Chest of Drawers Series
Hello people. I wanted to get a bit more in detail on dovetails. I would like to show you the reasons and methods I use in this style of joinery. I will be a bit long winded but the dovetail has always intrigued me. There are so many videos on this subject and I have done a few myself.
Here are the reasons I am a tail first kind of guy.
1. Lay out and look of the piece. The tails are usually wider.
2. It is usually preferable to work so that you face the workpiece surface that will be visible on the finished job. You can therefore mark the tail outlines on the outside face.
3. When I transfer to the pin board. I am marking on the end grain. That is also the side you see when the joint is together.
4. You can cut multiple tailboards at he same time.
Here are a few of my friends responses
The main reason that I like to do the tails first is that for me it is soooo much easier to position the two pieces for the marking process. For me it is harder and more awkward to hold the pin board vertically to mark the mating board that to hold the tail board horizontally. I simply put the pin board in the vise vertically with the end level with the bench top. I lay the tail board on the surface of the bench and line up everything with my fingers and mark with a marking knife or scribe. It’s so easy to do it this way and keep something from slipping.
When tails are cut first the pins can be marked by registering a chisel
against the inside faces and giving it a tap with a hammer. I clamp
the tail board with the end flush with the bench, align the cut tails
over it and mark with the chisel.
I find it easier to rip straight down. The slight angle of the tails is
harder to get on the line for me. With my method I don’t have
to worry about cutting exactly the right angle. When cutting tails my angles vary a bit, so I cut them first and transfer the variance
to the pin board.
The bow saw is “self-jigging” for cutting dovetails because you can
rotate the blade to whatever angle you want then focus on keeping
the frame exactly aligned with gravity. Then the angle of the blade
determines the direction of the cut. I make the tail cuts going one
way then flip the board and go the other way.
In cutting the pins the bow saw frame is held at an angle. This is
not hard easier because the wrist and forearm do the correct
angle quite naturally. Angling the saw also allows for long rips
and re-sawing with it.
Witch method do you use?
In the video I will show layout, cutting and waste removal. Remember this is the way I do it. It has changed over the years and I probably will modify it more as I find easier and better ways. Remember I learn from you guys.
More to come. Next time I will show how we get all this mess to mate up and make a joint.