I didn’t want this to be a lesson that simply showed you how to cut a piece of wood to size. Fortunately, there are many overlooked processes at the very start of the build that can really separate your work from the rest. We’re talking things such as grain orientation, adding face sides and face edges to ensure a stress free glue up, and how to work with out of square / parallel timber.
By the end of this lesson, you will have four pieces of timber cut to size, grain oriented beautifully, your glue up will already be planned, and you’ll be ready to start laying out the dovetails!
We are going to be using a shooting board frequently in this project and upcoming projects, therefore it is essential you own one.
I have designed a ramped shooting board that allows you to use the entire width of the blade as opposed to the bottom half. This greatly increases the life of the blade between sharpening sessions and will give you a cleaner result.
You can purchase the plans for the shooting board here. Or alternatively watch the video of me making it here.
Pre-Machined Material Packs
How to Layout Dovetails
Click the images below to see supporting material helping you with this part of the project.
Unable to cut a straight line? Can’t make square cuts? Can’t get the saw started in the first place?! This lesson will help!
Don’t have a shooting board? This is how you knock one together in two minutes with a couple of clamps and limited materials.
Looking to get the most from your shooting board? This ramped version has multiple benefits over the traditional design!
Have you got the plans yet?
The Student Series
Want to see another beginner make this project before you? It’s a great way to scope out any mistakes before you make one yourself!
Why cut the ends square before shooting them? 9:50
Cant see the line while cutting – 11:21
Body Positioning when Sawing – 12:13
Using the Bench Hook Effectively – 14:57
Using a Japanese Saw with a Bench Hook – 19:10
Thumb Positioning on Bench Hook – 21:55
Shooting the first side – 26:55
Combating Shooting Plane Deflection – 31:52
Rob Tips for Sawing – 36:32