Mmm.... Dovetails - Part Deux

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Monty

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Monty
Scrap walnut. Wiped on some mineral spirits to show the color. Not as much contrast with the end-grain as I was expecting...





This is one foot wide. What do you guys think about the number and spacing of the pins?

Oh yeah, almost forgot - I tried a little "experimental design element" in that last tail on the right... :oops: what you ya'll think?!?!? :lol:
 

DaveO

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DaveO
I like the random spacing that can be done with the D4, makes them look more like hand cut. The Oct. '05 issue of Pop. WW'ing has a good article on dovetails by Frank Klausz, with a good diagram on pin/tail spacing. The invisible pin at the end is a very creative idea:lol: . Some BLO will give you better end grain contrast with Walnut. Dave:)
 

Monty

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Monty
OK, guys... what about this layout? I took away two pins - less crowding in the middle. I'm looking for feedback on design here...




The glue line goes right through the center pin, but I don't think that would be as noticeable if the panel didn't have sapwood in this spot (this is still a practice piece). Oh, and no more "invisible tails"!
 

DaveO

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DaveO
I like that better than the first. I really am fond of greatly varied spacing with Dt's. Why not lose the middle pin and enlarge the adjacent tails to be 1.5 -2 times the others. I don't know if that make any sense:eusa_thin . None the less, your Dts look better than the ones I can't make yet:eusa_clap . Dave:)
 

mshel

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Michael Shelley
What about the pin size? Does the jig allow you to vary its size? Nice looking DT's. It would be nice if you were able to get that (English looking pin; Very thin1 ) Since I hand cut mine, I have never had a desire for a D4 but can see where it would be benificial if you had a ton to cut.
 

Jonz

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Chris Jones
I like the 2nd one better as I tend to like the larger tail/smaller pin ratio.

I think the glue line is fine there. To my eye it would look ok about anywhere overall but I would try to center it on the pin or tail, however it worked out, just like you did.
 

Monty

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Monty
DaveO - I also like the "variable" spacing that the D4 allows. This keeps the dovetails from looking too "machine-made". This really is a well-designed jig!


Mshel - Yea I agree, the pins are too fat for my liking! As far as I can tell, that's the absolute skinniest you can get with the jig. The width is dictated by the size of the bit and the width of the guide bearing. I can make them wider, but not any narrower. Maybe when I can get my chisels sharper and a good dovetail saw, I can start practicing hand-cut dovetails.


Jonz - thanks - the first example had a glue line in the middle pin also, but you can't see it since the endgrain there is a more uniform color at that glue line.
 

Big Mike

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Mike
I like the second one better as well. I think the spacing gives more of an impression of hand cut dovetails. Of course if you don't tell I won't tell either.:cool:
 

Monty

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Monty
Thanks. Obviously I'm just learning here. I remember being impressed how David Marks set up his jig on one of his shows, and I wanted to try to replicate that to some extent.

I found this on his website:

According to conventional woodworking wisdom, smaller dovetail pins are more aesthetically pleasing than larger ones. And by varying the placement and spacing of the dovetails within the layout -- creating an irregular pattern -- the "corn-on-the-cob" look can be avoided. This can provide more visual interest and create the impression of handmade dovetailing.


Overall I'm pretty happy with the layout. I think having a pin in the center looks good. I think I'll make the two end pins a little narrower, though. Right now they look a little more than half the size of the full pins.

Stay tuned...
 

woodguy1975

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John
The dovetail layout does look good. The only thing I wish we could do with the D4 is make a little narrower pins. :-(

It looks like a nice project you are working on.

John
 
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