Chapter 3: Researching Full Blind Mitered Dovetails

The Internet has lots of information out there on cutting Full Through and Half-Blind Dovetails. Tommy’s “How To” has a nice tutorial on the subject within his videos for the Step Stool and Tool Box projects. Unfortunately Tommy does not get a chance to demonstrate how he cuts the Full Blind Mitered Dovetails (FBMDT’s) he used to build his figured cherry blanket chest.

I did find one possible source on the net that offered ‘laminated’ instructions for only $8. Unfortunately, the vendor did not return my email request for information. Not being one to give up easily, I contacted Tommy and asked him for a good resource. He suggested that I buy the Tage Frid books on woodworking joinery. Again I went on line to find them and learned that Mr. Frid’s books are available from Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately, they were not in stock at my local store. However, I was able to find excerpts from the book via a Google Books search. The illustrations on this page show the steps Mr. Frid recommends for cutting the FBMDT’s.

This is my summary of the steps Mr. Frid uses to cut his FBMDT’s:

Step 1: Cut and smooth all stock to the final dimension.

Step 2: Layout 45 degree angles on all ends of the boards.

Step 3: Cut the rabbet (leave a 1/4 inch lip on 3/4 inch stock) on all the stock pieces

Step 4: Cut the beveled corners on the ends of the boards.

Step 5: Cut the bevel on the lip of the boards (Chisel or rebate plane)

Step 6: Layout the Dovetail pins.

Step 7: Cut and chisel out the pin waste. Pare as necessary with sharp chisels being sure to clean out the corners.

Step 8: Lay out the DT Tails using the pins as a guide.

Step 9: Cut out and pare as necessary the tail waste.

Since I am not too adept at keeping tools aligned to my work lines (Yes, I need help to hold the 45 degree angle constant), I plan to use a ‘paring’ mule similar to the one shown below to help me keep things true and straight.

Image provided by 207 Community Member Swedishiron

I guess my next project will be to build this set of “training wheels.”

Stay tuned for Chapter 4 when I document the building of this Mule. Wish me luck guys.