Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Dovetrailsawtrackworld?
  • Premier Icon elwoodblues
    Free Member

    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?

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    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=price

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Full Member

    How big are the dovetails?
    Too big for a japanese saw with a spine?
    Like this…
    https://www.axminster.co.uk/shokunin-japanese-tatebiki-dovetail-saw-240mm-105009

    Premier Icon mahowlett
    Free Member

    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 🙂

    Premier Icon mahowlett
    Free Member

    @AlexSimon I’ve got one of those, it’s shallower than a veritas dovetail saw, which I also have, they both make beautiful fine cuts though :), if you can get away with it the Veritas tenon saw will do the job perfectly and it’s a little deeper…

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Full Member

    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.
    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!

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    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.

    Premier Icon mahowlett
    Free Member

    Premier Icon elwoodblues
    Free Member

    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?

    Premier Icon stevied
    Full Member

    No actual input on dovetails but that video is brilliant. Will be trying to remember that whenever I need to do some woodworking 🤙🏼

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Full Member

    @mahowlett thanks for posting the vid. I couldn’t remember the name knifewall, so no wonder I didn’t find it!
    Had a hunch it was Paul Sellers – I’ve learnt so much from his videos 🙂

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    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?

    Premier Icon elwoodblues
    Free Member

    A Domino machine would be nice, but sadly I am not a millionaire! 🙂

    I have a plate joiner, though, but I don’t think the joints will be strong enough. Besides, I really want to try my hand at making dovetails.

    Decisions, decisions…

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Mitre dovetail joint ftw. Nice looking joint with a better looking front edge.

    That Japanese saw you have would be perfect I’d say providing it’s sharp.

    Premier Icon elwoodblues
    Free Member

    That mitre dovetail looks ace! Bit complicated, I expect? I’ll have a go with the japanese saw, see how it looks… The planks are 40 millimeter thick, so I need to remove quite a lot of wood.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    With big areas to remove I’d perhaps cut your main cuts, then get rid of the bulk of the waste with a jigsaw perhaps? Only be very careful that the blade doesn’t wang off to the side in such thick material.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Watch Paul sellers video to build a frame saw… Then use that.

    Premier Icon daviek
    Full Member

    I’m quite handy at a bit of woodwork but I could loose hours watching Paul Sellers

    Premier Icon skink2020
    Full Member

    Buy a Katz-Moses dovetail jig. I assure you it is worth it.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    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.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    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!

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Full Member

    Now the secret-mitre dovetail… Now there’s a difficult joint that you don’t get to show off about!

    I’ll leave that to the Japanese 🙂

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    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)

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    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.

    Premier Icon spursn17
    Free Member

    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.
    The jury is out, and the verdict will be delivered in a couple of months 😃

    Premier Icon elwoodblues
    Free Member

    I don’t trust my freehand skills when sharpening chisels. I use a combination 400/1000 grit diamond stone and a Veritas honing guide… I also have access to a Scheppach grinding machine, but only use it on chisels in a real sorry state.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Full Member

    Glue & nails & stop messing about 👍

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Rather it ‘frames’ it and looks more considered than what you otherwise get which on the edge looks effectively like a butt-joint

    Sorry not that bit, I totally agree there.

    I meant the squared off pin.

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