HAND DOVETAILING

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Frank Klausz's video is probably the easist to follow; also the most humbling to do.
Get a load of mahogany and practice.
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cant tell ya where to find articles but lee valley sells a nice little jig for dovetails and works real well - speeds up the process and improves the fit immensely.

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I just finished watching the video "Dovetail a Drawer" by Frank Klausz. It is totally amazing how he can make this look so easy. You can tell he has done this before. This man "Frank Klausz" looks like he does this every day. A true craftsman. That is why I wonder if he actually makes a living at his trade or does he just get paid to produce videos to show us how it used to be done. If anyone is making a living working this way I would really like to here from you. Is there actually people that still build this way and are actually making a living at it? Regards. -Guy

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Guy LaRochelle wrote:

He is incredible. Take a look at Landis' Workbench Book, he's in it with a description and pictures of his shop. What an ego buster. watch his film a couple times and you don't want to ever try cutting DTs again, 'cause you'll never be that good.
Dave in Fairfax
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daveldr at att dot net
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Guy LaRochelle wrote:

Am getting in very late on this thread but here goes.
Yes, Mr. Klausz does make his living making furniture and has been doing it for quite a while. There are people all over the USA who make furniture that utilize traditional joinery, primarily with hand tools for the fine work. And there are people all over the USA who apprciate fine craftsman- ship and fine wood furniture. Here's a friend in Driftwood Texas, near Austin, who has been doing just that for the last 15 or 20 years. Last summer he and his family delivered three pieces to a customer in Connecticut! www.io.com/~colca/About_Us/Michael_Colca/michael_colca.html
Back to Frank Klausz - "Making a Dovetailed Drawer" video - he covers a lot of ground in the video - three times in fact. AFter watching the tape a few times you'll be certain you can go out to the shop and cut nearly perfect handcut dovetails. At various steps along the way you'll find you forgot something - some detail thats critical and you can't remember what he did next or how he did it. On your 20th trip between the shop and the VCR you'll start making yourself some notes and sketches.
BEFORE YOU DO THAT - I've already done it and you can download the "step by step - illustrated process - with cautionray notes etc. at
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/DovetailDrawer0.html
Each page is a GIF image file you can download and print at your leisure. Take the printed instructions to the shop, put page or two on the bench and do what you see. When you get to the last page you should have a handcut dovetailed drawer that's square and hangs together well. The joints probably won't be light tight but that's a matter or practice ad technique.
One of the subtle things he left out which is very important is the tight corners in the sockets If they're not cleaned out they can have you paring the sides of pines and sockets trying to improve the fit when it's those damn corners that're raising all the hell.
As noted before, with a router, a dovetail bit and one of the many dovetail jigs, most dovetail work can be done by machine & jigs much quicker and more accurately than handcuttig. But if you want "progressive" dovetails - several fine pins at the ends, getting wider towards the center, or if you need a strong joint on pieces over an inch in thickness, handcutting is the only means available.
If you want speed & accuracy, get a CNC machine. If you want subtile elegance, and a lot of satisfaction in "the doing" use handtools on the delicate and the refined stuff. And if you just want something to hold something up off the floor or to hide something in - go to IKEA.
Just my 2 cents.
charlie b
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