Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Hungry like a Hippo
Joined
·
348 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I picked up some poplar scrap from the shop I'm taking a class from and have been tinkering at home with some box joints. I'm rather limited on my powered tool selection so I've been cutting them by hand using a variety of saws (trying to find one i like) and some chisels. The joints came out ok all things considered but they aren't as clean as I know they could be.

The pieces I was working with last night were +/- 3/8"x6" and I cut 3/4" joints. I have them tight enough that I can friction fit it together and it will stay put but there is plenty of space around the joints themselves. The boards are fairly square and level so the mistakes are definately my fault. Any tips / tricks / advice on how to get them cleaned up & fitting tighter is definately appreciated. I can try to grab some pictures when I head home for lunch.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,027 Posts
practice, practice and practice...

Pics go a long way in helping out
+1. The quality and fit of hand joinery are the hands doing it and the tools. There are choices of what to use. Experiment in the types of saws and the cuts they make. The same with chisels. But, IMO it's the technique that practice can really improve. Hopefully one gets better with practice.








.
 

·
Not so new
Joined
·
150 Posts
Ahhh...little grasshopper. I suggest you read and watch all you can on dovetail and box joints. The net is loaded with videos on hand cut joinery.
 

·
Hungry like a Hippo
Joined
·
348 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
here are two of the better joints:





I know I need to work on my sawing - I overcut a couple of them and I haven't quite figured out some of the jigging & work flow with my hack of a workbench (left in the garage by the last owner) when I can't clamp all around something. I also seem to need better lighting - they looked a lot cleaner at 10pm last night :blink:
 

·
In History is the Future
Joined
·
6,423 Posts
cellophane said:
here are two of the better joints:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/98/boxjointdetail02.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/820/boxjointdetail01.jpg/

I know I need to work on my sawing - I overcut a couple of them and I haven't quite figured out some of the jigging & work flow with my hack of a workbench (left in the garage by the last owner) when I can't clamp all around something. I also seem to need better lighting - they looked a lot cleaner at 10pm last night :blink:
For starters, practice... just something you get better at through repetition and muscle memory.

as for layout, mark you pins about 1/64" longer than needed and then trim flush after assembly... They looks darn good already, but just that alone will improve the look of them a lot.

Keep cutt'n!

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,027 Posts
For starters, practice... just something you get better at through repetition and muscle memory.

as for layout, mark you pins about 1/64" longer than needed and then trim flush after assembly... They looks darn good already, but just that alone will improve the look of them a lot.
+1. I agree. It does look good. Your practice might include a marking knife (I use an X-Acto with a #11 blade). Doing that you have a very thin line to work to. Work towards good clean cuts with holding the saw perpendicular to the stock. Try to get sharp corners.








.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
I think they look pretty good. Like Tom said, cut the joints little deeper, allow the pins to protrude. They can be planed or sanded off later.

Honestly, it gets easier with time. You'll get the feel for it. Your saw will become an extension of your hand. I used to have trouble remembering which side of the line to cut, and that makes a huge difference in the fit. It becomes second nature...mark, saw, chop, transfer marks, saw, chop, test fit, touch up and done.

But importantly, have fun with it :)
 

·
Hungry like a Hippo
Joined
·
348 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good to know they aren't awful =p I found that I liked the Japanese pull saw more than any of the English saws I have but my guess is they need to be sharpened since most were left at the house by the last owner... I do have a marking gauge that I used for the depth but made the notches with a #7 Bic pencil. I'll dig around for one of my x-actos this week and try that. And with the table saw I can at least cut the stock to the same size, and if I really get lazy I can cut the joints on the saw - but that's not as much fun :no:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Scribe the line with a sharp knife then split the line to the waste side with your saw. I use a traditional bow saw to cut even the finest dovetails, but a fine toothed backsaw is good too. The saw choice is less critical to learning to split the scribed line to the waste side, and sawing straight and square. That takes practice and muscle memory as mentioned in the previous excellent posts.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top