Dad’s Urn – Part4

  • Originally published June 18, 2018.

Today I started making the bottom of the box, sized the front, back, and sides, and started on an exciting phase. That would be laying out the dovetails.

The bottom doesn’t need to be thick to I decided to conserve some wood and use thinner stock. I had to cut some of the 3/4” pieces in half. The 3/4” stock was a little thicker than that so these ended up just about 3/8”.


I only needed three of the four pieces. I jointed them and glued them up. They’ll be ready for leveling in the morning.


The front, back, and sides are now thicknessed and cut to size. On to dovetails!


The first step was to clear off my joiner’s mini-bench which sits on top of a regular workbench. It gets the work up high enough so I don’t need to sit on a stool or bend over so much.

Then I started laying out the dovetails. The first step is to set the sides on the part that’s getting the tails. It needs to sit a tiny bit over the end. I’m feeling for this in that photo.


Then I make a little mark on the other side with a sharp marking knife.


With my good square in place I mark the line that will be the base of the tails.


These are sometimes called witness marks by woodworkers. A cut line is far more accurate than a pencil line. It also cuts the wood fibers and establishes a base line.


Then I layout the cuts that I’ll be doing tomorrow. I got this far late in the evening and I want to be fresh for the next step. Tomorrow will be a good day for cutting dovetails.

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