Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. #2: Half blinds for the top.

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 09-29-2011 09:31 PM 2556 reads 3 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: And so it begins. Part 2 of Making a Penn spice cabinet using mostly hand tools. series Part 3: Long division... the short way. »

Since I want to dovetail the case. but I dont want any of them to show, because I dont want to distract from the wood and the shape of the finsihed product, I am going to use half blind DT’s to join the side to the top. I am going to use moulding to cover the DT’s so they do not show.

Step one. Marking everything. I use two marking gauges with wheel cutters. I set them both and I leave them alone until I am done cutting the HB’s. That way if I have to remark something the guage is already set to where it needs to be.

2. I am a tails first kind of guy. I am using a 1:8 ratio for this project, but in all seriousness, I just cut, the line is just a guide. The only important line is the one on the top.

3. Cut the lines. I forgot to take a picture of this step. Just a note on this one as well, I have some theories about sawing practices, and I think it is very benefitial to learn to use any saw with both your hands. When you are cutting to the right of the line, you should be looking on the left of the saw at the line and cutting in the waste, thus to hold the saw properly and have the correct mechanics, you should be using your left hand. Thusly, when cutting in the waste on the left side of the line, you should be looking on the right side of the saw and using your right hand. Got it? Great, lets move on.

4.I use two coping saws for this step. One has an aggressive blade and it is tilted to the left. I also have the blades cutting on the pull stoke. I use this saw for the initial ‘swoop’. I then take the other coping saw, which has finer teeth and it is tilted to the right, this saw cuts out most of the rest of the waste.

5. Using a crosscut saw, I cut off the shoulder for the half pin.

6. Using super sharp chisels, I chop out the rest of the waste and clean everything up.

7. I skipped a bunch of steps here. So I will describe it as best as possible. I set my pin board in the vise and I have it sticking up the same a one of my planes. Then I move the plane back and that is what I have the tail board rest one. I get the tail board lined up where I want it and I use a knife to mark the inside of the tails. I remove the board and flip around the work piece. I have it sitting higher in the vice as I cut so I can cut at the angle without hurting anything. Then once they are all cut, its time to chop, chop, and chop some more waste out. Once all the waste is chopped out, I put the board back into the vice and use my fish tail and other chisels to clean out all the sockets.

So, the next step is to cut the DT’s for the bottom part of the case. If these DT’s were going to be in view I would have made 6 instead of 5, and I would have made the pins alot smaller. My personal preferance is to have large tails and small pins, but for this I went for structure and made the pins a little larger than I would normally.

Once the case is done (dry fit, but not glued up), I will have to finalize the drawer configuration and make some stopped dado’s for the dividers.

If anyone has any questions, just post a comment.

Till next time.

1 comment so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 09-29-2011 11:11 PM

I am with barry we can split it ;) but very nice blog


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