Chris Schwarz's Blog

Dovetail Details: A Note from David Charlesworth



Editor’s note: I know that some of you are having difficulty posting comments on occasion. Sometimes, the captcha function rejects your code on the first try. When this happens, it takes you back to the blog entry, but your comment is still unposted and at the bottom of the page. If you enter your code again, that will send the comment. Our technical people are working on the issue. My apologies.

David Charlesworth tried to post the following comment last night that related to our discussion on dovetailing. There are a couple good tips in here for you. Two additional items: I now owe David a couple Belgian beers. And whatever you do, do not read his blog entry about our attempts to move my Nicholson Workbench. Don’t visit his site, don’t click on “blog” and don’t click on “Return from USA”

- Chris

Failed to get my comment onto your blog  ~:-(#
 
You are spot on as usual. Deep crisply cut shoulder lines are a revelation to nearly all the students on my dovetailing courses. Most of them don’t have functional cutting gauges and do not mark nearly deep enough.
 
A consistently thin final cut, with freshly sharpened chisels is another. This reduces the wedging and bruising action of the bevel.  Particularly important on your softer pines and poplar. Therefore I like to mark a penultimate cut line, with a knife and set square. Could be another gauge setting of course.
 
Another point which was made to me recently, was that the surface cut by the gauge is square, so subsequent slight undercut with chopping will not cause gaping when the joint is planed up externally.  Win win all the way.
 
Secret mitered dovetail requires three gauge settings which is why I like to tune $10 beech gauges. Pages 14,15 &16 of book 1. If my time was charged for this work it might bring the cost close to Tite-Mark price!
 
There is lots about this on my chisel use dvd, bet you several Belgian beers you haven’t watched it yet…..?
 
- David

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