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Dovetail tools ... down the rabbit hole


Bushwacked
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So this has been a slippery slope ever since my goof on the coffee table. When Kev through out the idea using chisels to correct the problem ... I have gone from chisels, to sharpening them, to now DT and the the tools needed there.

So far, I still just have everything in my shopping carts because I am not sure .. For DT equipment I have been looking at:

J Katz Moses DT Block: https://www.katzmoseswoodworking.com/new-products/81-clear-urethane-katz-moses-magnetic-dovetail-jig-and-90-degree-crosscut-guide

SUIZAN Japanese DOZUKI Dovetail Hand Saw 7 Inch: https://www.katzmoseswoodworking.com/new-products/suizan-japanese-folding-dozuki-dovetail-saw-95-inch-k375m

               Buy both those together from J Katz and there is a 15% discount. Puts it at $61 for the combo.

Marking Gauge: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3ZS2J2/ref=crt_ewc_title_oth_7?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2FYHGC4NSM6WF

Marking Knife: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FAMG8J0/ref=crt_ewc_title_dp_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Fret Saw: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ATPMHN4/ref=crt_ewc_title_dp_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A7O51HGOUZ91S

Chisels -- 

         Narex: https://www.amazon.com/Narex-Republic-Woodworking-Chisels-863010/dp/B00GPC74ZQ/ref=sr_1_2?crid=16FX5GWD1NHVC&dchild=1&keywords=narex+chisels&qid=1606660147&s=hi&sprefix=narex%2Ctools%2C192&sr=1-2 

                      Or

         HACHIEMON: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TT3VCJD/ref=crt_ewc_img_dp_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1J84LOS58TPNV

 

Then for sharpening ...

SHAPTON Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FYEYKEI/ref=crt_ewc_title_dp_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3TCNCNGLOHBSA

DIA-FLAT LAPPING PLATE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FUHTDG/ref=crt_ewc_title_dp_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

 

What are yalls thoughts?  Anything I am missing or anything that could be switched out?

Also, since I dont have a workbench with a vise, I would also need to build one of these Moxon Vise: 

 

 

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Curious why you're doubling up on the chisels with the Narex and the Japanese?  Unless I missed something I would drop the Japanese ones.  

Also, you do realize that the chisels you picked are metric right?  That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Just remember that if you're shooting for a perfect 1/2" cut, you'll be doing it in 2 swipes with the metric chisel.  From memory, I think Marc does (or did) it this way.

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31 minutes ago, Kev said:

Curious why you're doubling up on the chisels with the Narex and the Japanese?  Unless I missed something I would drop the Japanese ones.  

Also, you do realize that the chisels you picked are metric right?  That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Just remember that if you're shooting for a perfect 1/2" cut, you'll be doing it in 2 swipes with the metric chisel.  From memory, I think Marc does (or did) it this way.

Ah ... no doubling on chisels it was Narex or Japanese. 

The Japanese seem to have solid reviews and from everything I have read hold a great edge too ... so just figured I would toss them out as an option as they are pretty much the same price as the Narex set I was looking at.

Since I am new to the handcut DT, is 1/2" a popular size?

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1 hour ago, Bushwacked said:

Ah ... no doubling on chisels it was Narex or Japanese. 

The Japanese seem to have solid reviews and from everything I have read hold a great edge too ... so just figured I would toss them out as an option as they are pretty much the same price as the Narex set I was looking at.

Since I am new to the handcut DT, is 1/2" a popular size?

I don't have any experience with the Japanese chisels you listed so, not real opinion there..

As for the metric vs SAE, I've seen that preference go both ways.  I like to keep SAE with just a couple of Metric for the odd occasion.  Chisels are used for all sorts of things in the shop.  If you're chopping a 1/2" mortise, the Metric will be slightly narrow and the 1/2" should be spot on.  So, again, more of a preference thing.

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The first thing when using hand tools is sharpening. Learning what you need to do and how to get there. In addition to what you have listed, you may want to consider a honing guide. It may take a bit longer than freehand, but I like the repeatable results. 
 

I am not a fan of Japanese saws for cutting dovetails. I feel western saws are better for learning muscle memory. I am not a big fan of guides like the Katz Moses jig, however nice it is.  With enough practice, you can learn to cut at the right angle or plumb. This is where the western saws are my preference. 
 

You will also need dividers, I don’t feel you need the marking knife a simple line pen or sharp pencil should be all you need. 
 

I know a lot of people don’t like him, as he is always trying to sell something, but my skills have improved watching Rob Cosman and practicing his techniques. He teaches in a way I comprehend. 
 

In the end cutting DT has so many opinions and methods, find 1 you relate to, practice and stick with it. 

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Just as a point of interest with chisels.  I don't hand cut dovetails and don't want to, but I find it real nice to have metric chisels when cleaning up mortises.  The 6, 12, and 18 mm are about the thickness of a line on your tape measure smaller then 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 inch mortise. 

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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This is what I was saying..  There's as many opinions as there are options and none of them are wrong.  It is a little trial and error to find what works for you.

For me, I agree with Brian on the saw but, there's a bunch of people out there that like the Japanese option.

I also agree with Chet on the chisels but, I still like the exact fit if I can for the final pass.

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Being a mostly power tool guy I would go with the imperial size chisels. Now if you move to more handtool style woodworking the exact size doesn’t matter because you pull the measure from the tool instead of the ruler. 
 

I’ve never used a dt guide but from what I hear his guide is one of the best in the market. Now for the saw I learned on a western type saw so again no help on the jap saw. A western saw will be more expensive even if you found a cheap new one it would take a lot of work an experience to get it to cut correctly. 
 

A good marking knife to me is a must for layout. I use the narex lay out knife for most all my joinery but for dovetails I use LV marking knife https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/tools/hand-tools/marking-and-measuring/marking-tools/69870-veritas-workshop-striking-knife?item=05D2005

much thinner profile.

 

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