I use the Rob Cosman marker and it’s got two ratios on it, one for soft and the other for hard wood. Mark the outside "show" faces on the panels, and label the corner joints to keep their orientation clear. About: The Dogfather, Chris Giffrow || Youtuber, Maker of things... mostly from wood. Whether you use jigs or not, whether you clear waste with a router, chisel, or a coping saw, whatever it is that you do to dovetail, the end result is ALL that matters. Start by preparing your stock, cutting it to final size and making sure the ends are square. Besides the jig, you also need a decent router-at least a 10-amp model and, ideally, one with a 1/2″ collet. However, what's important to note with dovetails is that practice is incredibly important. I clean up all my tails with the chisel just to get rid of some of the saw marks and make everything look a little smoother before transferring to the pin board. Before sawing, I hit the saw plate with some paraffin wax. Items shipped directly from the manufacturer cannot be returned in store. Next, saw the tails down to the baselines with a fine-toothed dovetail saw, following your layout lines. Pare only from the angled, inside faces of the pins, leaving the tail pattern alone. Over the past 10 years, the number of jigs on the market has risen to more than a dozen major models, while costs continue to inch down. For the glue up itself, I really focus on the pin boards. Once the jig is set you can crank out a lot of joints relatively quickly. The most returns you'll get from practice is sawing practice. On the initial router pass across the visible face of a board, carefully move the router in the same direction as bit rotation instead of the more typical opposite-to-rotation approach. With my other set of dividers, I’m going to walk across the width of the board twice for two tails. Now, fit the corner joints together one joint at a time. Do the Distinctive Series templates replace variable spacing jigs? Start by preparing your stock, cutting it to final size and making sure the ends are square. Dovetails make a beautiful and strong joint. I don’t remember where I learned this little trick with the chisel, but I shimmy off my base line for the half pins, and then chop down to create a kerf track to saw out the half pins. We are proud of the quality of our products, and we stand behind them 100%. I will always fill in the gap with sawdust from the wood species of whatever the exposed end grain is. I milled milled these rabbets with a wide straight bit in the router table. Then when you flip it, angle the chisel to try to avoid bruising the pins. Attach the dovetail bit to the router. Because of my technique and my extreme right handedness, most of my error tends to lean in the same direction. But I doubt you’ll ever catch me with a Bridge City Tool Works VP-60, Veritas router plane or a Lie-Nielsen shoulder plane if I’m trying to complete a project quickly. You can get a lifetime supply of this stuff at your local Walmart for about three dollars and it it’s great for planes and saws alike. Then lay out the centerpoints of the pins, with a half pin on the top end of the chest only. The bottoms of the pin sockets are 1/2" wide, and I set the angles of the tails to a 1:6 slope (about 10°). You can adjust your ratio and your tails at will. If you have to use CA glue to fix blow out or chip out, use a medium or thick, so that it can be blended in appropriately. The marking gauge will set the base lines for your pins and tails so since we’re doing tails first, I’ll set the marking gauge off my pin boards and strike the base line on all four sides of the tail board and both ends. Then, I finish-sanded the inside faces of all four chest panels up to 180-grit and assembled the chest carcass with glue and clamps, making sure the box is square by measuring across its diagonals. Wherever a router bit exits wood, it almost always leaves behind chipped corners that will ruin the appearance of your dovetails. Where there's mahogany sawdust showing, I use that species sawdust. If you don't clean up your tails well, sometimes you can see a bit of a squirrley line on your finished product. Fortunately, there’s a solution for those of us who like the looks of a “custom” dovetail joint, but don’t have the time, patience or perhaps even the skills to cut them by hand. The Leigh jig is a sophisticated piece of equipment, a fact that you’ll find reflected in the price. With each side panel clamped at a comfortable working height for hand-sawing, cut straight down to the baselines to form the angled faces of the pins. The pin and tail guide fingers are infinitely adjustable, allowing not only ultimate control over the look of the joint, but also the ability to set up a perfect half pin at either end of the joint, regardless of the dimension of the material. It’s just not my thing. This will allow your tails and pins to settle all the way to the baseline. If you have a thinner blade, you can certainly go smaller. For these items, please call the store where you purchased them or our customer service department at 1-800-376-7856 so we can assist you. Repeat for the other three corner joints. Smashing them with a joiners mallet to get them to fit is only going to encourage splits and catastrophe. Use a sharp, thin-bladed pocketknife or a marking knife to scribe these lines.

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