On my way to the shop I couldn't help but smile at how nice the morning had been. I so need to go pro at making sawdust so I can follow this routine most every morning. Get up, take the kids to school and be in the shop by 8:30 or so, work until I'm satisfied and go home smiling. Ideal. Hopefully baby steps will get me there soon.
Today I conquered another challenge in my shop, one that has been strangely intimidating to me for a long, long time. The hand cut, half blind dovetail joint. I love cutting through dovetails, one of my favorite things in fact. I'm good and fairly quick at it. but the half blind has always stood there looking over my shoulder, taunting me. I had read about it but it seemed out of reach. Then I found something cool.
I know I have said here how I am not much for videos and podcasts on the internet. Most of the time I just don't get that much out of them. I would like to temper that statement now by saying that I have learned some very cool things from videos that do seem to translate best that way. The Logan Cabinet Shoppe gave me the confidence to try sharpening my own hand saws. Videos of Peter Follansbee carving really taught me how effortless it could be. Then there was the Frank Klause video where he cuts a dovetail joint in under three minutes, that was amazing, but that was followed by Rob Cosman cutting a through dovetail joint in three and a half minutes using a more traditional approach.
On the heels of his through dovetail video Rob Cosman raised the bar high, cutting a half blind dovetail joint in six and a half minutes. I watched this video on youtube for the first time several months ago, and since them I have been coming back to it, I'd say at least a half a dozen times. (If you haven't see it you can watch it HERE.)
I really appreciated Rob's video, all by itself it gave me the tools and mind set to get the job done. When I was designing the saw till I've been building for the shop I knew I wanted to add a drawer to hold the files and other accoutrement of sharpening. As soon as it hit the paper I knew this was going to be my shot at a half blind dovetail. Still it was intimidating, building drawer themselves are, I think, a tough thing to get perfect. So in my usual fashion I put it off and put it off until last. This morning there was no more excuses. It was time to tackle the beast.
Starting stock after it's been ripped to width on the table saw
Re-sawing the sides and back down to 1/2" thick on the bandsaw. The face board was left at a full 3/4" thickness