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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by royflatmate View Post
    Doug there are courses or classes that do go beyond building someting in a weekend.If you choose and have the time you can be shown the proper way if that's such athing.There are plenty of master craftsmen and women around and you cannot begrudge them charging for their time to teach for what they have spent a lifetime learning.Maybe i have been lucky and have met people who love to share. And yes I have paid to do some courses to learn skills and none of them have tried to teach me as little as they can far the opposite they have gone above and beyond.
    That's great Roy. It seems to me that we are generally in agreement on this, but you seem to have not properly grasped the meaning of my post.

    I know that there are plenty of courses out there that do teach skills and I think that is great. I was drawing a comparison between the skill-building courses and the build-a-windsor-chair-in-a-week type of courses. The latter ones have a legitimate place in this world (say for executives who want to have a week's break from the office doing something hands-on) where you walk away with a great piece of furniture and a warm fuzzy feeling but very little in the way of skills development.

    As for craftsmen and women charging a fair price for running courses, well I doubt you could pay me enough to spend a week teaching half a dozen uncoordinated Accountants how to make a dovetailed box.

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  3. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Yes, I do have to square the end lines afterwards, but it takes very little time, and in fact probably only seconds more than doing both at once, since you have to make two deliberate lines each time. They don't need to be micrometer accurate to the sloped line, they are simply a guide for squaring your saw & if they are 0.1 of a mm either side of the sloped line it's neither here nor there.
    Spot-on Ian. The lines are a guide. the direction is more important than the exact placement. Off by half a mm from each other? well you finish up with one line after the sawcut anyway, you can't cut down both lines independently of each other. Grandad used to say "It's more important for it to look right than to be right. Nobody's going to measure it unless it looks wrong."

  4. #48
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    Just as a follow up, I decided to "just do it"!

    I used a nice thin piece of French Oak I picked up the last time I was at Carbatec.

    PXL_20201109_065129539.jpg

    Measured out the three ratios everyone seems to go for (1:6, 1:7 and 1:8). Following Derek's tip about having both sides useable for accuracy, I marked out the opposite sides at a width that left a gap of about 13-4mm wide when you were 19mm deep (a common size for panels), to give enough room for a 1/2 inch / 12mm chisel. I also left that gap to give me room for fine adjustments at the end. Now you can see how much this project cost in materials as well:

    DM 2.jpg

    PXL_20201109_065740720.jpg

    I didn't take photos but then just knife-walled, chiselled down (with Paul Sellers' voice in my head going "looking for that pristine edge", "you want dead-on accuracy", "who'd use a power router all day" etc), until about 2mm down when it felt safe to finish up with a dovetail saw.

    And the result: I just need to very carefully glue on some fences at 90 degrees after dinner. It actually came out a little better than the photo indicates because of perspective on the photo and because the paper doesn't sit flat. But I can very gently sand the edges as well to dial them in (I rapidly found out why people mark out on flat wood - paper is terrible for this type of thing!).

    DM 4.jpg

    Total cost of materials - well you can see the sharpie and I've still got most of the board!

    As an aside, I am starting to get very jealous of European woodworkers. After recent work with Karri, Tassie Oak etc, French oak is such a sweet and easy to work material! They should all be shipped over here to spend a week using nothing but knotty pine and tas oak as your basic woods!

    A lesson learnt with this is that I really should have left a straight section higher up before the angled section, to give me more room to glue a fence on, using the face of the marker instead of the top edge. It doesn't to matter much if it will flex slightly given you will be pressing this in as you mark.

  5. #49
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    Chris, have you sawn with- or across the grain? It looks like the latter. If so, that is weak and will break with the grain. You need to saw with the grain. No biggie - I've done this.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  6. #50
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    Err - across - although it's a thin plank so it was little sawing involved in the operation.

    Do you mean it will break in use?

  7. #51
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    It will break.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  8. #52
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    Ah well, a good lesson learnt - thank you.

    I'll keep the rest of the plank for that occasion!

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cgcc View Post
    Ah well, a good lesson learnt - thank you.

    I'll keep the rest of the plank for that occasion!
    While I definitely agree with Derek that you have cut the pieces in the wrong orientation, I would like to add that French Oak is probably one of the more forgiving timbers in regard to crossgrain strength, depending on other factors involving how the board was sawn. They may well hold up alright in use but then again they might not. I would be reluctant to invest a lot of material and effort into finished markers with those pieces but they would be ok for a prototype/practice piece.

    Just be prepared for other woodies asking repeatedly why you cut them in that grain orientation.

  10. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug3030 View Post
    .....Just be prepared for other woodies asking repeatedly why you cut them in that grain orientation....
    I would think most of us have done something similar in our early years, I certainly did! You soon learn about the relative strength of cross-grain vs long-grain, and having something fail on you drives the lesson home rather forcefully. The OP should be commended for casting about for what he had on-hand & giving it a go, 'cos that's one of the best ways to learn things. As I've said before, we often learn more from a "failure" because it forces you to pause & try to figure out what/why things went wrong...


    Cheers,
    IW

  11. #55
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    Thanks Doug

    I will tell them my wife is French and I'm making a point about the superiority of French imports.

    I think they will be a prototype piece. I have glued a bit of a block on top and they are quite useable.

    Another thing I would change is that I think I would make much larger in width. I think I mis-read Derek's tip about using both sides for accuracy. I thought he meant having a good size for pins on the left-and-right sides whereas the follow-up I think indicated he meant the sides were in line with the horizontal/top side.

  12. #56
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    Thanks Ian - that's very encouraging.

    I am finding at the start I was almost paralysed by overanalysis.

    Here is how it ended up. I decided I would pick up a piece I grabbed a while back that is definitely Australian (hairy oak):

    PXL_20201110_120102321.jpg

    To try and get a useable horizontal rule (at least for thin stock) I "jointed" all the sides by just using a shooting board, first referencing from the angled piece to shoot at side at 90 degrees, then turning it around to shoot back to a reference, and repeating until I got to the other side.

    A small project but satisfying!

    I managed to tear out a few fibres on the front face but I'll sand back in due course.

    And now the idea seems to be to use until they break!

  13. #57
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    Chris, here are a few more options ...

    Now you know that you can use a sliding bevel to make the angle as well as a dedicated marker ...




    ... and it can go the other side as well ...




    But the marker struggles to do the side on the outside ...



    .. and the sliding bevel makes this easy ...



    Make your own saddle square (and you can make dovetail markers like this as well!). I made this out of Lexan and glued them together with superglue ...





    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  14. #58
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    Magical Dovetail Markers


    I knocked these up today out of Lexan. Sort of fun. Sort of interesting. But definitely useful. They are 2 1/4" in the face, and 1 1/2" over the top. Ratios 5:1, 6:1, and 7:1 (I find 8:1 too flat). There is also a saddle square.







    If there is interest, I'll post a build.

    Nice items to make as Christmas presents

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  15. #59
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    For something completely different there is this 'improved' marker from Robert Wearing described in couple of his books.
    Dovetail Marking System Lost Art Press

    My metal working skills have never been up to attempting to make it.

    ... and another blog on making the Sellers style
    Blue Spruce Woodshop: How To Make A Dovetail Marker
    Franklin

  16. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie View Post
    ......
    Dovetail Marking System Lost Art Press

    My metal working skills have never been up to attempting to make it....
    I'm sure you could manage it, Fuzzie, working brass is surprisingly easy, & with care you can make things very accurately with nothing more than a hacksaw & a couple of files. It's a nifty gadget, which allows you to set a size for your tails & repeat these across a board very quickly, so if you like your tails all the same & evenly-spaced, it would be the bees' knees.

    However, most of the time I like to vary tail widths across the board for a bit of visual interest, so that aspect doesn't appeal to me. I use the width of the marker as a guide & add or subtract increments by eye to vary the sizes. It's sufficiently accurate for purpose, & gets the boring task of setting out done quickly so I can get on with the more fun part of sawing them out. I do have to be careful not to mix up sides for different drawers, but then I like to vary drawer depths, too, so that's not usually a problem.....

    Cheers,
    IW

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