Skip to content

My Tool Chest is underway!

Welcome! Forums Project Series Tool Chest My Tool Chest is underway!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 41 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #27907
    Sandy
    Participant

    Today was a pretty good day. I worked on a variety of projects from beginning another tote to making parts for my sons presentation case. But my main accomplishment for the day was getting the first two sets of dovetails cut on my tools chest. This thing is going to be much bigger than I thought… Better to big than to small!

    I read somewhere that when you are chopping the waste you should angle your chisel as if you are making a valley in the middle. I didn’t do that because Paul didn’t teach it but I found that I had a crown in the bottom surface of all the dovetails and it took a while to pare it all down flat and square. Anybody else heard of this?

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

    Albert Einstein

    Attachments:
    #27918
    Dave Riendeau
    Participant

    Sandy, the dovetails look good! As far as under cutting joints, I chop them at 90 deg, then pare them with a very very slight recess, it’s barely perceptible. I’ve found it helps get a tight joint line but If you go too deep, the edges are prone to breaking/splintering off. Don’t try to chop them with an undercut because it’s too easy to get carried away. It sounds like you weren’t chopping square. I place a little 3 inch engineers square beside my work piece as a reference when chopping, it helps me to cut straight down.

    Another tip I have, don’t make the joints too tight, I’ve busted many pins/tails because of over tight joints during glue up.

    -Canada

    #28024
    Sandy
    Participant

    Dave, thanks. Yes I tend to make mine to tight as well. I’ve made so many with a big gaps that I find myself over compensating and then I spend twice as much time fitting…. I’m making this out of Aspen and it works a lot like pine. I’m not thrilled with the color but I figured Painting the first one anyway. Maybe the second or third one will be made out of something nice… Cherry maybe. πŸ™‚

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

    Albert Einstein

    #28031
    Mark Armstrong
    Participant

    A little trick to keep your chisel perpendicular is to clamp a block on your shoulder line use block as a guide for your chisel.
    I prefer to go free hand with chisel requires a bit more feel and skill.

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    #28036
    Scott V
    Participant

    Sandy-

    I think your Aspen looks nice (and clear). Where do you get Aspen lumber?

    To avoid a fragile shoulder, I do the same as Dave: Chop at 90 degrees and then pare lightly (only where necessary) just to take down any high points that I see. My goal is to make the socket perfectly flat, but I will err on the side of a hollow if there is any doubt.

    In pine, I am now getting my dovetails to fit pretty much off the saw with just a bit of cleanup – but I have never cut dovetails in hardwood. I suspect I am in for a rude awakening…

    -Scott Los Angeles, California, USA

    #28037
    Sandy
    Participant

    I tried a set of dovetails out of oak and a piece of pine and they came out perect. Could it be my choice of wood? I’ll try taking a closeup picture of the texture I’m getting when chopping the Aspin. Could the fibers be pulling our a bit before shearing off? Sounds strange I know but something is happening.

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

    Albert Einstein

    #28038
    Sandy
    Participant

    Scott, I got the Aspin at Lowes. Who knows if that’s really what it is but that’s what they called it. And it matches the color and grain pattern in the book.

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

    Albert Einstein

    #28039
    Scott V
    Participant

    Looks like Quaking Aspen (Janka 350) can be softer than Basswood (Janka 410). Probably crushes pretty easily.

    -Scott Los Angeles, California, USA

    #28040
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    Sandy, the dovetails look nice. I have never worked with Aspen, but I have heard that it can be “fuzzy” when you cut it, or maybe a bit “stringy”. Does that sound at all like what you are seeing? I have also heard that if finishes well, so that should be encouraging for your paint job.

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #28043
    Dave Riendeau
    Participant

    @rroselavy, yes dovetails in hardwood is a new experience πŸ™‚

    -Canada

    #28045
    Ron Harper
    Participant

    I have a dovetail paring jig that I use as my last step. It takes longer, but it really helps my joints. My goal is to get away from it. I was trained to cut dovetails another way, and Paul’s method has been an adjustment for me. I still vacillate between using a coping saw to cut out waste, and Paul’s method. I better pick one and stick with it

    #28425
    Sandy
    Participant

    Steve, I haven’t had a problem with fuzz. Aspen is actually softer than I expected. It has a tendency to pull the fibers out in the bottom when I chopped the waste out. I don’t like that because I am going to have some pockets of glue inside that won’t dry for a while. I’ll be out in the shop tomorrow and take some pictures and post it. I suspect that I may have been too aggressive in chopping on a few or maybe my chisel got a little dull. It is pretty though.

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

    Albert Einstein

    #28427
    Dave Riendeau
    Participant

    Sandy, I look forward to the photos. Aspen is what they make chopsticks out of πŸ™‚ It should look nice. Building a toolbox out of cherry will get expensive fast, I contemplated going with hardwood on my build that’s currently underway and the cost would have been prohibitive. on mine it is in the area of 120 board feet and my hardwood prices are in the area of 6-9 dollars per bf… 700-1000 dollars! I chose pine with a hardwood kick board and lid. Painted the pine box with dark green milk paint and the walnut accents it nicely.

    -Canada

    #28429
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    Sandy, I’ve bought some aspen from Lowes too. It’s hit and miss. Some is pretty hard some seems soft. All of it has had squirrelly grain. For the soft stuff I wipe the end grain down with denatured alcohol before my final paring cuts. It helps for a clean cut and the alcohol evaporates clean. Once your done, it does take paint really well.

    What you have so far looks really good.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #28444
    Sandy
    Participant

    Dave, I recently found a hardwood store in the Tulsa area and I went by there yesterday and picked up a piece of African mahogany. It was 6.75 BF. I don’t think I could afford to build big project with it but one thing is for sure, when you start working wood that you pay big bucks for, your really careful not to make mistakes to protect your investment. πŸ™‚

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

    Albert Einstein

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 41 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.