LumberJocks

First couple of hand cut dovetail boxes

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Project by MrWolfe posted 06-19-2019 06:51 PM 486 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These two boxes are the first of some hand made boxes made with hand cut dovetails on my new moxon vise. This first one is hickory ( i think) from a reclaimed pallet jointed and thicknessed with a hand plane/smoother. I am using Japanese pull saws to cut the dovetails and a fret saw to remove the waste, then cleaning them up with chisels. This first one is all handwork with the exception of a drill press to put the colored plugs in the front face and top and the turned knob for the lid. I did this for orientation because I guess it isn’t entirely square. The top is a piece of cedar and the knob is a big box purchase left over from some cabinets I built last year. I am calling it Cedartop.

This is the second so far (I am working on number eight and nine right now). This one has a little oriental influence but I am not really designing or building these to drawings at the moment. I am practicing dovetails and joinery then I end up with four sides and have to figure out a bottom and a lid. Its fun but I will eventually start working towards designs/drawings, in other words, a well thought out vision. This one is reclaimed pallet wood, oak, cedar and southern yellow pine.





8 comments so far

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

1059 posts in 2173 days


#1 posted 06-19-2019 10:35 PM

Congratulations on getting started with handcut dovetails! They are not easy. Very cool box designs.

Hickory as woods go, is one of the hardest Domestic woods you can use. And not very forgiving of even slight mistakes.

I suggest trying something softer like red oak or soft maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany on your box. So you can see the difference when handcutting joinery in a more workable material. Cherry is probably the nicest to work with alongside mahogany.

Great Job!
-Joseph

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View MrWolfe's profile (online now)

MrWolfe

192 posts in 545 days


#2 posted 06-20-2019 12:25 AM

Thanks Joseph,
I am in the process of learning about different wood so thanks for your suggestions. At first I thought tear out in the chisel work was, well, my chisel work. I’ve changed primary bevels to 25 degrees, got a second set of chisels for hardwoods at 35 degrees and have really spent time polishing the backs and learning how to sharpen. I’ve even ground down a 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch chisel to fishtail chisels. Then I started finding out about different grains in different woods (especially the softwoods) and I am just starting to “get it”. All the jigs and the moxon have really helped and I got to say I really enjoy doing this kind of handwork. I’m so glad I didn’t give up with the first dovetails because it was a bit frustrating and disappointing. Getting better all the time!
jon

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3116 posts in 996 days


#3 posted 06-20-2019 02:40 AM



Thanks Joseph,
I am in the process of learning about different wood so thanks for your suggestions. At first I thought tear out in the chisel work was, well, my chisel work. I ve changed primary bevels to 25 degrees, got a second set of chisels for hardwoods at 35 degrees and have really spent time polishing the backs and learning how to sharpen. I ve even ground down a 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch chisel to fishtail chisels. Then I started finding out about different grains in different woods (especially the softwoods) and I am just starting to “get it”. All the jigs and the moxon have really helped and I got to say I really enjoy doing this kind of handwork. I m so glad I didn t give up with the first dovetails because it was a bit frustrating and disappointing. Getting better all the time!
jon

- MrWolfe

Jon, I am tired just looking at what you’ve done since I first noted you on the Moxon build. Have you slept any???? I’m chuckling as I type that.

All new, and just eating it up. I started backwards, and saw your last post first. Just from then you can see a progression in the DTs. Keep making, it’s fun watching.

Ohh and thanks for posting, all of it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View MrWolfe's profile (online now)

MrWolfe

192 posts in 545 days


#4 posted 06-20-2019 02:59 AM

Haha SteveN…..
Yahhh I figured I overposted. I just got out of the habit of making posts as I make things. It all piled up. I’m about caught up but I am on a roll so I’ll keep posting them as I make them.
Thanks Bud.
Jon

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

1059 posts in 2173 days


#5 posted 06-20-2019 04:42 AM

Hi Jon,

The tearout was probably still at least part your fault ;p but thats how we improve!

I want to mention that as you may have noticed, as you set to work in a session, the first few joints you cut on a box will not be as clean as the next few so you can start a practice box and cut a couple on there first and then work on the nice box. That way you arent just cutting practice on scrap wood and have something to show.for your efforts while keeping your nice box dovetail joints clean.

I suggest Paul Sellers dovetails on youtube. He changed my life. His masterclasses workshop subscription is worth it. But you can learn a ton for free on youtube. Just keep rewatching them. 2 or 3 times a week.

Have fun!!! And keep.sharpening! No really. Like every few minutes

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

14669 posts in 3289 days


#6 posted 06-20-2019 08:18 AM

Nice boxes you make…looks like you are very skilled with those dovetails.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

14669 posts in 3289 days


#7 posted 06-20-2019 08:18 AM

Nice boxes you make…looks like you are very skilled with those dovetails.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View MrWolfe's profile (online now)

MrWolfe

192 posts in 545 days


#8 posted 06-20-2019 01:46 PM

Thanks everyone!
Yes Joseph, I completely agree…. sharpen sharpen sharpen. I mostly just hone the chisels when I’m working on joinery but the sharper the better. I watch a lot of youtube videos and read and look at all the posts here. Its very great to see what other people are doing.
Thanks for the comments everyone.
jon

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