Author Topic: Dovetail Work  (Read 5794 times)

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Offline sfodczuk

  • Posts: 12
Dovetail Work
« on: December 11, 2015, 04:31 PM »
I am new to dovetails... I have not tried yet just buying the tools.

I am thinking Leigh RTJ400 jig.

Question:  Do I need to buy a hand planer for when the tail and pins come together post gluing?

Spence

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Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7533
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 07:03 PM »
It can be handy - remember you're dealing with end grain !! So a small block plane with appropriate blade angle is critical.

You're outside tails will need a delicate touch and pay particular attention to you cutting direction to avoid tearing the edges.

Clamping on some off cut material and running the protruding tails ever so finely by the table saw is also an option .. but you should develop this skill with a couple of practice runs (as with most things!)

 

Offline Billedis

  • Posts: 568
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 09:20 PM »
I just run mine through a flush cut router bit and have had no problems.  Bill

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7533
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 09:40 PM »
I just run mine through a flush cut router bit and have had no problems.  Bill

@Billedis that's yet another reason why I "need" to get a couple of little trim routers and leave them permanently setup!! [sad]

... do you do this sort of thing on the router table or do you take the router to the work?

(just curious)

Offline charley1968

  • Posts: 475
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 04:02 AM »
I say yes. And it has to be really sharp. And always work into the workpiece, otherwise you'll have tear-out.
Just for today..

Offline Billedis

  • Posts: 568
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 08:33 AM »
@Kev, I do this in my Sommerfeld router table.

Offline Discap

  • Posts: 73
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 09:18 AM »
I am a big hand tool guy. In process of finishing 18 hand cut drawers. Since yours are machine cut why not stay with the machines and use the RO 150. No chance of tear out. You are probably going to sand anyway and no router table setup.

Just an idea

Bill

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1863
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 09:50 AM »

I am a big hand tool guy. In process of finishing 18 hand cut drawers. Since yours are machine cut why not stay with the machines and use the RO 150. No chance of tear out. You are probably going to sand anyway and no router table setup.

Just an idea

Bill

I tend to agree here. Also, if you are using a machine, you should be spending the time to make everything parallel and the pins and tails should be very snug. If that is the case, don't "over clamp" to have them pop through. If they are and you have to sand or plane off, you are going to take the box out of square or coplaner. Put some cowls between the dovetails and the clamp to ensure you end up with a rectangle and not a parallelogram!!

Good luck and cheers. Bryan.
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3551
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 05:04 PM »
I am new to dovetails... I have not tried yet just buying the tools.

I am thinking Leigh RTJ400 jig.

Question:  Do I need to buy a hand planer for when the tail and pins come together post gluing?

Spence

I pull saw (or other saw) and a chistle are mostly all you need.
Machine cut dovetails are proably the biggest time saver, but I do no like the look.
Doing one or two by hand might be worthwhile in any case.

Offline Steve-Rice

  • Posts: 289
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 11:10 PM »
I have to agree with Holmz here, try hand cut dovetails first.  For those new to hand cut dovetails, I'd highly recommend David Barron's dovetail saw guide and a Japanese style pull saw.  David's guide makes sawing pins and tails a breeze.  Check it out:
http://www.davidbarronfurniture.co.uk/david_barron_tools.asp?pg=1&id=5

Offline Df1k1

  • Posts: 57
Re: Dovetail Work
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 07:31 AM »
Plus one for hand work. I own the Leigh, (which I think is fine for production i.e. Kitchen drawers etc), along with a host of other guides to help cut dovetails , but since I don't do that sort of work I haven't touched it in years.

I finally decided enough was enough and tried to learn to cut them free hand.  They're still not great but I'm feeling pretty good about them.

 Two things I learned. First find a system and absolutely stick with it and practice.  Although you will have to experiment with  different techniques, once you find what works for you continue to practice and build muscle memory. There are a ton of websites and I would suggest Derek Cohens.  Also, while not necessary, a Moxon vice is really helpful. Plus it's fun to make.