Fair Woodworking

May 28, 2012

Half Lapped Dovetail Joint

Filed under: dovetail,Picture issues,Skill development,Things I've made — fairwoodworking @ 1:24 pm

EDITORS NOTE *** This post is experiencing 3rd party photo hosting “issues”, that will be addressed as time allows. ***


Sometimes you just forget about a project you’ve been working on.

A few months ago, my woodworking club did a little challenge to make a picture frame. I was in the middle of some other stuff, so I decided not to participate. A week before the challenge was due, I received a certificate in the mail for a course I’d taken for work.

“Darn! That’s going to need a frame”, I thought.

Nothing I make happens quickly, I’m very un-rushed in my workshop. So building a frame in a week was going to be a problem. Especially since I’d be learning some new techniques as the build progressed. The first was cutting glass for the first time, the second was the half lapped dovetails.

After dimensioning the sides of the frame, I also cut the groove to hold the glass. I’ve marked the layout for the dovetail, but first I’ll cut the half lap.

Had I gone with any larger of a frame, I’d have needed to use a larger saw. It didn’t even occur to me until this point…

After cross cutting the waste out, there was a little paring, and fussing to make sure the shoulder was square. At this point it occurred to me that this is much like cutting the shallow tail I used here only easier.

Cutting the tail was nothing new.

Transferring the tails was interesting. Getting everything in place was easy enough, but making sure it was all square? Different story.

Now “all” I have to do is transfer the dovetail lines, mark the depth, cut to the lines, remove the waste, glue, and assemble. Ya, right…

It was 2 days before it was due at this point, and nearing midnight. If I didn’t finish glue up tonight, I’d not have a chance at getting any finish on in time.

What I’m saying is that this is the end of the pictures for today. It was a long haul, and I was a sleepy boy the next morning, but I survived glue up before sunrise…


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