Hand Tools

A most valuable project!

Wiley Horne
Hi Eliot,

I’m glad, and you’ll be glad, that you saw this through. Your first dovetails are built into a shop appurtenance which will see much use. It’s valuable to you as a reference and record of first work of its kind (though you are anything but a beginner with wood).

What’s right with this joint is far more important than the small flaws. Specifically,

1. The tails are sawn orthogonal to the sides. This is the single most important thing about tails sawing (as Bill pointed out above).

2. The tails board scribe line—every socket—has been maintained true to the mark, through all the chiseling. You rarely see such a good scribe line on first dovetails.

3. You sawed the pins on the right side of the marks. Which means they were accurately marked, and the marks were at most shaved (not sawn off). Incidentally, I agree with your decision to just go for the money cut in the first place.

What’s left to fix are details of technique. But this joint has good bones in my opinion.


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