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Mark Rhodes Furniture & Kitchen Maker & Woodwork Courses - Norfolk

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>Dovetails for real.

>I’ve made a start on the six drawers, these will be hand-cut, or at least my version. First off the stock is cut to size, then marked out to where they are going. I’m using European Ash for all of my drawers for this project.

Then I nail the sides together with a small veneer pin, this hole virtually disappears on final clean up, and is a traditional way of cutting the sides together. I’ve used masking tape in the past, but find it can move, unless you use a lot which then lifts the sides off the bandsaw table, and breakout occurs. Marked out the tails next, I’m going for three.

Then to the bandsaw, making sure the pin will go into the mitre slot when I flip it to get the waste out.

Which brings me to here.
I then separate the sides, and its onto some hand work. I tend to find it easier if I angle the chisel back a bit, then square pare to this.
Then its on to marking the pins, I’m using a home made marking knife that is easy to flip to each side.
I hogged out the waste as I did in my previous post. Which brought me to a dry fit,  then I cut the birch ply bottoms out.
Cleaned all the machine marks off the inside with my L/N #4, and glued them up.

Close up of the finished joint.

All in all these took me 15hrs to get all six to this stage, including machining the stock. I’m happy with this time but will get quicker on the next batch, and think the jig worked well. I’ve added a sacrificial top to the jig that can be used on each batch then renewed.

 Thanks for looking.

9 Responses on “>Dovetails for real.

  1. Anonymous says:

    >They look excellent, Mark. Thanks for taking the trouble to document your method.

    Cheers 😉

    Paul Chapman

  2. Mark Rhodes says:

    >Thanks Paul, it does work rather well I think I could of done them quicker, but got distracted by new purchases:-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Yes, I noticed the new vac. That boom arm thingie looks good – keeps the hose and cable from always being in the way. Very smart.

    Cheers 😉


  4. Alviti says:

    >Nice dovetails.
    The only time I've every done them in my line of work is to cut joists into large chamber beams on floors I've renovated – they never looked quite as good as those in your pictures!
    I've got a little oak cabinet to make for my mum so I might try a couple in the way you've shown for the drawers.

  5. Alex Comes says:

    >Looking good, Mark. Is the poplar staying straight? I think you mentioned something in a previous post about it being a bit cantankerous.

  6. Mark Rhodes says:

    >Thanks guys.

    Alviti, give it a go, always nice to open a drawer and see dovetails I think.

    Alex, so far so good on the poplar, I took a look at some of the rejected stock, and it seems to be straightening a bit.

  7. Jeff Branch says:

    >Thanks for the videos and the post overall. I am contemplating hand cut dovetails on my next project.

  8. Paul-Marcel says:

    >I like the ganging technique. I will definitely try that out! I keep telling myself that I'll make the sloped jig to do the pins next set of drawers. I like your idea of the sacrificial area.

  9. Mark Rhodes says:

    >I did have a sloped jig for the bandsaw, but found it slow going(I realise you do this for a hobby so fill your boots.. then of course you do have a shop that would make a pro weep…), I just cut them free-hand now. By the time they are glued up, and sanded you can't see if you've gone off line.
    I normally treat all my jigs as disposable TBH, but because I have a lot to do over the next few weeks, I thought I better make this one last a bit, at least till these wardrobes and the desk is done.

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