Keepsake Box…A Start On Dovetails Part 1

So, as I said in my last post, it has been quite some time since I have done any dovetailing. I had a couple hours after work today, so I put a fire on in the woodstove in the shop and ran one of the pine boards I picked up at the home center through the planer…just a light pass to clean it up…and cut the pieces for the main body of the box to size. I figured I better practice a bit before I dove right in, and made some test cuts in some scrap pieces to try and re-hone my sawing skills, and also get a feel for my Veritas dovetail saw that I bought some time ago and haven’t used much since.

I find that the saw seems to have little to no set…it was wanting to bind in the cut, and if I didn’t get the cut started perfectly it was impossible to correct the cut. I have a can of beeswax polish on the shelf that has found itself useful in situations like this…a light smear on the sides of the saw plate and it glides through the cut like butter.IMG_0581[1]Next I laid out my dovetails and scribed the baseline around the end of the tail board…I’m a tails-first man, FYI. To keep my cuts on track, I start my cut on the end of the board on the far side, bringing the blade down across the end of the board until the kerf is started, then tip the saw back and follow the line down the face of the board until the cut is established and then straighten up the saw and complete the cut down to the baselines. This technique seems to work well for me.

I kind of got carried away and forgot to take pics along the way, but in the little time I had I managed to get the tails cut for the front of the box and chiseled out the waste.IMG_0579[1]IMG_0580[1]After chiseling out the waste I pared down to the baselines and cleaned up the cuts with a chisel. It still needs a bit of cleanup before I move on to the next part, but I see that my chisels are not as sharp as they need to be so I will touch them up before I begin again. Long way to go but it’s a start…IMG_0577[1]IMG_0578[1]

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