I have truly enjoyed the journey, friends. Many of you have told me that you HAVE enjoyed learning how to get from the makings of a plain dovetail, to an inlaid dovetail. In this episode I show the process of cutting the pin sockets in the walnut (accent) board, to make room for thinner pins boards that will provide the contrast in the joint.I have made these joints many times, but I still managed to blow out the walnut in one end of each dovetail board. I decided to include these failures in the film, to show that things can go wrong at times. As I explain in the video, the failure resulted due to insufficient glue/contact during the clamping time. I did not anticipate these failures this time, as I got cocky and just “knew” I had done a really good job <grin> during on-camera glue-up, in Part 2.Although I did not show all the steps to make the repairs to the ends of the boards where the walnut failed, it is a CAN-DO thing: Simply do the following, to keep you from milling new boards – especially if you are using expensive, exotic woods:
- Carefully, sand away the walnut that remains on the face of the dovetail board(s) – voilà, clean board(s), ready to re-apply new inlay board(s)! If you find a better way of doing this, let me know
- Re-install the dovetail bit on the router
- Adjust the bit depth to the original depth – that is, the thickness of the walnut board; HOW??? Simple: Insert the now-cleaned board end in the jig, place the router on the finger assembly, and adjust the bit depth using the now-clean pin sockets as your depth template.
- Re-open the guide fingers using the shims, as outlined in the procedure
- Re-cut the pin sockets, to remove the walnut
- Now cut the pins on the dark (walnut) board(s)
- Glue the walnut to the light (sycamore) board(s)
- Close the guide fingers in the proper sequence, using shims as needed
- Re-cut the pin sockets in the dark (walnut), leaving the inlay on the dovetail board(s) ===>>> Repaired board(s)
If you want to make inlaid dovetails, I suggest you download the Leigh procedure procedure; it is posted at the Leigh Support Page. While the procedure is specific to the D4 24-inch jig, some of you have already told me via e-mail you may be able to adapt some or most of the steps to your non-Leigh jig. Please post your comments via the link at the bottom of this write-up, to share with others your successes. Some of you also have made up your minds, and have already decided to get a new Leigh jig to make these joints – let me know if you do!
A critical part of the entire procedure involves milling, very precisely, the shims used to spread the jig’s guides. I recommend you keep it simple: If you will use an 8° dovetail router bit, you will need shims that are 1.15 times thicker than the inlay thickness you wish to have. This is “to compensate for the geometry of the angled cut and changing cutter depth”, according to the Leigh step-by-step write-up.In its simplest form, I use shims that are 116 mils thick ( 0.116″ ). This is because my target is always 100 mils ( 0.100″ ) inlay thickness.
NOTE: As I mentioned in Part 1, two disk drives crashed and delayed my video-making adventure. Although I am able to produce video at this time, I have some glitches that result in out-of-sync audio and video, especially toward the end of this episode. I am still trying to figure out what may have happened to cause this. I apologize for this glitch in the video, folks!
Acknowledgment: I thank Marc Spagnuolo, TheWoodWhisperer, for all his help as I muddled through this entire video posting process, and various minutiae related to blogging in general. Thanks, buddy!