Fair Woodworking

October 11, 2012

Time. You’re a cruel master.

Filed under: dovetail,Picture issues,Skill development — fairwoodworking @ 3:58 pm

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


What I’m about to do, may or may not be interesting… For you…

I’ve cut quite a few dovetails now, but I’ve gotten to wondering what parts of the process are truly my strengths and where I seem to drag a little.

What I did was cut the joints for another small box, but this time I took a picture at each step. I could then use the time stamps of the pictures to track my performance, and also see how long the whole process takes me. I’m not racing, just trying not to get distracted.

As a point of reference, professional cabinet maker Frank Klausz builds similar boxes in the form of drawers in about 20 min. Let’s see how I compare.

7:03pm Wood is fully dimensioned, and ready to go.

7:28pm First steps, Scribe the base line, do the 140 trick, and lay out the tails for all four joints.

25 min. Frank Klausz I am not. Surprise!!!

7:34pm Cut first tails, cut shoulders, cut out waste with fret saw.

6 min.

7:40pm Cut second tails.

6 min. Hmmmm…

7:46pm Third tails.

6 min. Interesting.

7:52pm Fourth tails cut.

6 min. Oddly consistent…

7:58pm Get my chopping block set up, and sharpen a couple of chisels.

6 min. Come on! Really?

8:13pm Chop out the waste, both sides of first board.

15 min. That’s 7.5 min per side.

8:25pm Chop the waste on the second board

12 min. 6 min per side. That’s it… I need a beer.

8:41pm Transfer the lines, cut the pins, and fret saw the waste on the first end.

16 min.

8:55pm Second set of pins.

14 min.

9:12pm Third set of pins.

17 min.

9:24pm Fourth set of pins.

12 min. We’re done! Yay!

No wait, still need to chop out the waste to the base line. Boo!

9:49pm Chop out both sides.

27 min. 13.5 min per side.

10:09pm Chop waste on last two.

20 min. 10 min per side.

10:25pm Glue pins and tails, bang together, ceremonial wiping of the glue squeeze out with plane shavings, and square up box.

16 min.

Total time 3 hours 22 min.


It wouldn’t kill me to get a little faster.

Or would it…?


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