Chita (in email@example.com) said:
| 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.
I'd have to guess that there isn't much wood between the two dovetails
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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
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
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?
mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:
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.
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
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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.
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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.
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"
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.
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
(If this seems like the solution to you
send half of the $2.95 US I saved you
to your favorite charity)'
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