Welcome! Forums Project Series Dovetail Boxes The "daily dovetail" challenge

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  • #135398
    sodbuster
    Participant

    I took on the ‘dovetail a day’ challenge a while ago. Since I’m a slow learner, I fugured to try 60, instead of 30. Long story short, it took a lot longer than 60 days, but was worth the bother to keep chopping away. I progressed from chunks of Ikea shelving offcuts to a selection of pine, fir, oak, and walnut. I’m still not good, but certainly not intimidated. The process also helped a lot with sharpening, layout, pin/tail design, chisel technique, …

    I now have 8 boxes that need tops, bottoms, or both, and a good box of kindling. 🙂

    Next series will be half-blind. I may also try this approach on mortise & tenons.

    Anyone else want to have a go, or post what they have done?

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    #135402
    wabower
    Participant

    This post probably demonstrates “a deep and profound grasp of the obvious” but I have found that a couple of “warm-up practice joints” on scraps that are similar to the material in my upcoming project are extremely beneficial in terms of sharpening my skills (NPI) for the upcoming joinery.

    This is especially true if some time has passed since my last saw-and-chisel exercise. Nor am I ashamed to admit to an occasional peek at Rev. Paul’s instruction video on the applicable techniques, as well as a few minutes to assure everything is sharpened up. He’s a handy guy to have around.

    #135414
    lowpolyjoe
    Participant

    Great collection. I love the idea but I’m too impatient to spend time on joints that aren’t going towards a specific project 🙂

    I’ve only tried dovetails a few times. The first effort was a complete mess but I still have the box I built holding some chisels. Every time I look at it, it reminds me to be more careful with my work. heh.

    #135415
    Derek Long
    Participant

    This is the best advice for anyone trying to learn to make perfect dovetails, I think. When I started cutting dovetails, I took two lengths of 1×3 pine and made a single dovetail, cut it off and set it aside, started another one on the two lengths, rinse repeat. I practiced and practiced and practiced. My dovetails looked good by about 20, not too bad at all by the time I’d cut 50 on practice and project pieces.

    Paul had a blog post or a comment on a project video awhile ago about a former student repeating a class a year later, and he was really impressed by how perfect his dovetails were. He made a bunch of dovetail boxes for Christmas presents.

    Practice makes perfect.

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado

    #135416
    David Perrott
    Participant

    I’m doing the dovetail a day thing too. I just make the joint like Derek above and not make anything. I’ve actually done a lot of dovetails on projects but thought I would try this. I picked up a lot of free 1×3’s so why not!

    #135438
    sodbuster
    Participant

    I find too that working on a ‘real’ project increases my attention & motivation. That’s why I switched to making boxes after the first few days. I do find some warm-up practice is worthwhile though. I sometimes will make a dozen or so sawcuts to some lines in a piece of scrap that is destined for the woodstove anyway.

    #138617
    beach512
    Participant

    Great idea and nice photo of all your practice pieces. I also am trying this but I am shooting for 100 dovetail corners done. This amounts to making 25 boxes. I have made 7 so far. With each one I am getting better and more comfortable.

    Dave

    #138618
    beach512
    Participant

    Great idea and nice photo of all your practice pieces. I also am trying this but I am shooting for 100 dovetail corners done. This amounts to making 25 boxes. I have made 7 boxes so far. With each one I am getting better and more comfortable. It may take a while, but it will be worth it.
    Right now I got sidetracked making the chessboard project.

    Dave

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