a small writing desk start to finish #3: learning to cut half-blind dovetails and a wood gloat

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Blog entry by drewnahant posted 04-01-2011 06:14 AM 3389 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: practice Part 3 of a small writing desk start to finish series Part 4: Base is almost done ( in poplar) »

I started practicing through dovetails a couple weeks ago, since I had never even attempted hand cutting before, they are still a bit rough, but I realized that for this project I will need half blind dovetais, since with the curved front I will not be able to make a drawer box with a seperate face, and I really wouldnt want to do that for furniture anyway, it’s just what ive done in the past for cabinets. So tonight I cut my first practice set of half blind dovetails. here’s a couple pics.

Last weekend I bought some black walnut from a guy on craigslist. It was completely rough, and seemed very dry, then he told me that it has been sitting in a barn for nearly 20 years. Sold!
I bought:
8/4×14” x 9’
4/4×12” x 8’
4/4×10” x 8’

So far I have milled the leg blanks, and took a small piece from the end of a 4/4 board to practice my dovetails, there was a small section between an end check and a 3” knot that I knew wouldnt be very usable, so I figured it would be a good practice piece. you can see a beautifully figured, twisted grain piece from near the knot in the pics above, but here’s the rest of what ive milled.

3 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17831 posts in 4110 days

#1 posted 04-01-2011 06:36 AM

Congrats, looking good! Gotta love dovetails – a down and dirty, foundation skill for hand tool woodworkers. Enjoy the journey.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 4489 days

#2 posted 04-01-2011 08:30 PM

Looks great. I can’t say my first half blind dovetails came out as well—and I was using a jig. Keep up the good work.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4331 days

#3 posted 04-03-2011 06:36 AM

Looking Very nice and neat. Great job.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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