Saturday, March 3, 2012

[Schoolbox] Carcase Comes Together

"And now for dovetailing the corners," say Thomas, half afraid to attempt so large a joint, for as yet he has practiced only on smaller pieces; but the same care and attention which make a good joint look good with small pieces will also work with large ones.

-- The Joiner and Cabinet Maker, 1839

I did do one more practice joint to warm up before cutting these, and it came out ok; not as perfect as I would like but I moved on anyway. These, also, are not as perfect as I would like but it is more compelling to be making an actual item than just practice joints. I've also told myself that I will most likely use this box to practice application of milk paint, and there is therefore a lot of room for cosmetic error. Nonetheless, like most of my practice joints, it did go together in a way which is mechanically sound, resulting in a very strong box. The glue is now drying, and the way it will actually look will become clear when the glue has dried and the pins and tails and trimmed even with each other.

I will likely go into more detail about Thomas's exact methodology for dovetailing in an upcoming box, but in this case I want to just get through the construction so that a complete understanding of it from start-to-finish is gained. I'll then be recursively focussing on sub-elements with each new schoolbox made. Here is the first one, drying and waiting trimming and exterior planing:


  1. That looks awesome! Was Thomas a tails first or pins first kind of guy? -Kgoold

  2. Kgoold- Thomas cuts the pins first. Strangely, the author calls tails by no name, but refers to them as "the space between the pins". This is odd since he does call the joint a "dovetail" but seems wholly fixated on the pins. I have tried it Thomas's way but I am still working on mastering tails-first. I will switch soon so that I can get comfortable with the other way and then choose as I see fit. I like tails first because they are for me easier to cut, and serve as a nice warm-up for cutting the pins.

    Thanks for following along!