:I don't make dovetails, so this may be a dumb question, but in
: perusing currently posted linked sites of recent work, I noticed in
: looking at some really beautiful dovetail joints the still aparant
: marking line along the bottom of the tails.
On medium quality work, this is sometimes tolerated on drawer sides where
the maker's technique does not require much planing of the sides, otherwise
as others have said it is an affectation.
: .................................................. I understand a scored
: is superior to a marked line where the tails are, to guide a chisel
Quite so, though sometimes the line is cut with a cutting gauge (or marking
gauge adapted to cut).
: ..................But why not mark out the angled lines first, or score
: first, and then score only where you will be chiseling, so as to leave
: no mark when done?
A fairly common practice among careful workers, in fact. A knife line can be
made right across the inside face of the workpiece and on the outer face, a
pencil line temporarily indicates the depth of the pins/sockets until the
elements are sawn. It is then fairly easy to pick up a knife line marked
across the edge and cut between the sawcuts.
Alternatively one can use the technique outlined on my web site - Projects -
A bookcase in oak - A Strategy for the Dovetail joints. In brief this
requires that the units are made slightly full in thickness, thus enabling a
gauge line to be made right across the outside faces and subsequently planed
off. There are other advantages to this technique.
Incidentally this technique is very suitable for drawer making where the
drawer front is made to fit its opening.
Since Gimson and the Barnsleys have been mentioned, I was trained at
Loughborough when Edward Barnsley was the visiting design/technique adviser.
We did not show the remains of cut lines between dovetail pins.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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