How to Cleanup Dovetail Joints

In this part of the project, we unearth all of the hard work we have put in so far and see what the dovetails actually look like. In addition to this being a very fulfilling part of the project, it's also an opportunity to hide any small gaps in the joints using a special technique. No. It's not dust and glue.

Lesson Objectives

We will cover topics such as endgrain breakout and how to avoid it. But also potentially use it to your advantage by breaking it out to fill small gaps in the dovetails. This is a much better way of hiding small imperfections as opposed to glue and dust as you get a perfect colour match in the gap, it’s less messy, and quicker! We also cover how to flatten the bottom of the box with a plane so that it doesn’t rock corner to corner.

By the end of this lesson, you will have a beautiful clean box, your dovetail joints will look spectacular, and you’ll be ready to move onto the next stage.

Previous Lesson

How to Glue the Dovetailed Box

Next Lesson

How to Edge Joint the Lid

Supporting Material

Click the images below to see supporting material helping you with this part of the project.

This video teaches you how to create a cambered blade for your handplane. An indispensable addition when edge jointing.

There’s no point in having a razor sharp blade in your plane if it’s setup wrong. This lesson will get those wispy shavings flying!

Surely you just push it, right? Wrong. There is a lot that goes into the simple task of planing. Body positioning, pressure, and movement are all essential to getting the most accuracy from this task. Watch this to learn how.

Have you got the plans yet?

Package includes working drawings, a cutting list, and a 3d SketchUp model!

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!

How to remove tearout when planing – 3:25

How to flatten sides to remove tearout – 5:52

Overview – 9:28

Chopping Board Series – 11:47

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