Demystifying Dovetails – Making a Dovetailed Drawer

When:
August 27, 2018 – August 31, 2018 all-day
2018-08-27T00:00:00+01:00
2018-09-01T00:00:00+01:00
Where:
John Lloyd Fine Furniture
Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common, Burgess Hill
East Sussex RH15 0SJ
Cost:
£590
Contact:
John Lloyd Fine Furniture
01444 480388
Demystifying Dovetails - Making a Dovetailed Drawer @ John Lloyd Fine Furniture

27 – 31 August 2018 (including the bank holiday Monday)

Skill Level : Beginner / Intermediate

Cost : £590

Duration : 5 Days

Other : It is not necessary to have taken the JOINTS WEEK prior to this course, but if you have done so, on this course you will be able to make a DRAWER to fit the table you made on that course. Please bring your table.  Ideally students have some basic knowledge of  sharpening tools as this does not form part of the course

This is not just cutting dovetails for sake of it, it’s more about training your hands and learning core cabinetmaking skills, cutting dovetails happens to be a very good way of judging how you’re progressing in this quest which ultimately just relies on good, solid technique and an in-depth understanding of the process and the tools that are required for success. Having said that though, if you make furniture, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the design is, or how perfectly the veneers have been matched, if there’s a drawer to be opened you will, without question, ultimately be judged by how lovely your dovetails are.

Dovetails are a wonderfully elegant and efficient solution for jointing pieces of wood along their edges and, being a mechanical joint, are amazingly strong, even without the addition of glue. There is perhaps good reason for judging furniture-making expertise by the quality of your dovetails, perfect dovetails rely on accurate planning, skilful sawing and precise chisel work – the three main hand skills that need to be mastered by the cabinetmaker.

Over the many years that I have been teaching dovetailing, I have analysed, refined and simplified the process to make it easier for everyone to conquer this timeless joint. Combine technique with a bit of focussed practice and you are guaranteed the silly grin and warm, fuzzy feeling that I find always accompanies the completion of a crisp set of dovetails. No need for jigs or confusing, noisy, router systems, mastering basic skills, will inevitably result in perfect dovetails, straight off the saw.

Accurately making and fitting a drawer is just an extension of the precision required to cut dovetails, and a well thought out design and thorough understanding of the process makes piston-fit drawers attainable rather than just an aspiration.

Your drawer will be completed with the accurate fitting of a ‘till’ lock, letting in a hand-made escutcheon and a final flourish with a crisp line of inlay around the edge of the drawer front.

What You Will Learn


  • SHARPENING REFRESHER – As always, sharp tools are the key to success
  • THE TOOLS THAT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
  • MAINTAINING A SUPER SHARP SAW – Blunt saw = Dodgy dovetails
  • MASTERING THE DOVETAIL SAW – Tricks and exercises to help you saw straight
  • HOW TO TUNE AND USE A CUTTING GAUGE
  • TIMBER PREPARATION – Perfect dovetails need perfectly flat wood
  • THROUGH DOVETAILS – Often thought of as the simplest but in some ways the hardest
  • LAPPED DOVETAILS – Not as tricky as you might think and one half of this joint is hidden!
  • HOUNDSTOOTH DOVETAILS – A dovetail variation that is guaranteed to impress
  • HAND-CUT GROOVES AND BEADINGS
  • JOINTING A DRAWER BOTTOM – Includes cutting tongues on the router table
  • PRECISION FITTING OF A DRAWER INTO ITS NEW HOME
  • FITTING A ‘TILL’ LOCK
  • MAKING AND FITTING AN INLAYED ESCUTCHEON
  • INLAYING A LINE AROUND AN EDGE
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