Sunday, December 28, 2008


An annoying amount of jointing, planing, ripping and cutting to length results in sides, fronts, and backs for two small drawers. I'll be dovetailing them using my Incra TS fence on the router table. Another annoying amount time of setting up the bit height, centering the stock, and choosing a dovetail pattern leads to the first cutting step: putting a dovetail-shaped rabbet on the back of the tailboards.

The tailboards are stacked up vertically, clamped to my homebrew right-angle fixture, and fed thru the dovetail bit...

...which results in this very pretty pattern. Note that the pretty pattern has "closed" cuts on the tailboards. The Incra dovetail pins have round interiors, so the tailboard has to end on "open" cuts. I remembered this was important when I was picking a pattern, but I didn't think about it enough before cutting. These are worthless...

...or are they? In order to end on an "open cut", I routed off the outside tails. That left one big tail in the center which somehow didn't seem right, so I split the big center tail.

The pins are routed by feeding the stock into the bit laying flat. The block on the left limits the depth of cut.
Since I was "off the template," I had to figure the pin cuts manually, and it was wierd: there were two cuts from the template, but then I had to back 1/32" off what I assume was half-way to the following template cuts. Translation: it took a lot of head scratching, scribbling, and a few test cuts to place the pin cuts - it may look like there's just two passes here, but each one of those pockets is wider than the cutter, so it takes four passes on each pinboard to get to this point.

A fairly odd-looking joint. They're not pressed together fully, because they are snug enough that I'm concerned I'd split the tails off trying to get them back apart (they need to be dadoed for the bottom before glue-up).

Now that I'm looking at it, another problem is that the bottom dado cut will have to be stopped on each end of the pinboard: if the bottom dado is located over a tail, you can do thru cuts because the "open" ends of the pinboard dado are buried under a tail (the "open" end of the tailboard dado cut terminates either inside the pin pocket or butts against the inside face of the pinboard). As it is now, if I fall asleep again when routing the dadoes, there will be a little rectangular hole in the end grain of the pinboard below the lower tail.

Maybe I'll just start over and do them right.

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