Hand Tools Archive

Re: Chopping Dovetails and Spelching

Don Stephan
Thanks everyone for your replies.

Interestingly, Lie Nielsen recommends a cutting angle (secondary, if you use one) no less than 30 degrees in softer woods which I interpret to be cherry and walnut and a cutting angle of 35 degrees in oak. The reason is that the A2 steel used in their chisels can chip, especially if levering out the waste, when the cutting tip is thinner.

The excerpt to the Hayward book in the link was interesting, the same approach shown by Frank Klaus in the dovetailing VCR I have (old but still a good reference) and the approach I use.

Next time I'll try lighter taps on the chisel. If spelching still is an issue I'll have to take more time to use my old low tech coping saw for the bulk of the waste.

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