Sunday, November 23, 2008


This week was Tail Week. With the pins of the dovetails complete it was time to scribe the pins to the tail stock. These curved side present many problem solving challenges along the way and this was another one. I could use my vises or even my chopping block to hold the pieces so this is what I did. I had to shape the ends of the pins to match the inside curve of the tail stock. Stood them upright at 90 degrees and put a weight across them to keep them in place. Since you're only using what force it takes to draw a line with a pencil the stability of the scribe set-up doesn't need to be rock solid.

I kept my side pieces extra long because I knew this was going to be a difficult joint and I wanted to nail it as best as I could... which means multiple tries, though once you get the front 2 you don't have 2nd chances on the back ones. 4 cautious days and 9 sets of tails later I put down my chisels and took a big sigh of relief. Finished with the tapered curved dovetails!

Time to move on! I now needed to put a groove in the bottom for a panel and a rebate in the top for a nice little recess for the lid to settle in. I re-sawed my chopping block to use as a "cradle" to use the shaper and get 90 degree cuts.

Here is a photo of the box carcass with the pins cut down and the rebate prepared. If you're thinking that it looks kind of dirty, you'd be right. All the handling from making the joints left it a little gray. This Arbutus is pretty good at showing dirt, but don't fear it will get cleaned up and a coat or two of wax will keep it that way.

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