Hand cut dove tails for new guys - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hand cut dove tails for new guys

Lately I`v noticed quite a few threads on dove tails.
I know that some guys here may think this is to simplistic a subject to start a thread on and there is plenty of stuff on youtube but I think they really miss out on a lot of simple things that are just taken for granted.

Like using the kerf to find the way of least resistance or adressing the piece things I leaned as a boy and have stayed with me all the way.

I`d like to show the methods I use to hand cut through dove tails and half blinds it would be great when Guys join in and describe how they do it or better yet post pics.

With my typing skills it would be a lot of work for me so I don't really wont to be speaking to my self so is any one up for or is it a none srarter. billy
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post #2 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 11:24 AM
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I'm more than interested in hearing from you!! I would love more information on how to hand cut dovetails. Will you be addressing tools or just the process? I realize tools can be fairly subjective.
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post #3 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply I could talk about the tools,but would shy away from the individual tool makers.
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post #4 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 03:20 PM
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I would love to see your methods. I have not started yet, so any info would be appreciated.

I don't even know what the minimum tool requirement would be. I have a few general use (framing) saws and some chisels. Not sure if I should even try a dovetail without a good saw. I do have a miter saw that looks kinda like a dovetail saw - fine tooth, squarish, with a stiffener on the top?

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post #5 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 07:11 PM
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I'll definitely follow along.
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post #6 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 07:20 PM
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When you stop listening to other peoples suggestions on how to do things you have just become a Failure

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post #7 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 07:37 PM
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Give it a go Billy.






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post #8 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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So guys four of us to start the journey sit back and enjoy it.
Judging from the hits on the thread I think more are interested and I hope they come out of the woods and join us,I sure would like a bit of feed back.

First I`m not setting my self up as an expert just a Carpenter and any thing I show here is what I learnt as a Apprentice and added to over the years,any time any one wants to ask a question go right ahead if I know the answer I`ll give it if not I`ll say so,and no BS.

I`ll take this right from the start as if this is your first wood work project so don`t take offence if it sounds really simple.

There is no right or wrong angel for a dovetail but when Carpenter`s talk about dove tails they talk in ratios IE 4in 1 written 4:1 or 6:1or what ever.

What is meant by this? Simple I will be cutting the dove tails at 8:1 so I pick a piece of scrap wood up and measure one inch across the short grain and 8inches along the long grain connect these two points with the blade from a sliding bevel and that is my 8:1. Simple More to come.
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post #9 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:09 PM
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5... I'm watching!

~tom "Ignorance is not a lack of intelligence - it's a lack of know-how"
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post #10 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks guys for the encouragement you posted when I was typing.
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post #11 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy De
Wow thanks guys for the encouragement you posted when I was typing.
Always interested in learning something new!

I use a square to set my bevel gauge but I assume this is mainly for better visual explanation.

Onward! lol what's next?

~tom "Ignorance is not a lack of intelligence - it's a lack of know-how"
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post #12 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:48 PM
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I'll sit in and follow along!
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post #13 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 08:55 PM
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I'm here, too
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post #14 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 PM
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post #15 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok tools you`v come across the first one a sliding bevel some guys call it a sliding T bevel I think every carpenter carry s them in his kit I have three but still don`t think that's enough.

A couple of years ago I came across a self employed guy on the net making dove tail templates Richard Kell he came over as a regular guy
and I`V been using it ever since,no big deal a sliding bevel will do you just as good.

Back to basics face side face edge .Whats that?

It doesn't matter whether I`v finished a piece of wood by hand or of the machine I mark them face side with a loop(that's the widest side) and face edge with a v(that's the edge) .Face side and face edge must be square to each other and strieght.

NO matter what piece of timber you use on any job these are you reference marks and you only square of these two sides .

Marking the base line you can do this with a square and a knife placing the square only on the face side and the face edge.
why?
Because if you don't when you square the line around the board you will be very lucky if they join up and if they don't join up this will mean that the base line on the out side will be at a different height to the base line on the in side and this will create gaps and you haven't even started.

The base line must be square.
I use a knife Why because my target is the three s`,what's that.

Square

Sharpe

Shoulders

I use a marking gauge because I know my edge is square,its a old marking gauge but I love it.
I set it at just a bit wider than the boards and scribe right round both pieces.
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post #16 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Next instalment you need a vice it dons t matter what sort of a vice but you need one.
I mark the tales first, because that's the way I do it I`m not going down the road of pins or tails first that's just the way I do it.

Place the piece in the vice and mark the tails using a knife square your marks over the end grain I like to use a small 6" square its not so cumbersome as a 12" and mark the other side.

The marks are not deep marks so I take the knife place it in the marks and tap it to freshen the marks up I want the shoulder sharp.
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Last edited by Billy De; 02-17-2012 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Fogot the square
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post #17 of 80 Old 02-17-2012, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok next tip here I picked this up of the net and really like it.
GO to the left hand side of the piece and press the knife into the the knife mark where they meet on the corner at a 45 degree angle and then come at it from the waste side and take a chip out of it,it gives you a perfect resting place for the saw and will guide you along your cut line.I`m right handed so by doing this it puts the saw on the right hand side of the line and me on the left hand side of the line so I`v got a perfect view of what I`m cutting.

Time to talk saws these are the 2 saws I use to cut dove tales The gents saw I`v had for over 40 years and the brass back for just under.

Not so long back a re handled both of them the judge is still out on the brass back.

Brass backs are the real thorough breeds the brass looks nice but that's not what its there for its to give the saw weight you have to hold these saws back with the weight they really want to tear into the wood and you just cant let them do it.


You have to take the weight of the saw and pull the weight into your hand you need to balance it finely in your hand its like pulling a race horse back let it go and it will rip into the wood and you will loose direction on it.
You control the weight and just move them back and forwards concentrate on following the line.
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post #18 of 80 Old 02-18-2012, 12:12 AM
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Very nice old saws.
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post #19 of 80 Old 02-18-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks mike but no where as old as the guy that has got hold of them.
The brass back was the fist tool I bought as a Journey man cost me almost a weeks wages when I bought it worth every penny.

Last edited by Billy De; 02-18-2012 at 12:25 AM. Reason: adding acomment on
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post #20 of 80 Old 02-18-2012, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Well that's it for to night guys continue it tomorrow. billy
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