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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grandpa's RAS gets a new top

Instead of adding a new project for the things I do around the shop, I thought I would start a blog about the upgrades as I make them. Over the past two years I have done a lot to convert the unfinished part of my basement into a woodworking shop. If you want to see some before shots you can visit the bt3central forums (probably need to register to see pics, sorry i'll post them here soon)

The beginning
Upgrade 1

You can see what it looks like now in My Workshop in my profile…

Anyway, the point of this first blog entry was to showcase the new top I put on the radial arm saw I inherited from my Grandpa. Until today I have used it as received but realized that the top was pretty chewed up and if I wanted to clean cuts without chip out I needed to start with a clean slate. I used 3/4" hardwood ply and a 1.5" jointed ash fence. I also extended it deeper, behind the post than the original to make it easier to attach a dust collection hood (in progress). After replacing the top, I tuned it up and now get beautiful cross cuts. I haven't messed around with 45 degree cuts or bevel cuts but with my table saw and some jigs, I may dedicate this for cross cuts for now.

Before
Wood Flooring Floor Gas Hardwood


After:
Wood Automotive tire Floor Flooring Hardwood


Thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grandpa's RAS gets a new top

Instead of adding a new project for the things I do around the shop, I thought I would start a blog about the upgrades as I make them. Over the past two years I have done a lot to convert the unfinished part of my basement into a woodworking shop. If you want to see some before shots you can visit the bt3central forums (probably need to register to see pics, sorry i'll post them here soon)

The beginning
Upgrade 1

You can see what it looks like now in My Workshop in my profile…

Anyway, the point of this first blog entry was to showcase the new top I put on the radial arm saw I inherited from my Grandpa. Until today I have used it as received but realized that the top was pretty chewed up and if I wanted to clean cuts without chip out I needed to start with a clean slate. I used 3/4" hardwood ply and a 1.5" jointed ash fence. I also extended it deeper, behind the post than the original to make it easier to attach a dust collection hood (in progress). After replacing the top, I tuned it up and now get beautiful cross cuts. I haven't messed around with 45 degree cuts or bevel cuts but with my table saw and some jigs, I may dedicate this for cross cuts for now.

Before
Wood Flooring Floor Gas Hardwood


After:
Wood Automotive tire Floor Flooring Hardwood


Thanks for looking.
yeah I was pretty fortunate to get this. Aside from the table top, it was in outstanding shape I really didn't need to do anything other than align it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Entrance

Brown Rectangle Wood Font Wood stain


This fall I had several run ins with my chisels. The first one resulted in a 1" gash in the heel of my right palm. I was working on redoing some DC and had old carving chisels on a box on a shelf below where I was working. I didn't see it before hand but one of the chisels was sticking sharp end up and as I withdrew my hand….YOWZERS. Went to the doc for a tetanus shot but no stitches required.

My second incident was pure sheer stupidity. I was working on the inlay for my Dad's present, I was fitting one of the pieces that was a bit snug. I thought if I encouraged it with a mallet it would break. So instead I grabbed the nearest "pry" bar…(a very sharp chisel) and of course the piece popped out with no effort and the extra force drove the chisel into my left hand between the index finger and thumb. Another 1" gash :(. This happened Sunday night and since I didn't want to go to the emergency room I did the next best thing….I went to see my Vet…OK my brother in-law who is a vet. He looked at it and decided it probably didn't need stitches but he would throw a couple in if I wanted(without pain meds of course)....I choose to just get some butterfly bandages.

Fortunately both cuts were very clean and healed fast. They both split open a little while playing hockey a few days later but no major damage and that is the price you pay for not wanting to miss hockey :).

Needless to say I am going to be much more cognizant of how I use my chisels in the future….and as you can see by the picture….My wife decided to get me a sign to hang on the shop door as a reminder :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Entrance

Brown Rectangle Wood Font Wood stain


This fall I had several run ins with my chisels. The first one resulted in a 1" gash in the heel of my right palm. I was working on redoing some DC and had old carving chisels on a box on a shelf below where I was working. I didn't see it before hand but one of the chisels was sticking sharp end up and as I withdrew my hand….YOWZERS. Went to the doc for a tetanus shot but no stitches required.

My second incident was pure sheer stupidity. I was working on the inlay for my Dad's present, I was fitting one of the pieces that was a bit snug. I thought if I encouraged it with a mallet it would break. So instead I grabbed the nearest "pry" bar…(a very sharp chisel) and of course the piece popped out with no effort and the extra force drove the chisel into my left hand between the index finger and thumb. Another 1" gash :(. This happened Sunday night and since I didn't want to go to the emergency room I did the next best thing….I went to see my Vet…OK my brother in-law who is a vet. He looked at it and decided it probably didn't need stitches but he would throw a couple in if I wanted(without pain meds of course)....I choose to just get some butterfly bandages.

Fortunately both cuts were very clean and healed fast. They both split open a little while playing hockey a few days later but no major damage and that is the price you pay for not wanting to miss hockey :).

Needless to say I am going to be much more cognizant of how I use my chisels in the future….and as you can see by the picture….My wife decided to get me a sign to hang on the shop door as a reminder :)
First, yes he is a good doc and handy to have around :)

Second. I decided to consult the owner's manual for the chisels to figure out which end to hold. I think I got it now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shop Face-lift Completed

Ok, is a shop really ever done?!? At least it is a major improvement over the last arrangement

You may recall that I solicited suggestions for a proposed shop rearrangement a couple of weeks ago. The primary reasons for changing things up is that I felt a) the arrangement was very inefficient to work in and b) I'm getting ready to build either the 21st Century or Holtzapffel workbench and really wanted to have good access to all sides of the bench

Since I'm going to update my shop pics I've uploaded the before state pics here for reference:
Table Furniture Wood Wall Luggage and bags


Wood Motor vehicle Gas Engineering Machine


Wood Tool Workbench Gas Hardwood


Cabinetry Wood Tool Saw Drawer


Tire Wood Bicycle Wheel Engineering


Wood Floor Flooring Gas Hardwood


Here are the pictures after the reorganization. I feel like I have a lot more room to move a round and that things are better organized and efficiency will be dramatically improved.

Looking in from the entrance, notice table saw and dedicated out feed table (no longer shared bench duty)
Furniture Table Building Wood Engineering


Plenty of room between TS and BS, and the bandsaw is on wheels so if I need more room for either it is easily accomplished (I plan on building a cabinet to put TS on to maximize storage space). Assembly table and clamps in the back corner with clamps.
Window Wood Building Table Fixture


Router table and RAS table are same height so have plenty of infeed support for both, I also have room on either side to for outfeed support as necessary.
Wood Cabinetry Drawer Workbench Building


Dust collection, small storage, belt disc sander and lathe on side wall, this is "cramped" by the pole and floor support beam. I plan on making a dedicated hand tool cabinet where the melamine shelving currently sits.
Cabinetry Shelf Wood Flooring Floor


you can't see it but just to the left of the drill press is my grinder in close proximity to the lathe. A floor standing drill press is next on my list for tools. I am going to build a cart for the planer to raise it up off the floor. The far corner has standard tools and storage. I plan on replacing all the wire storage racks (under cabinets) with more useful cabinet/drawer storage.
Furniture Wood Shelf Interior design Table


This is my sheet goods/lumber storage rack. It is to the right as you walk into the shop (past furnace and water heater). It shares space with other storage
Building Wood Shelf Shelving Interior design


This is more storage, mainly short boards and blanks for turning. The brown filing cabinet is filled with pen blanks and exotic wood cutoffs that I hope to make into something nice someday :)
Cabinetry Wood Shelf Shelving Retail


I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish including:
  • New stand for planer
  • Build a real workbench that actually weighs something :)
  • Better Wall storage (replace pegboard with french cleats
  • Add wall panels (leaning towards osb)
  • Replace wire racks with cabinets with drawers

Thanks for looking
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Shop Face-lift Completed

Ok, is a shop really ever done?!? At least it is a major improvement over the last arrangement

You may recall that I solicited suggestions for a proposed shop rearrangement a couple of weeks ago. The primary reasons for changing things up is that I felt a) the arrangement was very inefficient to work in and b) I'm getting ready to build either the 21st Century or Holtzapffel workbench and really wanted to have good access to all sides of the bench

Since I'm going to update my shop pics I've uploaded the before state pics here for reference:
Table Furniture Wood Wall Luggage and bags


Wood Motor vehicle Gas Engineering Machine


Wood Tool Workbench Gas Hardwood


Cabinetry Wood Tool Saw Drawer


Tire Wood Bicycle Wheel Engineering


Wood Floor Flooring Gas Hardwood


Here are the pictures after the reorganization. I feel like I have a lot more room to move a round and that things are better organized and efficiency will be dramatically improved.

Looking in from the entrance, notice table saw and dedicated out feed table (no longer shared bench duty)
Furniture Table Building Wood Engineering


Plenty of room between TS and BS, and the bandsaw is on wheels so if I need more room for either it is easily accomplished (I plan on building a cabinet to put TS on to maximize storage space). Assembly table and clamps in the back corner with clamps.
Window Wood Building Table Fixture


Router table and RAS table are same height so have plenty of infeed support for both, I also have room on either side to for outfeed support as necessary.
Wood Cabinetry Drawer Workbench Building


Dust collection, small storage, belt disc sander and lathe on side wall, this is "cramped" by the pole and floor support beam. I plan on making a dedicated hand tool cabinet where the melamine shelving currently sits.
Cabinetry Shelf Wood Flooring Floor


you can't see it but just to the left of the drill press is my grinder in close proximity to the lathe. A floor standing drill press is next on my list for tools. I am going to build a cart for the planer to raise it up off the floor. The far corner has standard tools and storage. I plan on replacing all the wire storage racks (under cabinets) with more useful cabinet/drawer storage.
Furniture Wood Shelf Interior design Table


This is my sheet goods/lumber storage rack. It is to the right as you walk into the shop (past furnace and water heater). It shares space with other storage
Building Wood Shelf Shelving Interior design


This is more storage, mainly short boards and blanks for turning. The brown filing cabinet is filled with pen blanks and exotic wood cutoffs that I hope to make into something nice someday :)
Cabinetry Wood Shelf Shelving Retail


I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish including:
  • New stand for planer
  • Build a real workbench that actually weighs something :)
  • Better Wall storage (replace pegboard with french cleats
  • Add wall panels (leaning towards osb)
  • Replace wire racks with cabinets with drawers

Thanks for looking
Tom,

Your shop is nice looking. Someday I'd like to get the big 1) Table Saw 2)Cyclone 3) Elk :)

dbhost

I take that as a big compliment coming from the shop improvement king.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
Thanks, Yeah it'd be nice to knock them out that fast….but I've got a ways to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
@Dave, yes he is very good. I took away importance of body posture, changing cutting angles to establish kerf and the ability to create a slightly concave shoulder to allow the edges to seat nicely. I've picked up tips from every video I've watched and it is interesting how many ways there are to accomplish the same thing. It has been an enjoyable process so far, and I hope to continue to get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
Alright, I just cut tonights dovetails and they didn't seem to get any better….in fact they may be slightly more sloppy then last nights. Trying to be more and more careful with each one I decided I must be sawing sloppily (sp?). anyway I decided to run a test since I have always assumed I've been sawing straight.

Much to my suprise, (or maybe not) I found out that I really only was cutting one cut consistently straight (right to left slope of tails ( / ). All of the other cuts were drifting to the right as you look down on the end grain. I tried a bunch of different things like adjusting body position, using thumb of opposite hand as a fence, adjusting my grip, pointing index finger vs not pointing index finger. Nothing seemed to work to consistently get rid of this bias.

What did help was changing which side of the saw I was looking down. For all of my crooked cuts I was looking on the left side of the saw blade. When I switched to looking over the right side of the the blade, almost all of my test cuts were straight!!! I'm sure this is all written in a book somewhere or covered in basic woodworking but since I'm doing some things by trial and error I guess I'll have to learn at the school of hard knocks.

Tonight I proceeded to practice all of the cuts required for the dovetail over and over until I was comfortable that I could do them repeatably. Tomorrow night I hope to have greater success on my dovetails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
@superdav721 I have tried that but I'm not sure it would have made a difference in this case with out making the sighting correction. when I was doing my initial testing I was just doing perpendicular cuts (straight rip) and couldn't even get those to go. Once I changed my sighting, I seem to be able to make all the cuts without having to rearrange. The real test will be tomorrow since I have to run to hockey tonight.

@Gofor Thanks, it is a new journey and one I hope to master. I'm not sure what he would do on half-blinds…probably the fastest way he can :). Yes his chisels are sharp and the pine works pretty fast. I did try on some ash and it split out pretty quick too. I don't mind clearing the tails with this method, however the taper on the pins make it a little more difficult to clear the waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
Not imposing at all. I see so much talent in this site it is almost intimidating. From my perspective I want to post my work, seek honest feedback, and learn as much as I can. Your tips and tricks can only help me and others along the way, even if I don't ultimately incorporate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
@stefang Thanks for the link I can imagine that it will come in handy someday. I'm really excited to try my hand at my set of dovetails tonight. I hope I'm not disappointed in the results….and if I am….try try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
@Lumpy, yep, I saw his video…very impressive. I know it is easier to just use a jig, however I'm in it for pride in craftsmanship and learning new things. If am just making something functional or have a ton of them to do, I'd probably go for the jig as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
@swirt Thanks for the support and additional suggestions. I'll add them to the knowledge bank. I haven't been using a knife to layout the lines, just a pencil. I'll give it a shot tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
Alright tonight I came home excited to test out my new cutting technique and implement some of the suggestions you guys have. The results were pretty fantastic if I do say so myself!!

Wood Packing materials Hardwood Plywood Lumber


Wood Rectangle Hardwood Natural material Wooden block


You can see that there are still some areas that could use some work. but by far the best ones yet. I still had to fuss a little more than I'd like to get it to all go together (still very tight fit) but not so much that I had to do any major surgery or pairing.

I think it is pretty neat that I was able to go from cutting sloppy malformed joints to pretty respectable joints in six days (eight attempts). Thanks all for you continued support, tips and suggestions. A few hundred more and I think I'll have it licked :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Inspired to do something new... Hand-cut Dovetails

Is it odd that every time I get a new power tool to perform a task, I get an urge to try and do it by hand as well? Anyway it seems to happen to me a lot. This year I received a dovetail jig for Christmas and was up and running cutting half-blind dovetails in no time. However, I have been wanting to learn techniques working with hand tools for a long time to expand my arsenal.

Over the past few weeks I've been eying some of the entries to the Winter Challenge, the videos of the Japanese master craftsman, and Mike Ogden's blog. The result… I finally got the fire under me to try something new. Hand Cut Dovetails

Like any good woodworker in the internet age, I quickly ran to YouTube to find a good how-to video. The first one I happened on was a video by Village Carpenter I watch her methodically cut out a nice tight joint and thought…No Problem! I ran out to the shop and started hacking away at some 3/4" pine I had laying around. My first product….

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Ok, this is not really your classic dovetail….in fact not really a dove tail at all!! An angled box joint perhaps? I was in such a rush to just get cutting that I didn't think through the layout or visualize what I was trying to create. So I glued it up anyway and just let it sit while I grabbed another set of boards, 3/8" in pine this time. I figured it would go a bit quicker…..

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Natural material


Low and behold….same problem. Ugh I'm a moron. again glue up and quit for the night!

The next day I decided I would go back an do some more research and watch more videos. I also made the pledge to cut a dovetail a day until I got better. I remember reading about someone who did this a long time ago….I just looked it up and come to find the article was written by none other than Christopher Schwarz so how wrong could it be…Right?

I watched the Village Carpenter's video again found where I went wrong. I also found a video that used sliver pins (can't find source again) I got pretty excited because things were looking good but I realized that I was still rushing the process. I actually got a dovetail joint this time but it was pretty ugly and I think the sliver made it pretty hard to learn

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


The next night I went back to the more conventional dovetail and got pretty good results.

Rectangle Wood Natural material Plank Wood stain


I tried to force the joint a bit and you can see the result. A nice split :(. You can also see that I got a little cocky and thought I could remember where the waste was supposed to be, but…. I wasn't :( I will mark the waste from now on :).

Encouraged that I actually cut a dovetail I decided to watch some more video. I watched Klausz and Cosman their battle for the fastest dovetails. I also learned about pins first vs tails first. I really am not sure if I understand the benefits of one over the other but I now know there are people that do it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with either

My next attempt so so.

Wood Rectangle Wooden block Natural material Hardwood


Brown Rectangle Wood Flooring Plank


Everything seemed ok as I was cutting it but I was way off in terms of fit and alignment. It was down right sloppy. I had been cutting these with a cheap Craftsman gentleman's saw that had been used to cut a variety of things other than wood. I decided I should try a better saw, I had heard that Japanese pull saws were pretty easy to learn how to use for dovetailing so I decided to get a Dozuki with a gift card I had received to the WoodSmith store in Des Moines.

That night I also ran across a video by Robby Pederson on Woodworking Online. He operates a shop just north of me and only uses tools that were available in 1875. I think this is one of the best videos I've seen because he offers a lot of technique as well as tips and tricks. Up until this point I had been cutting "tails first"...Robby cut "pins first" so I thought I'd give that a try. The result….

Wood Rectangle Beige Wood stain Hardwood


Not too shabby. This joint was VERY tight and you can see that several fingers were a good tight seal. I think I needed to cut closer to the lines on my tails. I had to use my chisel and a rasp to knock down some pinch points. There were also several cuts what were not too straight but overall I was very pleased. I will also need to stop up and see his shop sometime, maybe even take a class from him if SWMBO is feeling nice :)

Tonight I decided to revisit the "tails first" approach to see if there was any difference now that I had the Dozuki.

Wood Rectangle Dog Hardwood Tints and shades


Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Natural material


I think this is the best one yet in terms of intial fit without havning to tweak too much. I glued this one up and planed down the excess to see what the finished product would look like. Aside from a little gap here and there I think it is pretty respectable for my 7th one.

Now I have quite a few nights of practice ahead of me….I'll post if I see dramatic improvement.

Oh yeah, another great video resource I found tonight was from WoodTreks. This video also explains a lot of technique as they go.

I should also mention that when I got the Dozuki, I abandoned using a coping saw to cut out waste because the blade I had is too thick to fit into the thin kerf. I have been using Robby Peterson's method for waste removal.
Thanks guys. I'm still jazzed about the outcome. It definitely has given me a lot of confidence going forward and trying new things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Shop renovation #?? who knows lost count

Ok, as some of you know or gathered from my electrical questions, I have been upgrading my shop once again. When we had our new deck built this summer, I had the electrician run a 40amp sub panel to my shop. You can read about it here. When all was said and done I ran a dedicated 20amp circuit to the DC and 2 independent 20 amp GFCI circuits (about 10 pair of duplex outlets) around the shop. I debated about how high to mount them. I know 48" is fairly standard, however, i do not have an 8" ceiling so i wanted to leave space to hang stuff on the walls without worrying about covering the outlets. I settled on 42" to the top of the box. this gave me just over 48" from the floor joists to the top of the outlet. it also made hanging the top row of dry wall easier. if I had to do it again I would probably have mounted them 42" to center of the box. As it is, the bottom of the box is @ 38" which is plenty high, even if I put a 36" work surface there. After the dry wall went up i wanted to have a way of easily configuring shop walls so I am in the process of hanging three rows of french cleat around the entire shop. I have each row spaced @14"

also notice the "built-in" nook for the jointer. i really didn't want to lose the extra 4" since it is a pretty tight walk way as is :) All i have left are a few more strips of french cleat and rehang the DC plumbing, hopefully I'll time to make xmas presents….this is taking longer than i had hoped. You can see its previous state in my workshop pics

Wood Interior design Floor Flooring Gas


Cabinetry Wood Home appliance Office supplies Kitchen


Wood Interior design Table Workbench Machine


Wood Building Floor Flooring Engineering


Wood Food Interior design Kitchen Kitchen appliance


Thanks for looking
 

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192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Shop renovation #?? who knows lost count

Ok, as some of you know or gathered from my electrical questions, I have been upgrading my shop once again. When we had our new deck built this summer, I had the electrician run a 40amp sub panel to my shop. You can read about it here. When all was said and done I ran a dedicated 20amp circuit to the DC and 2 independent 20 amp GFCI circuits (about 10 pair of duplex outlets) around the shop. I debated about how high to mount them. I know 48" is fairly standard, however, i do not have an 8" ceiling so i wanted to leave space to hang stuff on the walls without worrying about covering the outlets. I settled on 42" to the top of the box. this gave me just over 48" from the floor joists to the top of the outlet. it also made hanging the top row of dry wall easier. if I had to do it again I would probably have mounted them 42" to center of the box. As it is, the bottom of the box is @ 38" which is plenty high, even if I put a 36" work surface there. After the dry wall went up i wanted to have a way of easily configuring shop walls so I am in the process of hanging three rows of french cleat around the entire shop. I have each row spaced @14"

also notice the "built-in" nook for the jointer. i really didn't want to lose the extra 4" since it is a pretty tight walk way as is :) All i have left are a few more strips of french cleat and rehang the DC plumbing, hopefully I'll time to make xmas presents….this is taking longer than i had hoped. You can see its previous state in my workshop pics

Wood Interior design Floor Flooring Gas


Cabinetry Wood Home appliance Office supplies Kitchen


Wood Interior design Table Workbench Machine


Wood Building Floor Flooring Engineering


Wood Food Interior design Kitchen Kitchen appliance


Thanks for looking
LOL @ Smitty, that is my post night's work celebration bottle :). It helps me plan the next night's work and sleep well too :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Go Big or Go Home?

Two years after purchasing my last big tool (Rikon 10-325), I saved enough for my latest purchase, the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press. I've started putting aside $25 a month + any gift cards etc. to save for major tool purchases and it has worked really well and makes it easier to justify to SWMBO.

Since I'm relatively young and plan on doing this woodworking thing a while, I've decided to adopt the philosophy of trying to buy quality tools that will last a long time and leave me with few regrets. I debated about purchasing this tool for a long time since there are many options that are cheaper, however I really didn't want to be sitting around in a couple years regretting that I had compromised on some features. In particular, I wanted a large work surface, wide speed range, and large quill stroke. From all the positive reviews and looking at it along side the Powermatic and several other models at the Woodsmith store, I am sure I won't be disappointed. I'll post a review when I get it set up. In the mean time I'll be tracking it's progress across the country :)
 
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