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Dovetail Pins first.

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    David Perrott

    Does anyone saw the pins first? I like to try things for myself and not take others ideas as written in stone. I had been thinking about it after I read that Chris Schwarz did pins first for a year and I saw a video of Frank Klausz doing pins first. At first it seemed so strange. After doing it for a while, it works so much better for me to do pins first. I find it much easier to mark the tails from the pins. Just curious if others do the pins first.

    Mark Armstrong

    Been having a go at pins first today my results not to good down to me more than the method. I also was only using small pine stock. So only 2 dovetails on board 2 1/2″ wide 3/8 thick. Just eyeballing where pins went cut dovetail sockets with coping saw paired to base line. Then marked the tails on other board with pencil. Easier to mark than tails first. The biggest problem I could not get my head round was that you cutting the dovetails from inside out. May be Japanese saw do the job? I chopped pin socket out and cut shoulders with saw tried to fit lol. I would post some pictures but to embarissed.
    I started off to see how fast I could cut using pin first method.
    Well just the two dovetails took just over 5 mins fit abysmal.
    I had several more attempts gradually getting slower just so the fit would get better. After ninth attempted I had dovetails half except able time took nearer 9 mins. More practise in order me thinks

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    David Perrott

    It does feel so strange at first. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing at first. To me it seems so much easier to mark the tails from the pin, and thats why I go for it. That used to be my big problem with tails first. The one problem I have is I don’t know how to “lay out” the pins first so I just kind of eyeball it. I have moved more into just eyeballing it. I don’t want to make things complicated. If things aren’t spaced evenly, oh well! I did dovetail a piece tails first recently and it felt strange. My dovetails aren’t perfect but to me the process seems easier with pins first. I even started using a gents saw for dovetails. I really like it. I think P.S. has talked about the direct line of thrust and it is true. To me the saw seems more nimble and flexible. I feel like I have more control!


    After Frank Klaus cut them tails first and seeing how easy it is for him makes me want to try. Haven’t turned yet.


    I am still learning but I prefer cutting tails first, to me it just feels more natural. My couple attemps with pins first was less than steller.


    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US

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