Friday, 23 August 2013

Dovetail Alignment Boards


I've been making some dovetail alignment boards from quarter sawn mahogany, it's stable and cheap.
When you buy one of my magnetic dovetail guides this is a great first project to make, you can leave the boards over length and cut off any poor fitting joints and try again. Despite this I'm surprised at how many woodworkers still want to buy a board rather than making their own. There are two shows coming up in September so it's time to stock up.


The dovetail joint takes just under 20 minutes to cut and fit in this 3/4" stock. The base line gets left in in, as the board may loose some accuracy in planing it out. I know some people hate seeing the baseline but I don't mind either way.


Here is the batch complete with the side fences attached and my new name badge glued in place.


I called into Tyler Hardwoods today, a great wood yard in Hungerford  http://www.tylerhardwoods.com/page/home I picked up some fine boards of beech which are going to become a Roubo work bench. I have long admired this style of bench with it's simple rock solid design and massive top and the recent project in the US has pushed me to get started  see the Benchcrafted blog for some great pictures http://benchcrafted.blogspot.co.uk/


While I was there I had a good look round for some figured stock, there was some ash and some soft maple but the figuring only went part way through, I'm getting fussy in my old age! After rejecting that, the very helpful staff pulled out a board of figured oak which had been rescued from the flooring pile, at 8' long this will make plenty of beautiful panel or box lids. It has come to a good home.


6 comments:

  1. When I was at Bridgwater college Steve Hopper demonstrated the marking out of dovetails (and a mitred bridle joint), the baselines are first marked with a pencil gauge and after the tails have been marked out the base lines are gauged in to each section, leaving no gauged baseline to plane out. He also highlighted every knife line with a pencil sharpened to a chisel section and then using an eraser rubbed out any excess, leaving a clear clean line, this must have been the Alan Peters preferred method.
    Steve`s marking out was the most precise I have ever seen, a pleasure to look at in its own right. he will be at Yandles in September at the College stand, I`m sure if pressed by you or any of your followers he would give a demonstration, if your lucky!

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    1. Hi Mark,
      Thank you for explaining the process so clearly I know Alan Peters didn't leave any scribe lines on his dovetails. I would have enjoyed trying it out on these boards, but I'll use it in the future. Steve is a great craftsman and I'll have a chat with him at the show. Thanks again, David.

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  2. I'm puzzled why you want to build a Roubo bench? I can't think of any benefit over your own bench design unless it's that you prefer the look of them. Personally I prefer the look of the bench you use now.

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    1. I like making work benches, although everything else I make seems to be small. I do like the look of the Roubo bench and I'm looking forward to chopping out dovetails on a 5" thick top. I've planed all the stock up today and my back is complaining!

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  3. A warm bath and a cold beer should help the back.

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  4. That was on purpose. We have bamboo planted there and we wanted it to look as natural as possible. One day we will look out our back yard and not see that house behind us. Thankfully bamboo grows fast. All the shoots above the fence line have come up since we moved in three months ago. stockade fence

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