Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
For me it is important to mark the dovetail layout as carefully as possible. Some use a marking knife but a prefer a draftsman's mechanical pencil with a #4 hard lead sharpened to a fine point. I have also made some simple little dovetail marking patterns, kind of like a mini "T' square but with a 10 degree angle or so. Less of an angle for harder woods.
On thru jionts, I mark and cut the tails first then use that to mark the pins. I label the two parts of each joint and make sure to put it together with the proper corresponding pieces. With hardwood, I try to split the pencil mark and on softwoods I try to leave the pecil mark.
The hardest part to get accurate for me is the bottom of the tails and pins where I cut it with a coping saw. It's kind of a floppy little blade but I use sharp ones and put a lot of tension on it. I typically rough out the tails on the band saw and clear out most of the material in my blind pins with a drill press and a small fortsner bit and then there is not so much to remove with the chisles.
good lighting, acurate layout, keeping track of the matching joint halves and practice make for quality joinery.
Last edited by Lola Ranch; 11-28-2014 at 09:24 PM.