Author Topic: tapered sliding dovetail  (Read 3270 times)

HSteier

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tapered sliding dovetail
« on: January 01, 2013, 10:20:21 AM »
I'm looking at making a fall front desk (hand tools). The desk board is held to the case sides by 20" long tapered sliding dovetails. I've been experimenting on scrap and have found chopping and routing the tapered rabbet (socket) to be very tedious. I see that ECE makes a "sliding dovetail saw" (also called a stair saw ). Using this saw to saw along the rabbet layout lines would reduce the work enormously. Has anyone used this technique? Should I invest in one of theses saws? Are they any good (sharp)?

Howard Steier

millcrek

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 12:39:40 PM »
I have used this technique, but I just used an old Disston #4. I have 2 old stair saws but they are a little course for case work. Cutting a small starting ramp with a knife or chisel makes it easier the start the saw. One of the Woodwright episodes on line shows a pretty easy way to cut a sliding dovetail by hand.

Johnny D

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 04:39:51 PM »
Howard:  I brought this over from your other thread...."Gene Landon did a six shell Goddard Townsend desk at Olde Mill about ten years ago. Does anyone remember how the desk board was connected to the desk sides. I believe it was a 1/2 sliding dovetail (at least that's what I see on the front of the desk that I made). I don't remember the construction details and I can't find my old notes.H."

1.) On most Newport desks the writing board was constructed as a frame with a sliding panel to provide access to the drawer underneath.  What you can see of the joint is at the front; it is a double dovetail, like a drawer blade.

2.) Are you sure it is a full length dovetail?  I simply don't know; others here might, but you'd really have to have the back off of one of these to know for sure.  The standard Newport drawer blade dovetail only goes into the case maybe 3/4".  Farther back than that and the blade transitions to a dado joint.

JD

John Cashman

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 08:24:10 AM »
Howard,

I bought the ECE dovetail plane and dovetail saw about 30 years ago. I love the plane. It is great for the male portion of sliding dovetails. The cross grain nicker needs modifying, but other than that, it works great.

The saw is crap. Don't bother. The teeth are way too course, with far too much set to be of any use. When I do short sliding dovetails, up to a few inches, I use a carcase saw and chisel. If the dovetail is longer, nine inches or more, I use a tailed router. The 14 degreee bits are the same angle as the dovetail plane.

jim vojcek

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 03:39:37 PM »
John, if the ECE saw plate is good, why not regrind it, make new teeth and a set you can use?   

Jim Vojcek

John Cashman

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 06:05:05 PM »
It's possible, but it's been a long time since I have looked at it. From what I recall, the blade was very thick. more like a handsaw blade than a backsaw. And at the time, I had no clue how to sharpen a saw. So I started using a router, and found no need to change. But the next time I stumble across that saw, I'll give it another look.

Jeff L Headley

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Re: tapered sliding dovetail
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 06:40:37 PM »
Cut a 8/4 board at your dovetail angle. Clamp it on your case side. With a sharp chisel, 3/4 or wider, pare your shoulder to fit your tapered angle once sawn.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 07:01:41 PM by Jeff L Headley »