The alway-eagle-eyed Jeff Burks pointed out that I had already found an earlier reference to using a bow saw to saw out dovetail waste to the one I posted this morning.
Back in 2010, I mentioned that Charles Holtzapffel explains the technique in “Turning and Mechanical Manipulation…” (1856). Holtzapffel writes:
The wood between the dovetail pins is generally cut out with the bow or turning saw, leaving the space as at b, fig. 694; and the spaces are then pared out with the firmer chisel from opposite sides, as at c, the chisel being placed exactly on the gage lines, but slightly overhanging, so that the insides are cut hollow rather than square, to insure the exact contact at the inner and outer edges of the dovetails.
OK, so now we have a technique that is certifiably 158 years old. Do I hear anything older?
Thanks Jeff. Got to get back on the ginkoba.
— Christopher Schwarz