Defeated by Small Dovetail Box

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  • #21471
    John Moore
    Participant

    I have been sharing my victories (projects that went well), this one defeated me. Just about everything went wrong on this box.

    It is ok, because it was just for practice. Let me just list the short comings:

    1. I sawed on the wrong side of my line on one of the pin recess, resulting in a super gap and very loose dovetail.

    2. I managed to gap 3 out of 4 dovetails.

    3. I planed and scraped off all the markings on all the pieces. A to A, B to B, etc.

    4. I got glue everywhere.

    5. The box was squared until I clamped it out of square.

    6. I measured the bottom wrong resulting in length falling too short for a round over.

    7. I was trying to follow Mr. Sellers demo on the pencil box to make the bead NOT go through corners. I got 3 out of 4, then ran right off the edge.

    Over all, I am still glad I completed the box. It was lessons learned. I will still use the box for something.

    The sides are mahogany, bottom is poplar. I applied a couple layers of shellac. It is approx. 8″ by 4″ and 1.75 ” tall.

    Lakeland, Florida USA

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    #21474
    Ken
    Participant

    Thanks for posting this John, I though it was just me having one of those projects.

    I think its great seeing those projects that did not turn out as well as we hoped, good job 😉

    #21478
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    Great post John. I know I learn more from my errors then my successes. Sometimes I get tired of learning though ;). Its still a handsome and useful box.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #22346
    Sandy
    Participant

    John, Dove tail boxes kick my butt every day… I saw one of Paul’s videos on YouTube about the 8 minute dovetail box. I’m down to about 45 minutes and mine still don’t look near as good as the 8 minute boxes I saw, and for all the reasons you noted in yourpost… Keep chopping!

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

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    #22350
    Mark Armstrong
    Participant

    I concur with Greg still a useful and a good learning curve.
    I can cut Mortise and Tenon joints without much of a problem.
    Dovetails alway been my nemesis but I am getting better.
    Keep sawing and chopping you will get there.

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    #22360
    DeniseG
    Participant

    I just completed the sides on my second dovetail box. This box was designed to have the sliding lid in a grove.

    BUT>>>>> in my excitement to finish, I glued up the sides before plowing the groove. I still haven’t figured out how to salvage this one. And my dovetails have a long way to go, but the mistakes keep piling up…..as does the practice and experience.

    i'd prefer to make it myself

    #22366
    Ken
    Participant

    These dovetailed boxes are so addictive, yes mistakes happen all the time for me also like cutting the tail off instead of the waist in between.

    It will be Interesting how you salvage this one Denise 😉

    #22368
    Mark Armstrong
    Participant

    @deniseg
    You could make a scratch stock to make groove it will be slower than a plough plane but it could work just finish ends in corners with chisel. Will be tricky and lot of patients. Also use gauge lines and use cutter you make on scratch stock in between those gauge line.
    I used scratch stock on my clock to do stringing I can’t see why you cannot make a bigger cutter you do nee a bit of saw plate or old card scraper.

    Picture of my scratch stock.

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    Attachments:
    #22371
    mking1
    Participant

    @deniseg – If it makes you feel any better, I took my box apart and started making the groove on the outside face of the box. Luckily I hadn’t gone too deep, and it could be salvaged by planing about 1/16th” off both sides.

    You might still be able to cut the grooves with a narrow ‘gents saw’ and chisel out with a 1/4″ chisel. Would take a lot of patience but probably just about possible.

    #22378
    John Moore
    Participant

    Learning curves, sometimes are painful.

    Thanks for the comments and support.

    Lakeland, Florida USA

    #22405
    DeniseG
    Participant

    Martin and Mark. Thanks for the great ideas. I think I can make a knife walk for the grove with my circular cutter marking gauge and then use scratch stock and a gent saw to plow the grove out. I had almost given up on the lid but now I’m keen to try these ideas.
    I’ll be back to wood work as so as the turkey and pies are cooked.

    i'd prefer to make it myself

    #22406
    David Perrott
    Participant

    I did the same thing. I did a box with the best dovetails I have ever done. I glued it up then realized I forgot to run the groove for the lid. I tried to take it apart but the molecular bond had formed! I never did figure out how to fix it. I think I sawed it apart. I think I have made every possible mistake!

    #22476
    David Gill
    Participant

    Denise
    You could just make a lift off lid , see type of box I made to keep some of my marking and measuring tools in

    Wigan, Lancs. England :

    Attachments:
    #22484
    DeniseG
    Participant

    David, that gives me another idea. I could do a pinned hinge lid which would make use of the lower front. I’m pleased to have another functional box for tools – chisels this time.

    i'd prefer to make it myself

    #22504
    Dave
    Participant

    Folks, you have to remember that when watching Paul, you are watching a practised hand with some 40-50 years (I think) experience making stuff out of wood.

    I had the same issues when I first started doing dovetails, but after finishing a whole lot of boxes, tool cabinets etc, they don’t intimidate me now. All it takes is practice and after a while you’ll be cutting them without even thinking about them. Keep at it and keep smiling!

    -Canada

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