talkFestool (
-   Woodworking Projects (
-   -   Half blinds revisited (

derekcohen 10-08-2011 06:47 PM

Half blinds revisited
When I started the thread "Against the Clock" the intention was to explore efficiency. Looking back I thought the methods used could have been improved, and that doing so would provide the efficiency I sought for the remaining (now eight) drawers left to build.

So here I offer two methods for the removal of waste from half blind dovetail pins. Both work easily and fairly quickly. One is power assisted and the other is 100% handtool.

Interestingly, where the previous drawer was a frantic 4 hour race against the clock, today was a relaxed 3 1/2 hour session.

Starting with a marked, sawn and kerfed pin board ...

Two pins were routed and two were chopped out for comparison. The difference this time is that the boards were placed flat (rather than vertically) for the routing ...

... and only the baseline was cleared (with a 1/16" left to finish with a chisel) ..

That took 8 minutes to complete:

Method #2 involved progressively chopping out a mortice ...

... and then splitting out the waste as the mortice deepened. This is the method I generally use ..

This required a total of 10 minutes ...

The above was repeated with the remaining two pins. Both were completed in a further 10 minutes ..

.. and the pin and tail boards fitted ...

Likes and dislikes: I dislike the noise of a router. Dust is not a problem as the Elu I have is efficient at sucking the dust into a Fein vacuum cleaner. This is a speedier method, but chiseling is very close behind. On the other hand I like that the router has a depth stop and that there is no danger of blowing out or cracking the face of the pin board with an overzealous chisel blow. This is always on my mind as I chop into the hard Jarrah. Routing the initial mortice does remove a great deal of stress from the process.

For the other side of the drawer I decided to use the router alone to gauge the ease/speed more realistically by excluding interruptions, such as photos.

After a casual 35 minutes ...

The rear of the drawer was dovetailed and assembled ..

Progress to date:

Hopefully the next thread on the military chests will be to show the completed drawers.

Regards from Perth


Philip Marcou 10-08-2011 11:05 PM

Re: Half blinds revisited
If you are going to use the router to remove waste why not use a bigger diameter bit, clamp a back stop , and rout free hand? This way automatically provides a precision cut at the back of each socket plus a smooth accurate bottom at the correct depth. You are then left a small wedge in each corner to remove by chisel, having already established a clean reference .
Having a router with a circular base makes it simple to set the back stop at the correct distance which is a function of bit diameter plus base radius.
You have already defined the edge limit of each tail by hand sawing so guiding the router by hand only involves stopping before the bit cuts into the saw cut at each side of the socket, which is very easy as the saw cut is like a very thick pencil mark ie it is hard to overshoot.....

MichaelKellough 10-09-2011 03:57 AM

Re: Half blinds revisited
I agree with Phillip. If you're going to use a machine might as well get your money's worth.

When I saw this pic I thought the "hole" was a Domino mortise.

derekcohen 10-09-2011 04:08 AM

Re: Half blinds revisited
Hi Philip

I do not disagree with you. Using the router is not something I have done much in the last few years (at least). I am cautious still. While I have freehanded the routing of all pins on at least one complete drawer, the fence was added here as a security measure. Frankly it makes sense to rout to the line as well.

On the other hand, it takes 2 or 3 chisel strokes to remove the end waste, and I am more confident in controlling the accuracy of this with handskill. Perhaps I will take a few more risks as I gain experience when completing the remaining drawers. The point I want to make is that I agree with you, and others should try and follow your lead. My efforts posted are simply a chronical of my learning experience.

Regards from Perth

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:43 AM.