Dovetail Themed Tool Swap

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Project by Hammerthumb posted 03-03-2015 09:29 PM 2650 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the letter that I included in the package I sent to Ripthorn.


Here is my attempt at some of the tools you might use doing dovetails. I have provided 4 individual packages. Please open in order while reading this. And be careful as there is some sharp edges in the packages.

Package 1. Here is a set of marking knives, left and right bevel. I have made these with Bubinga, O-1 tool steel, and brass pins. After using a spearpoint type knife for many years, I made some left and right knives and like the way they work. I always cut tails first, and use the tails for scribing the pin layout. I hope you give these a try, and I hope they work as well for you as they do for me.

Package 2. I have made a dovetail layout tool at 1:8. I like this angle for small and delicate dovetails. The tool is made with Bubinga and brass.

Package 3. Here is a saw guide tool. It is also Bubinga and brass with a little slick tape on the sides. I have never used one except for the test run I did after making this one. I am not sure about the size of this one compared to others, as it seemed a bit clunky after I finished it. It is the same 1:8 ratio as the layout tool in package 2. After taking it for a test run, I put together another one for myself, but have yet to install the magnets. I really like the speed advantage it can provide if you have a lot of drawers to do. I hope it works well for you.

Package 4. I spent quite some time making this fishtail chisel. The angel of the sides is 1:7 which is a little steeper than other tools. I think this will help getting into the corners of sockets in half blinds. The chisel is made again of Bubinga, with brass ferrules, and O-1 tool steel. I have heat treated a lot of small blades, but for this tool I actually put together a small forge and will post a picture of it in my projects after the swap. After treating and tempering, I tried to give it some shine, but there is still some small scratch patterns that can be seen. Also, the brass ferrules are made of plumbing parts and are slightly thicker than what you would normally see on a store bought chisel. But again, my apologies for the top ferrule as it looks slightly crooked. I did not realize this until after I installed it. The top of the chisel is flat, it is just the ferrule that is slightly off. I did not have the chance to use this tool, and have never made one before. Please let me know how this works as I have a couple more already in progress. One more thing, the chisel is very sharp, but may lose its edge quickly. You will not get to really good steel until it has been sharpened a couple of times.

Your LJ friend,


Thanks go to Agent Twitch for being the moderator for this swap. I found it to be a lot of fun making these. I have plans for a few other specialty chisels for myself.

Thanks for looking.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

19 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 03-03-2015 09:57 PM

Wow. VERY nice !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View AnthonyReed's profile


10158 posts in 3317 days

#2 posted 03-03-2015 10:13 PM

Absolutely wonderful Paul. Outstanding job.

-- ~Tony

View bobasaurus's profile


3679 posts in 4061 days

#3 posted 03-03-2015 10:58 PM

Wow, these are impressive tools (and even your own heat treating, very nice). The chisel is really amazing, might have to try one someday. Love the little layout tool / unsquare lol.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3717 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 12:16 AM

Beautiful! And very useful
Well done!

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

View theoldfart's profile


12057 posts in 3328 days

#5 posted 03-04-2015 01:15 AM

Paul, really digging the fishtail. Nice work, hope to see more.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8574 posts in 2859 days

#6 posted 03-04-2015 02:54 AM

I like your style brotha. Way to bring the heat;)

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3475 days

#7 posted 03-04-2015 02:56 AM

Great looking set. The chisel is great addition to the arsenal.

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3257 days

#8 posted 03-04-2015 03:04 AM

Top quality, as usual!

-- Rick M,

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3491 days

#9 posted 03-04-2015 03:16 AM

yall are making some awesome ,dove tailing tools

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Hammerthumb's profile


3073 posts in 2852 days

#10 posted 03-04-2015 03:20 AM

Thanks everyone. Nice to hear from ya, SuperDave.

Red – check your mailbox on Friday. You can see one up close.

Thanks again.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2838 days

#11 posted 03-04-2015 03:50 AM

That’s a great set of tools. The hand made fishtail chisel is a particularly good idea. Good thing you didn’t need any extra heat source for your heat treating, just leave the bricks out in the Vegas sun.

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


8708 posts in 3007 days

#12 posted 03-04-2015 04:20 AM

Stunning job, Paul. And I’m glad to read that wasn’t a tri-square cause, well, its not.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3069 days

#13 posted 03-04-2015 04:34 AM

Awesome set!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2771 days

#14 posted 03-04-2015 04:56 AM

Fantastic. Hammer, how do you like squarish handle marking knives vs. cylinder? I’ve got cylinder but have been thinking about making something like what you have here.

View Hammerthumb's profile


3073 posts in 2852 days

#15 posted 03-04-2015 05:47 AM

Actually, the handle is only square towards the blade. Keeps them from rolling around on the bench. Also gives the index finger a better purch when holding like a pencil. Thanks for asking.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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