Dovetails with a Reciprocating saw?

comments (7) October 20th, 2011 in blogs

jtetreault John Tetreault, Deputy Art Director
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A different way to reach the same goal.
In this photo you can see the kerfs from the dovetail saw and the holes that were drilled with a forstner bit. Then I quickly cut up and out with the reciprocating saw.
This is where the process really sped up. One quick hit with the chisel and mallet at the thin part of the drilled hole, knocked half of the remaining waste out.
Another quick hit on the opposite side and most of the waste is gone.
Now were back to about where we would be if using a coping saw. Pare down half way through...
and then to the center from the other side.
A different way to reach the same goal. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

A different way to reach the same goal.

Photo: John Tetreault

During a recent bench project, I was cutting the waste out between a set of 2-in. thick dovetails pins when my coping saw blade broke. I could have sworn I had a few spare blades in the shop, but couldn't track them down.







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I grabbed my cordless drill and threw a forstner bit in the chuck. I drilled halfway through one side of the board, flipped it, (to prevent blow-out) and drilled through to the center. Then I simply used a cordless reciprocating saw to make quick cuts from the drilled hole, up, and out. With that much of the waste between the pins gone, all I had to do was chip out the rest of the waste at the thin part of the drilled hole and then pare down to the line.

I do have a new blade in my coping saw now, but I might use this technique again when working with thick stock. Click here if you'd like to see the finished bench: Make a Bench from a Board

posted in: blogs, how to, dovetails, pins, reciprocating saw

Comments (7)

frontrow1 frontrow1 writes: I use a drill bit,but drill down from the top,that is into the end grain that leaves only the sides to take out with a saw/chisel blade(also can use a plunge router). also i have found the underhill(traditional) method of a cranked blade that is with a 90 degree twist in the middle very handy

Posted: 7:52 pm on October 24th

crazydave crazydave writes: Oh really? this is pretty funny.. with stock that big why not grab your Stihl?
No biggie .. I actually looked. Joke's on me I guess.
Posted: 10:57 pm on October 22nd

rachet rachet writes: I would like to chime in on the subject of the: INTRIGUING COMMENTS on THE COVER that you need a computer search engine to find that material inside the cover. Other wise fine Magazine.
Posted: 8:56 pm on October 22nd

rtjny99 rtjny99 writes: Ditto on the hide and seek game!!!
Posted: 8:08 pm on October 22nd

nhampsha nhampsha writes: I'm asking: Is this (the reciprocating saw) the weirdest dovetailing tool you ever saw?

Please, in the future, use the same title on the site as you use in the subject line or the text of the email. It is so frustrating to be looking for the article that has caught one's interest and not find it and have to wonder, "If this is the one?"

The slick monthly magazines do this all the time: Put an intriguing comment on the cover then fail to follow through in the table of contents. Now FW is doing it? Please, be better than that!

Posted: 1:02 pm on October 22nd

padauker padauker writes: I used a saber saw to cut dovetails on the project I'm working on now. But I used it to cut the tails (first) on the end of 6' long boards, not to remove the waste. The reason I did it was to simplify working the ends of the long boards (I wasn't looking forward to getting up on a ladder to saw them by hand.) I removed the waste with a jewelers saw and cut the pins with a handsaw. A simple jig made it pretty easy to do and results are not bad. Surprised myself with this one.

Posted: 8:15 pm on October 20th

saschafer saschafer writes: False advertizing! I want to see you cut the entire joint with a reciprocating saw, just like Frank Klausz does.

Of course, his reciprocating saw is human- rather than battery-powered.


Posted: 10:17 am on October 20th

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