Dovetails

After completing the pins on the drawer fronts and backs for the mahogany buffet, it was time for the tails. I used a pencil to trace the pin locations onto the drawer sides for the tails. Then, using a saw, I cut just outside the line. Next is the chopping. Below, I'm making the final pass with a chisel using a vertical chopping block as a guide.

The actual fitting is an iterative process; press fit, shave material with a paring chisel; press fit, shave a bit more; and so on.

The hammer stroke in the photo below looks a bit harsh, but I assure you, it is a very light hammer.

And the fit was good.

Fast forward a few days; twelve sets of pins and tails, ready for the next step.

Before gluing the drawer joinery, I need to plane all the surfaces to prepare them for a shellac finish. I should mention that the inside face of the fronts and backs was planed before the tails were marked and cut, so that I wouldn't lose the fit of the tails in an effort to get a smooth surface. I planed the drawer sides after all the fitting of the tails was done.

Here's a shot of the rear tails on a drawer side.

With all the surfaces hand planed and all the appropriate edges softened with a block plane, I then applied four light coats of extra blond shellac to the interior surfaces. One pass with 1000 grit sandpaper after the second coat of shellac is all the sanding required for these parts.

Tomorrow a bit of wax over the shellac and then it's on to the glue-ups.

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig