What’s in a name other than a blog?

Dovetail Practice

(aka: an embarrassing series of photographs)

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I just finished this awesome book.

With the turn of the final page, it occurred to me that I’m about as far away from formal training in woodworking as I could possibly get. In school, I never took shop (And yes, I kick myself everyday. Twice.) Haven’t done much more than your average YouTube junkie to be honest.

I watch a lot of The Woodwright’s Shop. Sometimes I even take notes.

Yesterday I learned about this awesome class being offered by the author of the above mentioned awesome book. Would that it didn’t have to fall on my anniversary weekend, otherwise I’d be arguing tooth and claw with my wife (read: begging and pleading) to attend that class. Alas, not this time. But there’ll be others.

In the meantime, practice makes perfect, right?

Well, yeah. I’m sure it does, eventually. Here’s a set of my nascent efforts at dovetailing. I figure I’ll do at least one per day, as often as time allows. Laugh with me, please, not at me. Or just laugh. I’m doing my best not to cry.

First ever dovetail next to the a more recent attempt. Wonky and gappy, and where'd the middle pin get to?

Dovetail No.1 on the left; No.2 on the right. Wonky and gappy, and where’d the middle pin get to? My saw, an old Disston 68 I picked up recently, needs sharpening. Badly.


Dovetail No.3 here. Um, yeaaahh. Seems I marked my waste wrong and, well…


Dovetail No.4 Something about lightning striking twice. Uh-huh. This is me cutting out my tails as though they were the waste. Again.


Dovetail No.5 After nearly giving up in despair, I returned to my bench and cut a bloody dovetail joint. It’s a tight one, ain’t it?


Today’s effort, Dovetail No.6, looking, well, hey, there’s pins and everything! I should mention that since the last disaster, I’ve sharpened my saw. This joint was a LOT easier to cut.


Dovetail No.6 again, in profile. Tails stand proud of the pin board because I undercut my baseline – note the smaller half pin at the bottom there. And another split. I pared back the pins to make room for the tails, but still left too much material in there. Practice, practice, practice…

About ajsikes

I am a freelance editor and author of speculative fiction in the dark/weird vein. My editing style is best described as nurturing. I treat each customer with the same respect and consideration regardless of the quality of their writing, and always aim my comments at helping writers improve and strengthen their work. For more information, please visit me at my website.
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