Dovetail and/or finger joints

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I WILL learn how!
Initially, I'm doing it to repair my late mothers kitchen cabinets. Later, I hope to make a dovetailed guitar amplifier encloser (ala MesaBoogie amps) after I become much more experienced. To that end, I'm buying another paring chisel and wooden mallet and a Japanese pull saw.
I'll prolly do the finger joints ona table saw, w/ dado set, but will try and learn how to hand saw dovetail joints using a dozuki saw.
So, my question is, what size paring chisel should I buy next. I was gonna go fer a B&D Sweetheart 1/2" paring chisel, but now wonder if I shouldn't get a 1/8" paring chisel, instead. I already have a 1/4" paring chisel. Remember, this is fer hand cut dovetails, mostly.
nb
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On 4/15/2016 12:23 PM, notbob wrote:

Grab some scrap of the thickness you expect to use. Cut practice joints using your current tools. Decide if a bigger/smaller chisel would help. Shop, or not. Practice some more. Practice some more. Practice some more. Practice some more. Practice some more.
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On Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:04:20 -0400

good advice
always best to learn by doing

usually never hurts
watch a few videos by that welsh fellow Paul
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notbob wrote:

That rather depends upon the widths of the areas you will be chopping out and that depends upon how wide and deep the dovetails are and how you lay them out. Certainly, you don't want one that is wider but the closer you can get to exact, the less chopping you have to do.
BTW, since this stuff is new to you, check out sliding dovetails sometime. They are very easy to make on a router table, they are strong and handy when the two pieces aren't flush; ie, for example, when a drawer front overlaps and protrudes beyond the side.
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I assume you mean "Stanley Sweetheart", not "B&D Sweetheart".
If you've a regular flea market in your area, I'd encourage you to check there first - look for Marples or Buck Brothers chisels from the first half of the 20th century - they'll be fine steel and will be much less expensive than the USD40 new Stanley's.
If you find a handleless socketed chisel, turning a handle is pretty straightforward and a good way to use up that pretty piece of firewood.
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DOH!
I jes found some new B&D drills/driverbits ina plastic case (my mom usta buy a lotta cheap tools). Like she usta, I musta suffered a senior moment. I better hurry up! ;)
nb
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On Friday, April 15, 2016 at 11:23:33 AM UTC-5, notbob wrote:

I don't know if you consider it "cheating," but I saw David Barron use one of these magnetic dovetail guides in a video and I made one out of oak. It works really well for me.
http://www.woodworkersinstitute.com/page.asp?p 58
Mike
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First I would learn to speak English instead of gibberish.
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That 1/8" chisel is awful fine, and won't take the push that the 1/2" will. OTOH, that 1/2" chisel is awful wide, and won't fit into spaces the 1/8" will. It's green beans and carrots. Both good food items, but hardly interchangeable.
Larry Kraus has good advice in this matter: See if your current tools work, then buy new ones.
Puckdropper
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On 2016-04-15, Puckdropper <puckdropper> wrote:

I like it.
nb
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Well, I'll throw you a curveball. If you're going to do dovetails, you may find a skew chisel helpful (*).
However, of the two you mention, you'll find a 1/2" chisel more generally useful than a 1/8", which would pretty much only be used for cleaning up dovetails. You can certainly make serviceable dovetails without a 1/8" (I don't have a 1/8" chisel, and I can make dovetails, altho they're not by any means something to show off).
For convenience sake, I'd also suggest getting a dovetail template. You can mark them out with just a ruler and square, but the template saves a lot of effort.
(* this is not the same thing as a woodturner's skew, it's a bench chisel. Lie-Nielsen used to make a pair, beautful like all L-N tools, but I don't know if they still do. Lee Valley offers a rather ugly pair, at half what the L-N used to cost)
John
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On Friday, April 15, 2016 at 11:23:33 AM UTC-5, notbob wrote:
I suggest you make your own mallet.. make several and several sized ones, f or different jobs. Make them with differnt woods... hard, medium-hard and soft wood mallets. Historically, hickory root stock is best for mallets.
You want to use a softer (wood) mallet, than what your chisel handle is mad e of, hence the reason for different woods for several mallets. You want y our (more disposable) mallet to break or disfigure, rather than your chisel handle.
You DON'T want to use a mallet on your paring chisels. Their sharpness sho uld be maintained to the degree for use with hand-held force, ONLY. Essent ially, a paring chisel is for CARVING straight cuts. When you can, get 4 sizes. You can use only 1/8" of your 3/4" chisel, to cut 1/8". You don't have to use the whole width of the blade to make a cut. I most often use 1 /4" and 3/8". I often use the 1" to (vertically) score a cut line, prior t o sawing or further chiseling with a more narrow chisel. Again, no mallet use on your paring chisels.
As John McCoy, I don't have a 1/8" paring chisel. If I have to cut somethi ng that small, I'd use a carving chisel.
You want a chisel for hammering on, get a firmer chisel, a mortise chisel o r a set of "disposable" chisels, like the cheaper sets at Lowes, Home Depot , etc. If you have some time, search the garage sales for some old, bette r metal chisels, than what is available today. I'm always on the lookout for those older chisels.... *And rusty doesn't always mean olde, olde-time y.
For your paring chisels, buy what you can afford. If you have big dollars, look for Marples, Ward and/or Sheffield, preferably original hand-made She ffield. Don't be fooled by chisels "Made in Sheffield" (the town). You w ant the chisels made by Sheffield (the man).... they are marked appropriate ly with Sheffield's mark and the handles are of a particular (recognizable) design/turning. If you shop Ebay, look closely at the pics, to make sure of what you are getting. Ask for more close-up pics, if need be. If the s eller is reluctant to provide more pics or info, steer away from them. Po ssibly, your best bet for genuine Sheffield is from the UK, and that may no t be such an over priced buy, though they are more expensive than most othe rs.
One last bit of advice: Maybe keep your paring chisels separate from other s. Make some leather sleeves (fingers from old leather gloves?) for the bl ades, to protect the edges. You could make a "jacket" that rolls up, like many folks do for/with their sets of carving chisels. I think Mary May use d old blue jeans fabric, to make her carving chisels jacket/tote. Roy Unde rhill has a similar one, for his.
Sonny
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Sonny wrote:

Inspired by seeing Mary's May's tool roll on Roy Underhill's show, Bill made one too, with a custom number of "pockets" of 3 sizes (to fit the handles I had). Caution: Should you have occasion to sew through 5 layers of denim, do it by hand with a thimble --not an inexpensive sewing machine (DAMHIKT!).
Someone in more of a hurry could cut the "fingers" off of inexpensive hide gloves from Harbor Freight--add rubber bands to taste. I use these "fingers" on my knife-wielding hand (one finger and thumb) when woodcarving with a knife, and wear a glove on the other hand.
Bill
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Would just an ordinary commercially available tool roll work? I picked up one at Menards when they were giving away a free bag with purchase of the tool roll. (Or was it the other way around?)
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

What about the custom sized pockets? ::: SWEAT dripping from forehead ::: ... the PRIDE of saying you wore these jeans in 1995, but have "recycled" them! Ahh! WHERE did I go wrong??? : ) Seriously, no tool roll is as good as one you've made from your own jeans (it impresses people who don't care about wood too, though that wasn't the goal). My wife has asked me to show it to people (if you might imagine that...).
BTW, I picked up a set of 3 Marples chisels from Menards for about $17 a few weeks ago, that came in their own tool roll. I already have paring chisels, these are designed to be hit with a mallet. After I get the yard work out of the way, and then get the lawnmower self-propelling again, I hope to try them out!
Ah! Bill

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Bill wrote:

If anyone tries the project, IIRC, it requires 3 legs worth of jeans! ; ) Use the inseem of one leg as you centerline.... learn a bit about sewing... A chalkline marker is helpful.
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Puckdropper says...

There's an inexpensive tool called a "sailmaker's palm"--lets you get some real force on the needle.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

Or if you're willing to spend serious bucks, you could go for folded- steel Japanese.

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OK, I see confusion coming here. As far as I know, there is no "Sheffield (the man)". Sheffield is a city in England where the crucible steel process was invented, which produces a steel particularly well suited for tools, knives, and similar things. Up until the early 1900's Sheffield steel was the best for those things, and a Sheffield makers mark was an indication of the quality. The word "Sheffield" should be taken as more of an indication of the material used than the place of manufacture.
Note that "Made in Sheffield" is not a makers mark. A makers mark would (typically) have the name of the maker, or, for the better known makers their logo, and the word "Sheffield" - no "Made in". It may also say "Made in England", altho most don't. If it's a tool it's likely to say "Cast Steel" somewhere (cutlery often says "Stainless", silver and plate usually have proof marks).
There is a modern brand called "Sheffield". I have no idea where or by who they are made. They are Home Depot level of cost and quality.
John
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On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9:06:13 AM UTC-5, John McCoy wrote:

I stand corrected, somewhat. The UK individuals and chisels of note are J. B. Addis & Sons, Henry Taylor, and Robert Sorby.
Here's a good article: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/tools-and-hardware/ chisels
If I'm not mistaken, Ward, Payne, Sheffield bought out J.B. Addis & Sons (a nd the Addis reputation for excellent chisels), though the subsequent WPS c hisels were not, didn't maintain, the quality of Addis. Here's my set of W PS (micro) chisels: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/?
Sonny
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