Hand Tools Archive

Experience with R. Lance dovetail marking holder *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Eighteen drawers times 4 equal 72 dovetail joints to mark, saw and remove waste. Nearing the end of this journey I would like to offer some insights as to the utility of making and using this thing.

I have little patience for making jigs and the like. I would rather be making furniture. That said, the time it took to make this device has been amply rewarded on this project.

Marking It is advertised as something to hold the pieces while marking. I found it quick to "load", and it held the pieces in the same plane, securely, while the pin lines were scribed. "Quick, secure, same plane" meets the requirements for successful marking. I never had any piece slip while marking. (Raise your hand if you never had a pin board slip while marking)

Delighted, but there are bonuses.......

Sawing After marking one can just loosen the vice, slide the pin board up and saw it. As an aside, sawing the pins was a problem. The thin saw wanted to drop into the scribe line. Sawed in this orientation the pin was not sloppy but too loose for my preference. It was difficult to get the saw to start on the edge of the scribe line and I was not always successful.

Waste removal The fastest way I found for removing the hundreds of pin waste pieces was to use the band saw like a power chisel and chisel away most of it(yet another technique learned in Headley shop), which leaves a corner. This corner was removed by remounting the pin board and sawing it out with a fret saw. I have never found sawing out all of the pin waste with a coping saw to be very quick, but that may be my lack of sawing skills.

Note my exuberant use of chalk to avoid misorienting pieces in this process.

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