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Halfblind Dovetails in Jarrah



I thought I'd try something new (to me) when dovetailing the drawers.

First of all, here is my dovetailing bench. I set up a moxon vise on an extension table. It is higher than my bench and easier to direct light over the work.



There are 12 drawers in all. All have dark Jarrah fronts. Even with extra directed light, it is difficult to see the lines transfered from the tail board to the dark endgrain of the Jarrah. Jarrah endgrain is hard enough to chop away. Struggling to see the lines makes it hell. 24 sides to do ...

I recalled reading a tip about a year ago that involved using blue tape. I do not recall the name of the individual (my apologies), nor the details of his method - for all I know he was marking through dovetails. Anyway, I thought I would give it a go on the first drawer, and would use it for the others if it helped.

The tail boards were sawn and chiseled in the usual manner. Then it was time to transfer the marks to the pin board.

The pin board was clamped in the vise. As seen, it has a scribe mark to denote the depth of the pins ...



The blue tape is added, running between the two boundaries. Cut it away from the sides as the edges will later be needed for registering the tail board.



Now you can place the tail board over the pin board to transfer marks ...



Remember to use a Vesper knife!!!




It is not easy to see the cut lines ...



... until you peel away the waste areas ..



The lines stood out so clearly that sawing to the lines was really easy.



Here you can see how close to the lines I managed to get ..



I've posted this before but I'll show it again. Several years ago, influenced by Tage Frid, I made a "kerf chisel" to deepen the kerf on the half-sawn pins. This has a blade the same thickness as the saw plate. The end of the blade is square to prevent splitting the grain. As a precaution I add clamps to prevent any blow out.





The pins were chopped out ...



... and the tail board given a trial fit ...



That is a nice fit! No adjustments required. Easy peasy.

I've got a long way to go, and I did not get much time this and last weekend. I have the afternoon free tomorrow. Perhaps I will get one or more done, now that the first is completed and the rhythm is there.

A while ago I asked advice about dovetail number and sizes. Now you will see what I plan ...

The drawer is complete save for the base. I will do these all later.





A front ...



... and a rear ...



Here are images of the slips:

From the rear ...



Through the drawer ...



.. and internal details (note that the ends are tenoned into the front groove) .. front (on lefty) and rear (at right)...



One last item, a jig I used. I had planned to use the drawer opening to square the drawer as the glue dried. However the sides did need a little planing, so I turned to this jig that I got from Andrew Crawford, when I went on a box-making course with him.



Just clamp two sides and all four must end up square ..



Regards from Perth

Derek

September 2011