Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tool Chest Build Part 2, Dovetailing

Got the dovetails cut on the carcass. Cut the pins first, which was a first for me. Worked pretty well. Laid out the pins with a pair of dividers, also a first. I liked this method. I just laid out a half pin on each end of the board, then decided how wide I wanted my pins and tails to be, which determined how many pins and tails there would be. Then it was a matter of setting the dividers to what I thought the width should be and walking them across the board. A few adjustments of the dividers width and I was all set. You know your setting is right when you start a the edge of the board, on the narrow part of the half pin, and walk your dividers across the end of the pin board, and end up on the line you drew for the other half pin. Then to get the other side of the pins, you go back to the side of the board you just started from, and this time start the dividers on the line of the half pin. When you walk them across this time, you will end on the edge of the other side of the pin board. You then take your bevel gauge, set to the slope you want your dovetails to be, and draw lines for your pins at each first mark from the dividers with the gauge one direction, then at each second mark with your gauge in the other direction. Then it's just squaring down the face of the board, sawing to those lines, clearing out the waste with a coping saw, and paring them to final shape. Set this board on your tail board to mark the tails from the pins you just cut and cut and chisel the tails. If all goes well, they'll fit together off the saw. I had to pair about 5 or six pins down to get them to fit. They're not perfect, but they fit together well and are very strong.
Next is to plow the groove for the bottom board to fit in. I should have done this prior to dovetailing, but I got a little ahead of myself. I don't own a plow plane ( at least not until my lovely wife buys me that nice Clark and Williams plow plane and set of irons ;) ), so I'll be cutting my grooves with a carcass saw and chisels. I'll let you know how that worked out on my next post. Talk to you then!


MMason said...

Thanks for the excellent post. I have something like woodworking ADD myself, and as a result I've had a tool chest in pieces waiting for dovetails for about 3 months now. Looking forward to the rest of the tool chest build.
Andrew form Germantown, MD

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for sharing your woodworking journey, have you made the handle on that dovetailsaw ?

baconj said...

Hey Andrew. That woodworking ADD is tough to shake. Kind of fun at the same time though. I find that I get more done if I'm on a deadline, even a self-imposed one, like I've set on getting this chest done before my class. But we'll see. Still a ways to go.


baconj said...

Hi Julio. That particular saw is a Wenzloff dovetail saw, so I can't take credit for that handle.