For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

The gun box

I'm horrible at dovetails. I've never made a good one. But I'm on my way now. These are the fiddly bits for the display box for my dad's Navy revolver. Are they going to fit perfect like if Cosman or Charlesworth did them? I doubt it. Will it be a bit of honest hand made joinery? Yup. I know my Dad will appreciate it. And after all, what a better present to give to Dad than my first dovetailed box. This is just a couple of pictures of the progress, nothing super exciting. I'm just happy that I'm close to completing a project using dovetails.

Rough mock up to make sure I've got the size close. All the ends are shot nicely and square. The bottom will protrude, though not as far as in this picture.
The tail boards and one end of the upper pin board. The tail boards make up the sides. The last thing to finish the outside of the case is to cut the lower pins.
My quest to learn dovetails has left me to believe a couple of facts: I need better work holding for these pieces, like a Moxon vice, which will come soon. I almost bought a neat old book binding clamp for this, but one of the threaded holes was partially blown out. Secondly, I've always tried on wood that was sort of on the thick side. 7/8" and 1'' stuff is good for a big carcass, but it's not fun to learn on. Third, along with the wood being thick, I've used very soft woods. Not that soft wood can't be dovetailed, it can and everyone does it. It's just that usually your chisels need to be prepared differently than mine are. That's all well and good, save for the fact that I don't have pairs of chisels that I can put different grinds on. Lastly, I need to practice more!

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