Hand Tools

Re: Perseverance
Response To:
Re: Perseverance ()

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
I didn't get the feeling of anything "condescending" at all. Your advise seems perfect and is always welcome. My problem, at 82, is that I don't have enough decades left!

And vision is also an issue. (But today I get my new close-vision glasses from the optician.)

By the way, what's the story on "fixing up" the tails after they are first cut. Is it cricket to rasp or anything, or do you make your bed and sleep in it?

Hi Eliot

I’m 71, and my eyesight for reading has been weakening over the past 25 years. As with most of us. This is the reason I began using blue tape to transfer dovetail marks. It does a fantastic job, and if you have not yet tried it, you will be blown away when you do. Look on my website (under Furniture).

Everything has a fix. Dovetails have a fix. Knowing this will free you from the fear of making a mistake, and then you will relax … which is one of the keys to working better.

If the tails are too tight for the pins, run a pencil over the inside faces of the tails to find the high spots. Pare them away, and then do it again.

You can also hear where there is a tight spot from the sound the hammer makes when you tap the boards together.

Take off as little as possible with a chisel. Work across the grain only. You can use a file, but you need to grind away the sides to create a “safe edge”, otherwise you will damage the adjacent wall.

Gaps cab be filled with wedges or even saw dust. Sawdust will darken - like end grain, so be aware where it will best go unnoticed. The same applies to wedges.

If a gap is too fine, or uneven, you can saw it open more, and the fit the wedge. Done well, a filler piece can be invisible.

Regards from Perth


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