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Old 09-24-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

I thought I'd try something new (to me) when dovetailing the drawers.

First of all, here is my dovetailing bench. I set up a moxon vise on an extension table. It is higher than my bench and easier to direct light over the work.



There are 12 drawers in all. All have dark Jarrah fronts. Even with extra directed light, it is difficult to see the lines transfered from the tail board to the dark endgrain of the Jarrah. Jarrah endgrain is hard enough to chop away. Struggling to see the lines makes it hell. 24 sides to do ...

I recalled reading a tip about a year ago that involved using blue tape. I do not recall the name of the individual (my apologies), nor the details of his method - for all I know he was marking through dovetails. Anyway, I thought I would give it a go on the first drawer, and would use it for the others if it helped.

The pin boards were sawn and chiseled in the usual manner. Then it was time to transfer the marks to the pin board.

The pin board was clamped in the vise. As seen, it has a scribe mark to denote the depth of the pins ...



The blue tape is added, running between the two boundaries. Cut it away from the sides as the edges will later be needed for registering the tail board.



Now you can place the tail board over the pin board to transfer marks ...



Remember to use a Vesper knife!!!



It is not easy to see the cut lines ...



... until you peel away the waste areas ..



The lines stood out so clearly that sawing to the lines was really easy.



Here you can see how close to the lines I managed to get ..



I've posted this before but I'll show it again. Several years ago, influenced by Tage Frid, I made a "kerf chisel" to deepen the kerf on the half-sawn pins. This has a blade the same thickness the saw. The end of the blade is square to prevent splitting the grain. As a precaution I add clamps to prevent any blow out.





The pins were chopped out ...



... and the tail board given a trial fit ...



That is a nice fit! No adjustments required. Easy peasy.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

That's very cool, Derek. Thanks for sharing. I love the kerf chisel idea - very clever. Is there a chance you could show more of the chopping out of the waste? I'm curious about the procedure - you end up with sure nice, smooth surfaces.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Hi Poto

Here is a tutorial I wrote: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furnitu...leddrawer.html

The dovetails in that example are much finer, "London" pins. The one for the military chest I thought should look stronger.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Thanks for that link, Derek. Very nice write-up.

Could you elaborate on the "undercutting" of the base line that you scribed? Is the idea to pare away the surface of the waste to the depth of the scribe line?
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Looks like it worked great, in the hands of a skilled craftsman.
How thick thin is that kerf chisel?


This might help the rest of us. Drat, it's only 1/2" wide.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Excellent tip using the painter's tape and I use Tage's technique (a piece of bandsaw blade) but you have taken it to a new level.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:12 PM
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Default Pictures at an Exhibition

Well not quite Emerson Lake and Palmer, but this is music to me.

I've got a long way to go, and I did not get much time this and last weekend. I have the afternoon free tomorrow. Perhaps I will get one or two done, now that the first is completed and the pattern is there.

A while ago I asked advice about dovetail number and sizes. Now you will see what I plan ...

The drawer is complete save for the base. I will do these all later.





A front ...



... and a rear ...



Here are images of the slips:

From the rear ...



Through the drawer ...



.. and internal details (note that the ends are tenoned into the front groove) .. front (on lefty) and rear (at right)...



One last item, a jig I used. I had planned to use the drawer opening to square the drawer as the glue dried. However the sides did need a little planing, so I turned to this jig that I got from Andrew Crawford, when I went on a box-making course with him.



Just clamp two sides and all four must end up square ..



Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Thanks for that link, Derek. Very nice write-up.

Could you elaborate on the "undercutting" of the base line that you scribed? Is the idea to pare away the surface of the waste to the depth of the scribe line?
Hi Poto

Exactly. Once you have this ...



.. then you cannot lose the line when you remove the remainder of the waste.



Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelKellough View Post
Looks like it worked great, in the hands of a skilled craftsman.
How thick thin is that kerf chisel?


This might help the rest of us. Drat, it's only 1/2" wide.
Hi Michael

The kerf chisel is the same thickness as a saw blade.

PLEASE please please be careful when using this technique, especially on hard and brittle woods! There is always potential for blowing out or splitting the grain. I am not sure what Tage Frid would have written, if he did, but I am confident he would have stated the same.

ALWAYS always use a either a backing board or back support, and clamps on the ends. Hit the chisel gently. Listen/feel the feedback you are getting.

The blade is thin and even in thickness. I would have used a card scraper or a saw blade if it had been possible to add a handle. As it was not, I ground down the blade of a steel trowel. The ends are square. This crushes rather than cuts the small triangle of unsawn kerf. A bevel at the end would act as a wedge!

That said, this is a really helpful strategy for clearing out half-blind pins. Especially, with dark and hard wood where sometimes you feel you are working by feel rather than sight.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Update on chests: halfblind dovetails in Jarrah

Nice! Thanks so much for the education, Derek.
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