In the world of design, you read a lot about the acceptance or rejection of symmetry. Wait, wait. Don’t go away. This blog entry, by the way, has to do with Audrey Hepburn’s gorgeous face. You can reject symmetry in design based on the fact that human beings are decidedly not symmetrical. A perfectly symmetrical … Read more
Tag Archives: Dovetails
I’ve been working on a cherry and bird’s-eye maple entry table for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, and as I was installing the upper drawer stretcher I remembered how puzzled I was when faced with cutting my first one. It’s just a single dovetail cut on the end of the stretcher that … Read more
For the James Krenov-style hanging cabinet I built out of cherry for the April 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I used tapered sliding dovetails to join the case. For a step-by-step slideshow of how to use a router to cut these joints, click on the video player below: – Matthew Teague
This puzzle mallet is seemingly made by magic.
by Roy Underhill
It can’t come apart, but, problem is, it can’t go together!
Legend has it that Abraham Lincoln invented this mysterious mallet. The trouble with ordinary mallets, in his time as now, was that they kept “flying off the handle.” President Lincoln, having the same problem with his fractious Congress, created this presentation mallet with a head that could never come loose. The handle joins to the head with a central tenon and two shallow dovetails passing up the sides. The taper of the dovetails makes it clear that they can’t be retracted. Obviously then, they must have been sprung in from the sides – yet a quick look at their ends shows them dovetailed against that possibility as well! Not only can the head never come off – far worse, it can never go on! So proud of it was Lincoln, that he mentioned it in his second inaugural address, uttering his famous phrase: “With mallets towards none.”
Article: Read Roy Underhill’s article on cutting a single rising dovetail.
Web site: Take a class with Roy Underhill at The Woodwright’s School.
Article: Read woodworking historian Stephen Shepherd’s 2001 article on making a puzzle mallet.
Videos: The 2011-2012 season of “The Woodwright’s Shop” is now available for online viewing.
In our store: “The Woodwright’s Guide: Working Wood with Wedge and Edge.” Read more
Amaze your friends with quadrilateral and rising dovetails.
By Roy Underhill
From the November 2011 issue #193
Buy this issue now
An ordinary day in the shop, but suddenly, you’re dovetailing through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. You’re on a journey into a woodworking land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead, your next stop … the “Impossitails” Zone!
VIDEO: Watch episodes from Roy’s “The Woodwright’s Shop” online.
WEB SITE: Take a class from Roy.
TO BUY: “The Woodwright’s Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft.”
IN OUR STORE: “The Woodwright’s Guide: Working Wood with Wedge and Edge.” Read more
I’ve taught a lot of people to cut dovetails through the years, and I’m convinced there are five different personality types of people who learn to cut dovetails. Here is my short list. Morgo Will DESTROY the Instructor Yup, I always build the project that the students are building for the class. As a result, … Read more
Aside from Bender, Zapp Brannigan and Hypnotoad, my favorite character on the show “Futurama” is Nibbler – a cute little alien that can swallow an entire elephant in one bite and then poop starship fuel. What does this have to to with sawing? Everything. Nibbling before swallowing the whole giraffe is how I saw accurately … Read more