After the first toolbox mistake I wanted to practice some dovetailing.   I have a couple of extra boards of the 3/8″ x 5 1/4″ pine I used for the tool rack backboards and ripped out a set of 12″ and 5 1/4″ lengths to build a small box.  Oddly enough on one of the boards had what looks like a bit of curl, in pine?  Anyway, it’s a nice little shimmery ripple so I’ve set a couple of pieces on the off chance my box turns out it can have a slightly fancy lid.

I used a template I made ages ago after watching  How to make a Paul Sellers dovetail template (Youtube).  Works great, though I think one of the square sides could be a little squarer.  I also opted to chop rather than cut the waste out with a coping saw, as my saw is a piece of junk and the wood is so small.  Layout with a compass (need to find some dividers) and marking knife and guages and get cutting.

Round 1

Holy gaps Batman!

I think this one was mostly up to rough cuts followed by sloppy paring.  Sharpen up the chisel.  Working with a 1/8″ chisel on my diamond stones  is a little more challenging, I think I may have put a bit of a skew on the edge and I’ll have to re-establish the bevels in the near future.

Having read the latest issue of Fine Woodworking, I busted out some painter’s tape and tried the “painter’s tape trick” (How to cut perfect dovetails with tape (paywall).  Well, they didn’t turn out perfect but there was a definite improvement.

Round 2

Better, snug and ugly.

Paring was easier with a sharp chisel.

Round 3

Better yet, but over pared and not square.

Round 4

Best fit across, somehow sockets aren’t deep enough.

4 sides and 4 corners

Almost a box!

It’s somehow square.  I’ll probably knock it apart, trim the dovetails off and make a mitered or rebated box from it.

The pine is way too soft for me to get a good practice going, so I’m going to collect some harder wood from the big box and see how that goes for practice.  I see lots of recommendations for poplar and soft maple, both of which are plentiful among the box stores.

Dovetail practice
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