Hastening dovetail making *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I am long past seeing how perfect I can make a dovetail and well into how fast I can make them. Something one sees on antiques where the maker was keeping the prices down is over sawn saw kerfs. On half blinds the pin board (drawer front)is over sawn as shown in PIC 1. The Headley shop routinely practices this Period Correct technique and this picture is from a desk they were making.

Depending on how this waste is removed over sawing the pin board can speed up waste removal. In my case over sawing the pin board does not aid the way I remove this waste and I don't like the looks of these saw kerfs on the inside of the drawer.

I do slightly over saw the tail board (drawer side) as shown in the second picture. If the kerf is under sawn a pesky sliver of waste remains that has to be pared away. Diddling with pesky waste in the pin hole of the tail board became one of my largest wastes of time. I have been working on not having to diddle with the sockets after the tails are sawn and the pin waste chopped away.

Slightly over sawing the tails has been a great time saver. The extended kerfs are noticed only by other woodworkers who scrutinize dovetails looking for lapses of technique. I don't have many visitors so its seldom an issue. Perfection is best, but I don't have the time for perfection on this issue.

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