Hand Tools

Re: baseball and dovetails

Wiley Horne

You’ve got all the equipment you need. Don’t buy a thing; don’t change procedures. Optimize what you’re doing now.

Won’t hurt to check the cutting angle that results from your process. You may be doing great. But it will only cost you 10 seconds to run your chisel bevel-down along your bench, raise the handle slowly until the chisel first begins to bite—then check that angle. You want it under 35. For example, David always ends up about 33; Warren likes 30.

Why the suggestion? The Sellers procedure lends itself to rounding the tip to a steeper final angle than you were expecting, if one is not aware. The final cutting angle is easily checked by the above test, and if the angle does turn out to be higher than expected, you can correct using what you already own—it’s not a mountain to climb, just a routine part of getting the most out of the process you’ve chosen.

Your results look very good!


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