Boring Tools Till – Dovetails and Sliding Dovetails

May 5, 2020

Today was dovetail day, and I'm still not done, but I made a lot of progress.

As I'm doing mitered shoulder dovetails on the carcass (to practice them for the bookcases I'm building next), I took my time laying them out and cutting them. Spent all morning just cutting the tails.

After lunch, I headed out to the shop to cut the pins. That went pretty well, so I got started on the sliding dovetails for the shelves as well. They're not super hard, but I took pictures along the way, so I'd be better able to remember what I did and any improvements I found along the way.

First step is to layout your lines. Make sure the width is the width of the narrow part of the dovetail (cut in part 1 of this blog).

Lines marked for a sliding dovetail socket

Then saw the two angled lines. As with normal dovetails, start on one end, then angle to the other end. I started on the near side, since it was easier for me to see.

Starting to cut the sliding dovetail with a dovetail saw

After cutting the two angled lines, cut a straight line between them. This will make is easier to chisel out the waste. Note that the depth of this line you're sawing is your depth-gauge, so try to cut it to the line, but no further.

Sides and a middle relief cut made for a sliding dovetail socket

Then chisel our the waste. I did half from the front, turned the board around and did another half (to ¾ of the final depth) from the far side, and about an inch to full depth, then turned the board around again, and finished up from the front.

Chiseling out the waste for a sliding dovetail socket

Half of the waste removed on the first half of the board for the sliding dovetail socket

And that's where I finished the day. I still need to saw out the ten sliding dovetail sockets for the vertical pieces between the two shelves, and also the slots to hang the braces in. And I need to cut rabbets in the rear of the sides and top for the back, so there will be a couple more entries before I'm finished with the carcass.

Major boards for the till with the sockets cut for the sliding dovetails

Thanks for following along!

Contents #woodworking #storage #slidingDovetails #joinery

Discuss... Reply to this in the fediverse: