Skills Building #1: First Hand Cut Dovetails

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by NewPickeringWdWrkr posted 04-01-2010 05:02 AM 1824 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Skills Building series Part 2: Clock Project - Mortise & Tenons galore »

So, as a part of Marc S’ “Woodworkers fighting Cancer” guild build of the shaker table, I decided to treat the project as a skills builder regardless of how the end product turns out. If it gets trashed, then I’ll start again!

The drawer called for a half blind dovetail, but we were by no means bound to follow that suggestion. So, here’s my first attempt at half blind dovetails! Not great, but despite the gaps, it was still a tight fit on the first try!

I don’t own a specialty saw like a dozuki, so I had to make the saw cuts with my hacksaw (the thinist kerf I could find). I should have cut further into the waste area.

I have decent chisels however, but my technique caused me to lever some of the chips out in such a way that caused a dent in the tail board. Oops.

I figure if the table survives (I’m sure it will at this point), I’ll fill the gaps with some CA glue mixed with sawdust then sand smooth.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

2 comments so far

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 4227 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 05:47 AM

I think they are very well done. I haven’t tried half blind dovetails yet. I am still working on regular dovetails, but I do have a Dozuki and I really like it. It just takes a bit of getting use to how it works. Now that I ‘get’ it, it has become my favorite tool.

-- Brian Meeks,

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4625 days

#2 posted 04-01-2010 02:28 PM

nice work! mine (first and so far only) were a little sloppier, having used the ryoba, which is NOT the tool for this job. i figured with the dozuki things would go much better. the extra support of the back – or in your case the frame of the hack saw is important for such sensitive cuts.

i cant say anything about the shark brand, but the irwin ryoba (i think they call it a double sided pull saw or something – they’re afraid of the japanese names, apparently) is an excellent value for the $15 i paid for it. They also make a modern type dozuki with a supported back.

my guess is that unless you go really $$$, all the lower end japanese style saws are going to be the same. Im guessing that they simply heat and quench the tooth metal without tempering… which makes them stay sharp for a long time, but also makes them brittle. for me, the beginner, it’s worth it. certainly better than any other type of $20 saw you can find.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics