# How is this mystery dovetail done?

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• posted on October 15, 2005, 9:15 pm

snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

Now who is confusing whom?
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FF

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• posted on October 13, 2005, 4:57 am
| The picture looks familiar but I can't recall the details. I think | there was a "wood puzzles" book which included this novelty joint. | (Was it a book sold by Woodcraft?) Anyway, it's a curiosity. Check | it out and tell all. | | http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&itemi76867662
I'd have to guess that there isn't much wood between the two dovetails :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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• posted on October 13, 2005, 5:14 am
I've seen puzzles like this before that were accomplished by soaking the wood until it got soft and pliable, positioning it, and then letting it dry. The one I remember is a wooden ball inside a cube that has square holes through each side (but just slightly too small for the ball). The cube is soaked and then "squeezed" around the ball.
Don't know if this is the trick for the dovetail, but that would be my guess.
Jack
Chita wrote:

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• posted on October 13, 2005, 5:30 am
Ah .. wait! I was staring at the picture and I just figured out a way that you could do this with solid pieces of wood without needing 'pliable' wood.
In the picture, there are brown and red woods dovetailed together. If you look at the red piece, imagine that the small strip of red wood at the top of the puzzle is in fact just that ... a small strip of wood.
That is, the two sides of the red piece are pretty much what you see, but the section between the two dovetailed brown pieces isn't there ... just a triangular "rod" connecting the two sides of the red piece.
Then ... you can easily "pivot" the red piece up around the brown dovetails.
The red rod connecting the two sides would need to be cut inwards to allow for the pivot, as would the bottom ends of the red piece that butt up against the brown piece.
Can you envision what I'm describing?
Jack
mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

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• posted on October 13, 2005, 1:36 pm
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

unless it was cut really really loose; and it doesn't look that way.
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• posted on October 14, 2005, 11:04 pm
mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

I thought the ball and cage was typically done by carving both from the same block of wood, carving the ball _inside_ the cage.
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FF

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• posted on October 14, 2005, 11:50 pm

Not wood related, But I once worked for a CNC machine shop. To prove what the machines could do one of the owners machined the "ball in the cube" out of aluminum, about 2 inches square. It was surprising to see the end result. The ball was smooth, and measured with in .001 of round. All machined out of one piece, the ball inside the cage. Greg
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• posted on October 15, 2005, 12:06 am
On 14 Oct 2005 16:04:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

don't confuse 'em, fred...
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• posted on October 15, 2005, 1:15 am
Well, you could do it that way. But I saw it with a nice hardwood ball (oak or something) inside a cube made from some different wood.
snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

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• posted on October 15, 2005, 9:09 pm
mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

Well, that is much cooler than the other one.
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FF

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• posted on October 15, 2005, 2:32 am
snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net writes:

I've seen one in Popular Science from the 1960's that had an arrow going through a glass. The drinking glass has two holes in it - the same diameter as the shaft of the arrow. The Arrow head and feathers (fletching) were twice the width of the glass hole.
This one was done, AIR, by soaking, squeezing the head in a clamp, pushed through, an then soaked again do it swells. I think it was balsa wood.
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• posted on October 16, 2005, 3:21 am
The leg of the "T" is split down the middle, then glued back together. Since splitting follows the grain, and no material is lost to a kerf, the split is nearly invisible after gluing and sanding. -- Email reply: please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are Scammers. Exterminate them.
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• posted on October 16, 2005, 11:33 am

Bzzzt. The eBay page says:
"Only two pieces of timber are used, and there are no hidden splits."
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• posted on October 17, 2005, 8:03 pm
On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 23:21:28 -0400, Doug Warner

the guy says no hidden splits.
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• posted on October 16, 2005, 5:09 am
snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote in

I used to carve the ball and cage that way when I was a kid. I remember being about 10, and having my grandfather teach me how to do it. We carved a variety of little things like that. That's more than 30 years ago, and still one of my best memories of grandpa.
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• posted on October 17, 2005, 10:15 pm
On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 05:09:27 GMT, Nate Perkins

Somewhere I have a bunch of ball-in-cages and chains that I carved sitting in various classes in High School. Now they would haul me out and shoot me for having a knife in class. I didn't learn much of the subject matter, but I got pretty good at carving!
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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• posted on October 13, 2005, 5:19 pm
I saw a Woodwrght's shop episode where Roy made one of these. Unlike the other trick dovetail (where the tails appear on all four faces of the joined pieces) this one required heavy clamping to bend the pieces when it was assembled. Other than that I can't recall any details. It is really secure, though - he used it for a mallet head.
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• posted on October 15, 2005, 5:44 pm
Chita wrote:

Think "slight taper", "notch" and "rotation".
What I think is a solution, posted in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking as '"Impossible Joint?" - solution?, should make my hints a lot clearer.
charlie b (If this seems like the solution to you send half of the \$2.95 US I saved you to your favorite charity)'