I shared with you my first results in doing hand-cut dovetails. The results were less than satisfactory, as my accuracy in sawing to a line was poor, and I overshot the depth of cut in several places. This post shows the progress I have made since that earlier experience.
The first three photos show the entire set of tails. I marked the tail boards to remind me which tails (and their corresponding pins) I did in what sequence. I was thoroughly disappointed in the results of cutting the pins for tails/pins #2 and #3. These were worse that tails/pins #1. Why? I overdid with the paring job I did on the tails; mine was a case of over-zealousness, possibly due to rushing the job, as I thought I was improving significantly in my technique.
You will notice that tails/pins #4 was a dramatic improvement over the previous three tries. The fit was greatly improved, my paring work was adequate, and the overall look-and-feel of the last set was much more what I was looking for:
The bottom line is that I must keep trying, to get to the point where I can get to the workbench, lay out the tails, cut them, and then mark the pins from the tails, and cut the pins. Only through practice will I gain the confidence to do this with a cold start. But I can already see how, on any particular day, it might be beneficial to do one or two practice cuts before tackling the actual work piece.
My practice in the last few days, after making the four corners above last week, has consisted of walking cold into the shop as time permits, parking myself at the workbench, and cutting to the line on one board, with around 8-10 lines marked on the end grain. I have been pleased with the improvement I have been able to achieve. If I can do this, anyone can, for sure! It seems to boil down to confidence in one’s ability to just do it… Hmmm… I may have heard that slogan somewhere…
Will I share this improvement? Certainly! I will do that in a future post.