Eye-ball dovetails

Just to follow up on yesterday’s post re hand cutting dovetails, which I eye-balled with no measuring, no jigs, no gauges using only a dovetail saw, coping saw, chisel and chisel hammer, knife and combination square. 16 minutes total including demoing and talking about dovetailing options. The more you rely on your eyes, the more accuracy you will gain in freehand work and the more time you will save. I rarely layout my dovetails these days, but I did start by laying them out when I was younger .hos gives me variety and freedom in my creative workspace but it comes only from self discipline and self control both of which are essential to craft mastery.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel on 29 June 2018 at 3:21 am

    At sea, we call that “seaman’s eye”. The ability to gauge distances without use of RADAR or other tools. It’s something we instil in our young watch keepers and I try to practice any chance I get. I once served in the Auxiliary Oil Replenishment ship HMCS Preserver for a number of years. We spent significant amounts of time at seat with other ships alongside us. We used a laser range finder but the captain and I played a little game of guess the distance to the ship alongside every time I used the rangefinder. At my peak I was able to gauge distances of 30-50m down to within 1m each and every time. I expect your eye has been trained in a similar fashion to be able to mark and cut those dovetails like that.