Cherry Chest of Drawers Part3

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.
Double Bevel Dovetail Tool Box
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.

Candle Box

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.

Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.

9 Responses to Cherry Chest of Drawers Part3

  1. Thomas Tieffenbacher/aka Doc Savage45 says:


    Watched you on the BIG SCREEN SMART TV, and it’s all good my friend. Like Stumpy, you are evolving as a visual artist my friend. I don’t seem to have enough time to get to an original project. Your wife wouldn’t be bored if you were talking about her stuff. LOL!

  2. roger says:

    gr8 tips, and camera work Dave. Always enjoy your vids. Keep em comin

  3. DIYaholic says:

    I enjoy watching grass grow & paint dry….
    So don’t worry about the length or boredom factor!!! ;^)

    There isn’t anything boring in your videos to begin with!!!
    I appreciate the details, that you explain oh so well.
    There are always nuggets of knowledge that I’m able take away from here.

    Just as a work piece with detail takes time to build….
    So does a video explaining it.

    Please keep doing what you do, the way you do it!!!
    I will keep watching and learning!!!

    And you never know….
    Maybe I’ll even try a dovetail or two.
    Yeah, that would be a wonder to behold!!!

    • David Bardin says:

      Glad you did cause it board the crap out of my wife. I make her watch them for errors and she gets a funny look on her face when I say “This is how I lay out my tail!”
      Nice Randy thanks.
      Most of the time I rush through, this one I am slowing down.
      We are going to have you cutting them shortly. It might be with a band saw or hand saw. But it can happen.
      Thanks Randy its all good now that I have shared some nuggets with you.

  4. JL7 says:

    Good stuff Dave……you make it look simple. Picked up some good tips here……thanks.

    • David Bardin says:

      Thank you Jeff. I try to put a tip or two in each one.
      I am still waiting for a drawing of a stand. 😉

      • JL7 says:

        You’re a busy guy…..I am working through some designs to build here….we’ll see how that goes first. I appreciate your offer. Get your grand babies dresser done and you have a bench to build! Sounds like a full slate……keep the cool stuff coming…..

Forge a whitty reply.

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