure would feel that hand cut dovetails are a daunting prospect and way beyond their skill level. Having said that, I think I’ll try some dovetails using a coping saw only and skipping the chiseling. When you have the scrap removed then square up the cut and cut down to just under the proper depth for the sight. With my jig set up correctly and proper technique of using my router, my dovetails fit perfectly, and need a slight tapping with a rubber mallet to seat them together snuggly. As for using hand tools, the final fit is almost always done using hand tools, and that is the slow part of the process, as I said before. The great thing with hand tools is that you can adjust and change at the drop of the suit the job in hand.
These days you can do a box joint on a table saw and it’ll be as strong as a dovetail if done well. Wherever a router bit exits wood, it almost always leaves behind chipped corners that will ruin the appearance of your dovetails. If you’re using a sliding bevel, remember that the pin and tail ratios are about 1:8 in hardwood (this is an approximate figure that can range from 1:6 to 1:9 without creating problems, but it must be the same for all parts or nothing will fit). I’ve seen power routers and jigs lose against someone who knew what they were doing with hand tools.
Firstly on a practical level because the joint could be loose and will be weaker than it should be (dovetailed corners are considered among the strongest of all joints). Many workers who are constantly on dovetail work make a zinc template to the exact angle and keep it specially for the purpose ( Fig. Then move the hand plane away from the pin board and use the pin board and the plane on its side to support the tail board.
I find that if I try to cut the entire shoulder with the workpiece on edge, using a chisel that’s wider than the thickness of the board, I will almost always cut past the scribe line on the faces of the board as the chisel reaches the inside bottom of the shoulder. I have a dove tail jig for my router and my machined results don’t fit as nicely as the experts done by hand. A hand tool tote would be a perfect project to safely bring all of my hand tools along for the ride. Now set the stock on the bed and line up the first cut mark with the blade and screw a MDF fence to the auxiliary bed.
I’m using the half-blind dovetails for this picture but the process is the same for the through dovetails. If you or anyone else believes that providing hand cut dovetails is a good business decision, you are completely out of your mind. And as for machine cut over hand both are fine but i think the hnd cut looks better when done right but takes longer Thank again.
When chiseling, remember to cut no more than about halfway, then turn your workpiece over and work from the other side so that both external cuts are clean. People tend to forget that craftsmen have been making works of art just by using their brains and a common sense approach for centuries with simple hand tools in wood stone and metal. Tradition decrees that the slope or bevel used when cutting dovetails should vary depending on the kind of wood used, between about 1:6 (9°) for softwoods and about 1:8 (6°) for hardwoods. You NEVER want a cut so tight that you have to pound on the sight to move it, or deform the sigh to make it move.
Setting out the Joint.—For constructing a dovetail joint at the corner of a frame, as Fig. Dovetails can be patched this way with a contrasting wood, to add a decorative effect. To mark with a dovetail gauge place a pencil or pen in the divider mark, slide the gauge up to it and mark away. These figures are said to be based on the grain strength of various woods, and deviating from them too much may endanger the strength of your joints. To cut out the waste wood (or core), the usual procedure is to saw away the half-dovetails as at Fig.
The pins are then cut in the usual way, care being taken that the saw kerf be on the outside of the marks, otherwise the pins will finish too slack to engage with the tails. I spend more time laying out and marking for the cuts than anything else up until final fitting (the slow part of any dovetail joint). The stock should be flat, of even thickness, and cut square on the ends – the same as you’d prepare stock for any furniture work. There is plenty of room for continuous improvement and I look forward to the challenge of incorporating more dovetails in future projects. I recommend you put an X in the waste area to demarcate which side of the pencil line to cut.
When cutting dovetails I see students typically making the same mistakes and hitting the same stumbling blocks each time- so that is what we address to start; using a cutting gauge, paring to (and not beyond!) a line, cutting straight lines with a handsaw- and using a sharp chisel! I realised that the double dovetail could theoretically be made by hand, but never thought that I’d see it done. Mark, I have seen many ways to do hand cut dovetails and I just cannot get them to fit without wiggle. As soon the sight will start in the dovetail go slow and work to clean up, sharpen and square the dovetail. The Z-Saw is an excellent value, the Gyokucho 311 is my personal favorite dovetail saw.
I had one with a subtle wave that never bothered me for tenon cheeks and the other types of things I cut, so I ignored it. It led to binding in these long joints where you’re really cutting straight across and can’t angle the blade at all. The cut to the headblock doesn’t have to be precise, just make it even and make it centered as good as you can. I had already planned on making a trip a couple of hours south to a friend’s shop and since getting into making dovetails I wanted to bring my hand tools and cut a few joints while down there.
This class will show you a number of ways to make handcut” dovetails that will only require a little bit of paring with a chisel to make them fit perfectly. To cut the outside edge of the other tail, simply flip the board over and repeat. Dovetail jigs appeal to me because of their speed, and I must not be the only one. Business issues aside, hand cut dovetails are not that big of an issue in our shop.
The take the sight and make sure that all casting lines and burrs are removed the base of the sight should be clean and smooth or the sight won’t fit properly. The wood is just some very rough scraps of Japanese cedar, and I was trying to do no more than produce a three-dimensional model of how dovetails actually worked. One hand is used to hold the board down, the other keeps the board from sliding sideways, then we need a third hand to mark the pins with a scalpel. Again, this is necessary to have an appealing inlay line” in the maple once I’ve cut the second set of dovetails in the Caribbean rosewood.
I do a test cut with every saw before it is shipped and I make sure that it cuts flawlessly. Once the cut is squared and nearly to depth take you triangular safe file and lay it in the cut with the safe end to the bottom and start cutting each end to form the dovetail. Tired of making dust and noise when I don’t have to. I have a much better collection of hand tools since my last build, I don’t even remember how long ago. The most common practice is to set the pin board in the vise at the same height as the width of a hand plane.
Also, note that the last pins on the edges of the boards are called half pins because they have one flat edge. Again, at the point of this picture I stop cutting and feed the fret saw down the left side of the waste to finish the cut. During this period I read a bit of dovetail theory and history, which helped with my confidence and ability to just give it a go. Dovetails were developed as a fast and dirty way to join two boards.
Because of this practice I’m confident enough to incorporate some hand cut dovetails into a project. The ‘half blind dovetail’ is usually seen at the front of drawers and the ‘hidden mitred dovetail’ is never seen! During the dry fit, I will measure from groove to groove, so I can cut the bottom material for a proper fit. I cut a series of spacers out of MDF that correspond to the distance between each pin and number them to avoid confusion. Creating dovetails is a bit of an art form, so if you have any tips or techniques that work well for you, please share them in the comments.
I recently cut some out of dark walnut an they came out ok but that might be to nice of wood for you to use if you have very little exsperiance for now stick to pine to practice then if possible move on. If you need advice then i might be able to help and i am shore some of the other guys on here will as well. But I’ve got to believe that a very skilled and experienced maker of dovetails could produce drawer boxes at a rate about 1/4 to 1/2 as fast as a guy with a router and a jig. I want to put some money down on the race between the hand cutter and the Omnijig.
Since the guide blocks take care of my angles I only need to layout and mark the location and thickness of the drawer supports, and the depth of the dovetail socket. The dovetail pins on drawer part and back are spaced out and marked on the end with the aid of the joiners’ bevel, the lines being then squared down to the gauge line by the method shown at Fig.
I have only tried hand cutting dovetails once, in some white oak scraps, and it was a disaster. Hand cut ones really represent true craftsmanship and should be used whenever possible. You will be taught an easy to follow process that guarantees perfect dovetails every time. If the wood has not been cut or shot squarely at the ends then your job is not going to be easy.