|Where most projects begin|
When a project is designed as a speculation piece, its' design and construction has to stand out from the ordinary things people can buy elsewhere. The trick is to provide enough special details to set it apart without pricing it completely out of the market -- a tall order in these economic times! My forte is my emphasis on old world craftsmanship and hand cut joinery so dovetails were in order. The one area of dovetails that causes me the most grief is maintaining an even edge where the two pieces come together. I decided to try a technique I've read about where you cut a relief on the inside of the tailboard like this:
|Chisel the Shoulder Line|
It's easy to see that initial cut that will give a sharp, finished edge to the inside of the cabinet.
Something else I'd like to point out here as well. First, the board was scribed to the required thickness and angled tails were cut. Now, before using the saw to cut the shoulders I chiseled out a wedge of wood just as you'd do to remove area between the tails. Finally, I cut about a 1/16th. of an inch from the shoulder line. Why go to all of that? Let me show you:
|Paring the Shoulder|
Those initial cuts with the chisel give a great visual reference. Notice the different appearance of the wood where it's been sliced with the chisel (darker & smoother) compared to where it was cut with the dovetail saw which appears cloudy and fuzzy. By slicing diagonally it's fairly easy to achieve a smooth shoulder. Actually it would be better to undercut this than leave it high.
Another advantage to cutting that initial piece of the edge of the board is that it's much easier to line it up when you lay out your pin board:
|Transferring Tails to Pin Board|
|Removing waste from the Pin Board|
Now that the bottoms of the cases are dovetailed, the next step will be to cut a sliding dovetail for the center shelf. This will be done with a router using the same technique that Dennis Patchett showed at one of the Sin City Woodworkers meetings.