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Andy King's dovetails!

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Sparky29/04/2009 22:30:41
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Hi Andy
I would love to know if these where hand cut or machine?
They look so perfect I''ll be amazed if no machine was used.
 
What''s the secret mate?
 
Marc
Andy King29/04/2009 23:23:16
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170 forum posts
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19 articles
Hi Marc,
 
They are all hand cut, so thanks for the compliment!
Don't know if you saw the original article, but that particular joint is a double rabbeted dovetail, used in boatbuilding as it has water integrity from both sides.
I've only done them once before when I worked on this boat http://www.matthew.co.uk/
I cut them on the hatchcombings, in iroko with stock of about 18in deep and 2in thick.
That was about 15 years ago, so I had to have a good think to remember exactly how to go about it again!
Don't know if there is a particular secret, like all woodworking its essential to mark up and cut to the waste, and in the case of dovetails, use one component to mark the other, ensuring the cuts are square. At least, that's how I was taught and its done me no harm. I always mark from the tails as well.
 
cheers,
Andy
Alan T.30/04/2009 07:47:32
1033 forum posts
98 photos
Hello Andy,
                     The real sign of a craftsman is the perfect hand made dovetail. Green with envy.  Well done.   Alan T.
Sparky30/04/2009 08:38:51
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Hi Andy
 
Wow, You certainly took a lot of time and care to do these..........As Alan said, a real sign of a craftsman.........and green with envy!
 
How many did you have to cut for the job?
 
I recently hand cut 74 for my dresser but I must state, nowhere as good as these beauties.......It does show it can be done if care and razor sharp tools are used.
 
Well done and thanks for the link. Very interesting.
 
Cheers
Marc
Andy King30/04/2009 09:30:57
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
Thanks guys! I'm certainly no Rob Cosman, they take some time to cut, but as long as i'm methodical I can get decent results.
Can't remember exactly how many dovetails I cut for the boat project, there were about 5 or 6 hatches if I recall, and I did all but one of them, the other was made by Neil Blake (in the pic below) he and his brother Steve are exceptionally talented boat builders from Burnham on Sea. I worked with them for at least two years on this project and learned an incredible amount.
Anyway, as you get further towards the bow or stern the hatches get more complex as the deck curvature and slope has to be accounted for so the joints are cut on the splay to keep the hatch vertical.
Just for an idea of scale, heres a couple of images of me gluing and assembling one of the hatches at that time.
The downside of working on such a fabulous job was being in that shed working with iroko for a long period with no dust extraction. I ended up becoming sensitised to it, so I can't go near the stuff now without getting very bad respiritory and skin reactions from it.
 
Cheers,
Andy


 
Sparky30/04/2009 10:04:31
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Lovely pictures Andy.
 
 Looking at your dovetails on the bench to the size in the pictures they do look different......were yours a dry run?
 
Wooden boats was the reason I did my apprenticeship in boat building. I trained at the Ship building industry training centre in Woolston, Southampton, Hampshire. It was world renown for its training and we had many foreigners training there. Sadly its gone as is most of the apprenticeships in that field.
 
I can still smell the Iroko and remember the dust too!  
Oh happy days!!

Cheers
Marc
Andy King30/04/2009 16:13:43
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
No, they are the same, it depends on the  section of the joint. It should be evident if you have it right once the lid has been cut away, showing the angled joint you can see on the glued joint on the black and white pic on the bench.
Although you can't see it, that one had been cut to fit the deck exposing the angled part of the joint.
They guy who ran the job said he wanted double rabbeted DT's and even he couldn't remember how to do them, so it was a quick practice first to make sure it was right! He said you only know once you cut through a tail exposing the true profile, and a sign of quality on any boat with dovetailed hatchcombs.
This pic shows the exposed part through a tail on the one I cut for Good Woodworking:

Edited By Andy King on 30/04/2009 16:14:58

Sparky30/04/2009 16:29:40
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Truly amazing fit Andy. well done mate.
Are you going to be doing any more work on the ship as I noticed its out of the water right now?
 
Certainly different than the clinker boats we made!
Marc
Andy King30/04/2009 20:05:13
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
No, it was a one off, built to celebrate the voyage John Cabot made, discovering Newfoundland. (I could have gone on that voyage retracing the steps but having done a few initial sea trials, I thought better of it!
It belongs to a trust now, I think Bristol City Council fund part of it, so any repairs needed are made by the trust as far as I 'm aware.
A good link to my village though, I live right on the river Avon and the original pilot 500+ years ago was from here, and when the voyage was retraced his direct decendant, still a pilot, navigated her down ready for the voyage. I was on board then, but jumped ship at Avonmouth!
 
cheers,
Andy
Malc30/04/2009 20:27:00
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411 forum posts
63 photos
Andy,
   If only I could....
Malc.
Doug30/04/2009 21:20:50
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3415 forum posts
35 photos
Andy,
 
Very interesting thread & link, very informative.
 
Thanks.
 
Baz
 
PS nice to see that even with the passing years your still suporting the same hair cut, unmistakeable.
Andy King30/04/2009 22:50:36
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles
Ah well Baz, having had the Official Receder in when I was around 17-18, trying to keep up with trendy haircuts was always tricky!
I'd like to think this is now a fashion statement that I sport...
 
cheers,
Andy
Sparky30/04/2009 23:24:51
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Andy, just say what I say....... I blame it on a rough headboard
 
Marc
Neil Blake12/09/2013 17:27:36
1 forum posts

Hi Andy

Just came across your page on the internet about your 'dove tails' it seems a long time ago when we worked on the Matthew, thanks for the compliment and the pictures of us. I look a lot younger!!!! How would you like to pop and see my 'dove tails' on the boat I am building at the moment, it is an Alan Buchanan Vashti. It would be good to see you again. I am in Uphill Boat Yard, Weston Super Mare.

Regards

Neil Blake

Andy King12/09/2013 19:46:21
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170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles

Hi Neil, great to hear from you!

I'll certainly look n to see you next time i'm down in Weston - bumped into Mark Rolt the other day as well. He tells me the Redcliffe yard where we built the Matthew is to be redeveloped so he's relocating to another place, I think he said down by the Cottage pub on Cumberland road.

cheers,

Andy

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