Practice Dovetails

It’s been too long since I posted. While I’ve been distracted from blogging, I have been doing a decent amount of woodworking. Back in February and March I got one-third of the way through my plan to cut 30 practice dovetails.

I was amazed at how much I learned and how much things improved while cutting just ten. As the photo shows, I started cutting just two large tails and one center tail – very simple. The wood is recycled oak. Not the easiest for practicing, but it’s pretty thin. After five like that I went to three tails and two inner pins. I also started out chopping out all the waste with chisels. Then I switched to cutting it out with a coping saw, and then paring to the line with chisels. That seems to be a bit quicker, and gives fewer opportunities to mess up the “show” line.

Here are my tools. Very basic stuff. Ironically, I don’t even have a dovetail saw I like. I have a decent japanese saw. But I don’t like the ergonomics on straight-handled saws. I also have a very fine-toothed gent’s saw – same kind of handle. Shown is my Simonds cross-cut saw.

About johnjoiner

Computer nerd by day, Dad and woodworker by night. Woodworking blog at
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2 Responses to Practice Dovetails

  1. I like it when you post. I often wonder what it is you do down there in the laundry room…

  2. johnjoiner says:

    I prefer to think of it differently – that we just happen to do laundry in my shop.;-)

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