STL192: Learning To Cut Dovetails
Mike, Barry, and Ben discuss their favorite techniques, fixing inlay strips, workbench tops, tools for kids, and one listener's need to not see his books
Dovetailing episodes from Chris Gochnour’s Enfield Cupboard Video Workshop:
I’m making a dresser that is 72″ long, 18″ deep and 24″ high not including legs. For a dresser this size–or any deep piece that is dovetailed–is seasonal wood movement a concern? Plain sawn lumber is cheaper than rift or quartersawn.
I’m lucky enough to be expecting my first child, a baby boy, and I’ve always liked the idea of giving him a Lie Nielsen No 1 as a christening present. Recently, someone has suggested it a novelty tool and will be useless to him when he grows up. What alternative premium tools would you suggest as a christening gift?
I’m building up my skills slowly by adding one new skill to each project I take on where I can. I want to try my hand at dovetails one of these days as that new skill. I have two questions:
- There are a ton of ways I see people doing them. Is there a method you recommend people start with? You recommend people learn to sharpen by picking one method, and sticking with it until you’re good at it. Would the same apply to dovetail methods, or should you try a bunch of ways and then go with what you find out you like doing?
- Should I start with practice joints on scrap wood or incorporate them when I’m actually making a project so there’s more at stake and I have to take it more seriously?
Segment: All-Time Favorite Technique
- Barry: Using blue tape as a shim
- Ben: When you’re done cutting an odd angle, cut it one more time on a piece of scrap so you can recall the angle
- Mike: Full-size mockups
I have just made my first checkerboard (walnut and maple) inlay strip which is intended for a cherry end table top. When sanding, the strip cracked along its length and I discovered that I had done a poor job of the clamping. The cracked section, which is about 4-5 inches long on one side of the checkerboard strip appears to have “lifted” during clamping and there is now an air space under the crack. Any suggestions that might help to save this? I thought perhaps trying to inject some glue under the crack to fill in the space using a needle???
I’ve recently had the opportunity to revamp my shop and am planning to build a Matt Kenney’s monster workbench. I’ve bought the plans, and watched the videos, but I don’t see how the top is fastened to the stand? Is there something I’m missing? Is it supposed to just sit on top?
I love books but dislike most book covers – they’re generally too visually noisy! I feel like my living space is full of loud colorful ad copy, or like I’m in a chain bookstore. Do you have any recommendations for ways to keep books in the home that would allow you to conceal the visual clutter?
Really, I’m just asking for permission to make a bookcase hidden-door that spins around.
Barry – Get a camelback for hiking