Hand Tools

Be efficient
Response To:
baseball and dovetails ()

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Eliot, I assume that you are referring to removing the waste from tails and pins on a through dovetail. Also, that you are doing this on a flat surface on your bench, and not in the Moxon vise? I do my chopping on a Pine panel, which is large enough to carry the end of the dovetails.

The key to quick and clean work is your marking out, and minimising the waste ti be removed.

1. score the baseline (to be cleared) deeply and undercut it …

The undercutting will create a wall to prevent the chisel moving back from the baseline.

2. Use a fretsaw (or coping saw) to remove the waste as close to the baseline as you dare. In my case, I aim for 1mm. I prefer a fretsaw as it cuts cleaner and with less strokes at the corners.

It can be very fast. Here is a video I made …


3. Now chop or pare away the waste in 0.5mm slices. Only go half way from one side, and then turn the board over and do the other side. I always chop the non-show side first, finishing from the show side. This is to prevent any slip of the chisel - shooting through - damaging the show side.

More on through dovetails here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/ThroughDovetails3.html

Half blind here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/HalfBlindDovetailswithBlueTape.html

Regards from Perth


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