The Dovetail Kid

It’s getting close to Christmas, so it’s time to start thinking about making a few presents.  It’s dicy whether I’ll have the chevy operational and the marquetry process sorted out well enough to incorporate that into any presents, but that isn’t really what I want to talk about today.

My son, now 14, usually makes presents for relatives.  I had him make a list of who he needs to shop (in either sense of the word) for, and what he might buy or make for them.  I suggested a dovetailed candle box as one possibility – but he’d need to know how to dovetail first.  So off to the shop we went for a dovetail lesson.

I had him first make a series of practice cuts with the dovetail way, following the tail layout lines I drew.  He did really well.  So we dived right in, I had him layout a pair of tails on a board and saw them out.  He used a fret saw to cut out the waste, then chopped to the baseline without bruising them.  Wow.

Short story long, we went through the entire process with him doing all the work and me coaching, and he made a sample joint that was very, very good.  It fit snugly with almost no fine tuning, and he did it all himself.  When I think back to how I struggled trying to learn how to do this — although to be fair he did have an excellent instructor (grin) and the right tools.

Kolya sawing his first set of dovetails

Kolya sawing his first set of dovetails

Nice job pal, I'm proud of you!

Nice job pal, I’m proud of you!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “The Dovetail Kid

  1. That’s fantastic. The kid is a natural. Now you have an indentured servant, er I mean apprentice, for the donkey work. LOL Tell him “great work” from me.

    My 14yr old will tolerate learning knots, but wants nothing to do with the wood shop.


    • I was just telling him this morning that he’s got some natural talents making things with his hands. He and I took a stained glass class together a year or so ago. He’s made several nice pieces, cutting/grinding the glass, foiling and soldering it. It’s hard to compete with video games for attention though.

  2. Bob Duff

    Oh no I can see it coming…… Out of my way Dad……you’re always in the way…… It’s my shop now. lOL.

    Good one. Nice to see the younger generation making something, anything really, with their hands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: