Chisel or coping saw? Dovetails - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Heath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Posts: 152
View Heath's Photo Album My Photos
Chisel or coping saw? Dovetails

Well I started doing my dovetails with a router and I wasn't happy with what I was getting for results. Now that I'm doing them by hand I'm much happier with the results and it's also a lot more rewarding. I have been cutting them out with a chisel and also tried it with a coping saw. Now I'm just wondering what you guys are doing for yours. Are you using a coping saw, chisel, or some other way? Why? Thanks for your replies.
Heath is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 04:04 AM
Senior Member
 
Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Western Minnesota
Posts: 825
View Wrangler's Photo Album My Photos
I do both. It really depends on how much waste there is to remove.
Wrangler is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Wrangler For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-07-2012)
post #3 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 05:01 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: I went back to my private Idaho
Posts: 2,321
View Brink's Photo Album My Photos
I used to chop them out.

Then a youngster on this forum suggested using a coping saw to remove most of the waste, then finishing with a chisel.
Brink is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Brink For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-07-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 05:16 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 479
View Billy De's Photo Album My Photos
As an Apprentice I was first taught to use the chisel to chop the waste out,later seeing the Journey men use the coping saw I questioned this and this is what I was told.
Not every dove tail joint is a through dove tail and by fist leaning to chop them out you lean how to use the chisel.The idea is not to produce the job but to produce the Carpenter.Example if your working to a bottom scribed line and the chisel is placed on the scribed line and then you chop into the wood because of the shape on the face of the chisel the wood forces the chisel backwards and across the scribed line,no matter how good the rest of the job is cut out this will result in a sloppy joint
If you set the chisel off the line but it cuts slightly on a skew by putting a twisting force on the chisel and then hitting with the mallet the wood then forces the chisel to come back parallel to the scribed line.

I mention these points just to show how the knowledge you win here can be used on latter projects.
There is a lot of chisel work on half blind dove tails and this is where skew or fish tail chisels come into their own.

What ever way you do it, if it works for you then that's the main point.Enjoy it.
Billy De is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Billy De For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-07-2012), thegrgyle (02-09-2012)
post #5 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 08:17 AM
Senior Member
 
tcleve4911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vermont & Maine
Posts: 1,967
View tcleve4911's Photo Album My Photos
I have never coped them out.
I like to use a chisel the same width as the dovetail.
This way, I get a perfect line all the way across the tail.
It seems like the coping method would be difficult to cut perfectly along that line.

Learning more about tools everyday
tcleve4911 is offline  
post #6 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 09:27 AM
Senior Member
 
Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Western Minnesota
Posts: 825
View Wrangler's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911
I have never coped them out.
I like to use a chisel the same width as the dovetail.
This way, I get a perfect line all the way across the tail.
It seems like the coping method would be difficult to cut perfectly along that line.
With a coping saw, you remove most of the waste. You then use your chisel to pare to the line.
Wrangler is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Wrangler For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-07-2012)
post #7 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 09:44 AM
Senior Member
 
tcleve4911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vermont & Maine
Posts: 1,967
View tcleve4911's Photo Album My Photos
I get that part but it seems like an extra step when I can cut to my line with my chisel anyway.
Not saying your way is better or worse just saying it seems like an extra step.

Learning more about tools everyday
tcleve4911 is offline  
post #8 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 10:02 AM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
As pointed out we obviously talking bout full DT's and I always remove the majority of the waste with a coping saw then clean up the edges with bevel and skew chisels. Skew chisels are SO nice for DT's. Really worth buying or making one. Narex has a nice set but you can make one from a regular chisel as shown is the picture.

~tom
Attached Images
 
firemedic is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to firemedic For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-07-2012)
post #9 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 10:05 AM
Senior Member
 
tcleve4911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vermont & Maine
Posts: 1,967
View tcleve4911's Photo Album My Photos
Hi Tom
That picture looks skewed.....
Can you show another angle?
I'd like to consider making a skew chisel....makes sense.

Learning more about tools everyday
tcleve4911 is offline  
post #10 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 10:46 AM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Best I can do for now... I can take better pics at the shop later if ya need.

~tom
Attached Images
 
firemedic is offline  
post #11 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 10:54 AM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Same as first but better quality.

~tom
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-4257334657.jpg
Views:	551
Size:	41.5 KB
ID:	37630  

firemedic is offline  
post #12 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 10:55 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,932
View Hammer1's Photo Album My Photos
You can use the dovetail saw to make a series of close together kerfs in the waste, the resulting "leaves" will pop right out and you can clean up with a chisel.
Hammer1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Hammer1 For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-08-2012)
post #13 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 11:38 AM
I run with chisels.
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 913
View joesbucketorust's Photo Album My Photos
Here's a home-made chisel that is like two skews - a left and a right - in one.

http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/j...vChisel-01.asp

Insert witty signature line here.
joesbucketorust is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to joesbucketorust For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-08-2012)
post #14 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 01:54 PM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
How I use the skew. It's even more helpful for half blinds...

~tom
Attached Images
 
firemedic is offline  
post #15 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Heath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Posts: 152
View Heath's Photo Album My Photos
Wow, thank you guys for the great information. I had no idea about the chisels specific for dovetails. Also I like the idea of cutting most of it out first with the coping saw then cleaning up the rest. I will have to pick up some old chisels so I can attempt to make my own skews. Right now I have a great set of old Marples made before Irwin bought them and sent the manufacturing off to china.

Anyway I did some practicing last night on some scrap pine I had laying around. I found that if I tried using my coping saw my cuts weren't very staight and if I tried to cut on the line they came out very poor. My chiseling is getting much better though.

Thank you Billy for the advise on not using the chisel right on the line. I am guilty of this and will correct my ways.

Thank you Tom for the images and all of the information. I look forward to your replies because they are always so informational +1 to you sir.

And everyone else as well. It's why I spend a few hours a day here absorbing all the knowledge I can.
Heath is offline  
post #16 of 39 Old 02-07-2012, 05:46 PM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
It sounds like you are trying to cut the line with the coping saw... Cut just above it and clean down to the line with the chisel afterwards. It's ok to shave down to the line with the chisel but that should be your last few strokes of the chisel.

I have to admit I've always struggled with half blinds. I never seen to get clean shoulders on the drawer front and i've been doing this a little while. Reason I say this?- don't be discouraged with it if they don't look like cosman or klause made them but keep practicing and it becomes much more enjoyable.

~tom
firemedic is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to firemedic For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-08-2012)
post #17 of 39 Old 02-08-2012, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Heath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Posts: 152
View Heath's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
It sounds like you are trying to cut the line with the coping saw... Cut just above it and clean down to the line with the chisel afterwards. It's ok to shave down to the line with the chisel but that should be your last few strokes of the chisel.

I have to admit I've always struggled with half blinds. I never seen to get clean shoulders on the drawer front and i've been doing this a little while. Reason I say this?- don't be discouraged with it if they don't look like cosman or klause made them but keep practicing and it becomes much more enjoyable.

~tom
Here are a couple I did today using your advise. I broke the handle on my cheapo coping saw and ordered a new one that should be here tomorrow so I can get back to it. I cut down to about 1/32" above the line and then chiseled and filed the rest of the way. This is going to be a double dovetail with poplar on the outside, lined with what is either Lauan Mahogany or Honduran Mahogany (a dilemma you may have read in my other thread). I don't think it will be as pretty as I hoped because my pieces aren't fitting as well as I hoped, but I'm taking my time.


Hope you like my awesome woodworking vise, haha
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	dovetail practice 1.jpg
Views:	913
Size:	70.3 KB
ID:	37814  

Click image for larger version

Name:	dovetail practice 2.jpg
Views:	551
Size:	53.5 KB
ID:	37815  

Heath is offline  
post #18 of 39 Old 02-08-2012, 06:16 AM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Crap... I just read what I wrote... Fret saw!!! Not coping saw. Either works but fret saws work a LOT better for this. Someone said cope and I just kept rolling with it :(

Fret saw uses a thiner blade that you can actually turn in the kerf to cut along your bottom line.

That side looks good! Nice clean shoulders. what kind of saw is it that I'm seeing the horn of? LN?

Keep the pictures coming!

~tom
firemedic is offline  
post #19 of 39 Old 02-08-2012, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Heath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Posts: 152
View Heath's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
Crap... I just read what I wrote... Fret saw!!! Not coping saw. Either works but fret saws work a LOT better for this. Someone said cope and I just kept rolling with it :(

Fret saw uses a thiner blade that you can actually turn in the kerf to cut along your bottom line.

That side looks good! Nice clean shoulders. what kind of saw is it that I'm seeing the horn of? LN?

Keep the pictures coming!

~tom
Oh ok. I'll look into one of those. Gonna try out my new coping saw as soon as UPS arrives at 12:27. That guy is like a machine. Yeah, that is an LN dovetail saw, 15ppi. I treat it like my third child, it stays in the box with the corrosion paper wrapped around the oiled blade. I also have a set of Shark saws that I really like. They're not expensive and I was impressed that it's a California company and the blades are made in Japan. Here is pretty good one I did. It took me a couple hours though.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20120208_115141.jpg
Views:	765
Size:	85.0 KB
ID:	37860  

Heath is offline  
post #20 of 39 Old 02-08-2012, 03:41 PM
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Looks really great! They get faster with practice... You'll be cutting 3 1/2 min dovetails soon!

I don't understand the shoulder on the two previous pictures... Not wrong, I just don't understand the design. Might be slowing ya down a bit too?

Keep up the good work! You are off on a terrific run!

~tom
firemedic is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to firemedic For This Useful Post:
Heath (02-08-2012)
Reply

Tags
dovetail

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bow saw vs. coping saw amckenzie4 Hand Tools 6 08-06-2011 07:12 PM
Coping base Cyclone Hammer Tool Reviews 13 04-20-2010 06:09 PM
Coping saw GEORGE6149 General Woodworking Discussion 1 01-10-2010 01:10 AM
Coping saws lawyer1976 Hand Tools 1 01-06-2010 05:03 PM
coping crown mencheman Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 4 10-06-2009 03:14 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome