This morning I’m finishing up all the small drawers for the gallery in this campaign secretary. The dovetails are little buggers, and the mahogany drawer front material is really dark stuff.
So I stole some of my daughter’s sidewalk chalk.
Chalking your knife lines and gauge lines makes your lines really easy to see, even in walnut. I usually rub some chalk onto the board coarsely, knife in my lines and then rub the chalk into the lines. This removes it from the face of the board and leaves it in the crevices.
However, today I learned something new, thanks to the kinda-creepy mind-reading power of carpenter Jeff Burks. He sent me a nice little article from an 1869 edition of The Manufacturer and Builder on dovetails.
There are some interesting tidbits in there, and in the discussion of chalk it implied you could pencil over the chalk. As I am somewhat dense at times, this had never occurred to me. So this morning I chalked my pin boards, knifed in the pins and then penciled in the vertical lines on the inside face.
It worked great.
Thanks dead guys. You’re the best.
You can download and read the entire article here.
— Christopher Schwarz