Not a bicycle related question per se, but I know that there are some amazingly talented people on the board, who knows their way around a woodshop.
The wife has ordered me to build a new table for our kitchen. It has to be made out of oak, about 62 centimeters wide, and the material is about 40 millimeters thick. She wants me to design a gable table, which means that I have to attach three pieces of worktop to each other at right angles. I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to learn hand cutting some very large dovetails.
But which saw to use? I have been yearning for a Veritas dovetail saw for some time, but it is a back saw, and since I have to cut some very deep dovetails, it will be too small. I have a Japanese double saw that would work, but it quite coarse at 10 tpi cross cut and 4 tpi rip. So the question is: take my chances with the Japanese saw all the way, start the cut with at conventional dovetail saw and switch, or some other option that I haven’t considered?Posted 1 month agosimon_gSubscriber
Axminster have some more reasonably priced options than the Veritas. I have their 8 quid Axcaliber equivalent and it’s been good for my usage so far. https://www.axminster.co.uk/hand-tools/saws/dovetail-gents-saws?dir=asc&order=pricePosted 1 month ago
How big are the dovetails?Posted 1 month ago
Too big for a japanese saw with a spine?
I wouldn’t switch saw part way through a cut, the different kerf widths means the cut can easily go off at an angle at the point you change, if you are confident with a japanese saw then I’d use that, no. of teeth seems to make less of a difference on japanese saws as the teeth are flat not set, so you may be fine with the one you have. Otherwise, get a finer japanese saw (if you can find one without a back). At the size dovetails you are looking at the fineness of the saw won’t make much difference as long as you can cut straight with it, you’ll be tidying up with a chisel anyway, so you just need to make sure you don’t go over the lines, and the closer your cut to the line the less tidying up you’ll have to do 🙂Posted 1 month ago
Yes, I have one too. I often hit the spine and have to finish the cut with the last 2″ of the blade :), but it’s superb.Posted 1 month ago
If you can’t fit a spine at all – then I would just use the Japanese saw that you have.
If you are scared of the blade flexing, you could just score and chisel the first part of the cut first. I can’t find a pic of what I mean, but you knife down 1mm into the cut, then chisel against this on the waste side to make a \| shape, then place the saw against the vertical.
I’ve seen it done in loads of vids – just can’t find one now!
When you say Gable table, do you mean this sort of thing?
I would personally go with a Japanese saw. For something that thick, a piddly little dovetail saw will struggle.
I’d be reaching for my double sided pull-saw with the rip-teeth on one edge.
I’ve got a dead posh one from Workshop Heaven which is amazing, but I’ve also got one of these Irwin ones from Screwfix which is actually pretty good.
You can clamp a block to the work as a guide but usually if you get set up nice and comfortable you can make good cuts without.Posted 1 month ago
Blimey, that was quick!
Yes, that is exactly the type of table I mean…It will be a bit taller, but never the less. The Japanese saw I have is this one from Axminster: https://www.axminster.co.uk/shokunin-japanese-ryoba-double-edged-saw-270mm-105007
The idea that you can score out the start had not occured to me, I might have to try that.
The dovetails that I am trying to make will be quite large, so a low tpi would probably not be too much of a problem.
Would a carcass or tenon saw be the solution to all my woes?Posted 1 month agoBigJohnSubscriber
For Knifewalls the Stanley 0-10-598 Folding Pocket Knife is very helpful. I’m amazed how much better it is than any other knife I’ve used, and it’s so cheap.
But I wouldn’t use dovetails on a table like that, I’d use big dowels or loose tenons. But I have a Domino machine, so I would say that, wouldn’t I?Posted 1 month ago
Skink are you suggesting the best way to deal with saw depth limitations is to add a whole chunk more on top?
I’m actually going to disagree with kayak re the mitred dovetail. It looks good for a box where the mitre is a top but which you look down on.
But it’s messes up the dovetail repition which will look weird on the edge of the table.Posted 1 month ago
Doesn’t mess it up as it’s equal both sides. Rather it ‘frames’ it and looks more considered than what you otherwise get which on the edge looks effectively like a butt-joint. To me it allows the vertical member to flow through into the horizontal rather than just ‘butting’. Each to their own though innit. 👍 😊
Ishitani does it beautifully as ever.
Now the secret-mitre dovetail… Now there’s a difficult joint that you don’t get to show off about!
Posted 1 month agophiljuniorMember
I think I need to do some woodwork soon. SO is trying to get me to take out some (admittedly quite industrial looking) shelving units, I might make some nice coffee tables if I can manage some nice dovetails!
On that note, any tips on sharpening chisels? And are all chisels roughly created even, or should I be looking at any particular ones (I have a range of fairly blunt old heirloom chisels)Posted 1 month ago
On that note, any tips on sharpening chisels? And are all chisels roughly created even, or should I be looking at any particular ones (I have a range of fairly blunt old heirloom chisels)
Roughly?… Maybe. But steel quality varies a lot as does the general prep of the tool for sale.
I have a beautiful set of Japanese chisels from Workshop Heaven. The steel is laminated and they have a hollow ground back which makes flattening off the back quicker. I also have a thirty year old set of blue plastic Marples that I still use and some Forge Steel Screwfix jobs that I use for whacking stuff.
There’s no reason old ones can’t be put to good use. You can carefully grind a new sharpening angle on to them, then hone a new edge. The problem you sometimes have is pitting which if on the back, can give you problems getting the back absolutely flat.
Very conservative grinding on a bench grinder along with lots of water dunking can bring them back. Then hone on a stone by hand or with a guide.
Paul Sellers always rated the cheap Aldi chisels.Posted 1 month agospursn17Member
I have a range of fairly blunt old heirloom chisels
I’d give these a go before buying a new set, the steel on the old ones may be very good quality?
I’ve had a couple of Bahco 424p chisels that have been great over the last few years, this Xmas someone bought me a set of them but the new ones are made in Spain instead of Sweden like my old ones.Posted 1 month ago
The jury is out, and the verdict will be delivered in a couple of months 😃
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