Cutlery box dovetails


So I cut a few dovetails. I started with the front which went well until I put them together. There is a body of opinion that suggests dovetails should only be put together once. I.E. you cut them, do some checks and then glue up. This probably works if you’ve spent your life cutting dovetails but I haven’t so I did a dry test fit. Test fit was fine, no splitting and the joints looked neat. Then I went to take them apart which required a little mallet persuasion and I found out how fragile my front piece is. Fortunately the break was clean and easily glued back together. Maybe when I cut the other front corner I will go straight for the glue. Squeaky bum time!

Here are some more dovetail cutting pics:

Cutting dovetails can be quite a relaxing occupation. It requires concentration but not a great deal of deep thought, just accurate mechanical repetition and some patience. Checking that everything is on order before trying to put the joint together is essential. The pins have to square to the shoulders. If the gap narrows towards the bottom you’re likely to get a big split down the grain and all that work will have been for nothing. Also making sure the shoulders are all flat will avoid unsightly gaps and it goes without saying that the tails themselves have to be square across.

That’s as far as I’ve got with the cutlery box so the next cutlery box episode may be a while. In the meantime back to term 2 at the John Lloyd school of fine furniture making.

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