Tag Archives: dovetails

Small Box for Kate…Part 3…

Ralph, at Accidental Woodworker, pushed me in the direction of a captured bottom today. I had been leaning that way, but his comment tipped me over. So tonight I set about squaring up a piece of red oak. I chose 1/4″ as the final thickness since that is the smallest groove I can currently make and also to capture all of the bottom rather than just a lip. The groove will be 3/16″ in depth, allowing for 1/8″ of board and a gap of 1/16″ on each side. The bottom will float in the groove and I hope I’ve allowed enough for seasonal changes.

Once I had the bottom squared and correctly sized, I laid out the grooves on each piece measuring referencing from the top of each piece. Which reminds me, I need to visually inspect the groove on each piece to make sure they line up from piece to piece. I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made on the tool chest drawer. Below is a pic of the sides and bottom. If you look closely, you can see the groove lay out lines. Stay warm and be safe.



Dutch Tool Chest…Drawer…Part 8…

Hello again fellow woodworkers! I’m glad to be woodworking and blogging again. A quick update on my Dad. He came down with C Diff, which is an acronym for some type of bacteria. It gets in your gut and causes a lot of problems. I took Dad to the hospital Mon because he became so dehydrated, dangerously so, and lethargic. He’s taken it very hard and has a long road ahead to recover. He’s receiving excellent care though and we are very fortunate and grateful. Continued thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.

Tonight is the first chance I’ve had to do any more work on my drawer and I took advantage of it. I fitted the drawer sides to the back.


20140205-220915.jpg As you can see, they’re not perfect, but they’re tight and very functional. Check out @toddnebbel on Instagram. His work overall is some of the best I’ve seen. Just outstanding. I then laid out the groove for the drawer bottom.


20140205-221203.jpg Tomorrow night I’ll begin to cut these grooves.

On a side note, while I’ve been with my Dad the last few days, I’ve had a lot of time to read. And I’ve managed to read three fourths of “Handsaw Essentials” by Chris Schwarz.

20140205-222401.jpg And I must say, it’s an excellent read. I’m growing into a handsaw nerd/crack head. I love them. There is a ton of useful information in this book and also a lot of fascinating saw history. If you’re interested in building up your own woodworking library, this book is a must have.

Stay warm and be safe. I’ll be back Thu evening.

Dutch Tool Chest…Drawer…Part 6 Recap…

Mon night I cut the tails and pins for the side to back joinery. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was concerned about the stopped dado but it proved to be a non issue. The day before I picked up a 3-pack of fine coping saw blades from Sears.

20140128-222300.jpg I liked it. The fine blade allowed me to get very close to baseline when removing tail or pin waste. I still messed up with my chisel a little and my sawing got off a little but overall it’s ok. The joinery will work and with the help of some glue, stay together.

20140128-222942.jpg In the picture above, I haven’t fully seated the two pieces, that’s why they’re not flush with each other. I still have a little fitting to do on the other side and then I will cut the groove for my drawer bottom.

20140128-223258.jpg I’m learning a lot of stuff and having some fun. Today, I received two of Chris Schwarz’ books from PWW.

20140128-223928.jpg Might be another late night! Be safe.

Dutch Tool Chest…Drawer…Part 5…

Well I didn’t get as much done today as I had hoped but I learned a few things in the process. So it was a good day and I had fun. I started by finishing the stopped dado for the runner on the drawers left side. And my approach and execution was definitely better for this side. I worked the very toe of my cross cut carcase saw from one end of each gage line to the other until I had a kerf deep enough to guide the saw. But this time, I had the heel at the stopped end of the dado and ran the saw in the kerf rom the front to the back of the drawer side. In the picture below, the heel would be on the right, the toe on the left, and the saw would cut by moving to the left.

20140126-224422.jpg I sawed 1/4″ deep and then used a chisel to make several cuts the length of the dado and then zipped out the majority of the waste. My trusty router finished the stopped dado. And it is easily one of my favorite tools. I think it’s just fun to use. The last runner was cut to length and fitted to the stopped dado.

I then made a run the lumber yard for drawer back and floor material and made a pleasant discovery. They had 1/2 x 5-1/2 x 48″ poplar. Perfect! No planning to thickness required. I cut the drawer back first and fitted it to the chest.

20140126-225332.jpg I then turned my attention the drawer side-to-back joinery, thru dovetails.

In Hylton’s book he recommends cutting the stopped dados for side mounted drawers after the joinery is completed and the four sides are fastened and glued. It’s then easy to use a table router to make the cut. I didn’t feel comfortable following chopping dados on joined pieces. But that leaves me cutting tails and pins with a dado on one side. And I think this approach is the lesser of two evils. To make the layout and cutting of the tails as easy as possible, I clamped my drawer sides together outside face to outside face.

20140126-230657.jpg This picture shows the backend of the drawer sides in the middle, the drawer bottom on the left and the top on the right. Again, the outside faces face each other. I started the dovetails 1/2″ from the bottom of the drawer to leave room for the groove to capture the drawer bottom. I chose to make my drawer bottom flush with the bottom of my drawer sides in order to maximize the drawer interior space. Plus, I have nothing below my drawer and it is side mounted so I figured I could get away with it. If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see I’ll have to shorten the middle pin in order to use the side runners. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult. I know, famous last words.

Tomorrow I will cut the two bottom boards to length and glue together. And then cut some dovetails. Stay tuned and be safe.

Step Stool No. 2…Part Two…

I got a lot done on the second step stool today. Tails and pins all laid out, cut, cleaned up, and glued.




I’m very pleased with my dovetails. I still have room for improvement. A couple of the tails did not get cut perpendicular to the board face, I need to make some tail clamping cauls, and I need to remember to put glue on the inside face of the outer pins. I also want to investigate removing as much waste as I can with a coping saw. The closer I can get to the base line and the less chopping I have to do, the quicker I’ll be. That’s my bottle neck in the dovetail making process right now. Tomorrow, I’ll make the two cross pieces, complete the half dovetail, and glue both halves together. And with any luck, I’ll get some finish on the step stool. Stay tuned and be safe.

Step Stool for Zeke…Part 11…Half of the Pins for the Lower Step…

Had a couple of derailments in the Mesquite St Wood Shop tonight. Had to take my male GSP (German shorthair pointer) Mick out for a run. If you ever want to lose weight, get a GSP. He runs almost 4 miles in about 15-17 minutes while I ride my bicycle and struggle to stay up with him. He goes crazy if he doesn’t run at least 3-4 times a week. Then I watched a football show. So I didn’t get as much done as I wanted.
But I did get the pins on one side of the lower step completed.

And pins on the remaining side marked and ready to be cut and chopped.

It feels really good to be at this point in the build. I’m on the downhill side and it’s going to be ok. It’s been a struggle and frustrating at times, but I’ve learned a lot as a wood worker. And the darn thing is going to work after all….maybe. Tomorrow, cut and chop remaining pins on lower step and hopefully begin prep work for two rails at the front and back along the bottom. They’ll have a half dovetail at each end, like the rail on my saw bench I cut off. Be safe and check back tomorrow.

Step Stool for Zeke…Part 7…

Gosh, part 7! You’re probably as tired of reading about this darn thing as I am about working on it. But I’m too far into it now to quit. I’m gonna finish this step stool one way or the other. First item on the to do list after work today was to finish the plumbing problem from last night that didn’t get fixed. My kitchen sink was stopped up and my buddy Wayne Barnett took care of me.

Next, I cut a shallow rabbet on each of the lower steps. And they both went very smooth, kind of surprised me.

I’m definitely becoming more comfortable and confident in cutting rabbets with a chisel. I have 3 paring chisels and they are my tool of choice for this job. Their long flat face allows me to go from one end to the other very efficiently without having to move the work or the chisel.

I then laid out tails on the upper step of one panel and called it a night.

One reason is I’m not too sure about this configuration. It just doesn’t look right i think. The outboard pins are way bigger than the two on the inside. And I usually like to have my tails and pins a little more even. I may have to go with more tails. Check back tomorrow. I’m going to lay out some other variations. Be safe.