Studying How To Make Dovetail Joints with Adam Savage

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For his newest obsession with the Napoleonic period, Adam is instructing himself make dovetail joints to construct a private sea chest. Adam shares with Will what he is realized up to now and demonstrates his new carpentry expertise.

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Adam Savage’s Tested says:

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Verruca says:

I learned this at school 50 years ago. Nobody ever taught Adam to use a chisel properly. That's half the problem. You can't cut accurately the way he's holding it. He's using the wrong side (bevel side) of the chisel at some random angle and hoping it'll cut straight. It wont. You have to bear directly downward onto the bench with your shoulder behind it, using the flat face of the chisel to cut precisely vertical. NEVER use a mallet or worse a hammer unless you're using a mortise chisel to cut a socket.

Cade Ryan says:

you've got most of it down Adam, you just need to cut on the waste side of your lines 🙂

Keith Walton says:

good luck, the wood is not even straight and flat.

Robert Brunston says:

Very good! Thank you.

john decoteau says:

just slow down, you will be fine. 🙂 and it is pronounced lee nielson even though the spelling suggests otherwise.

Erich Breckoff says:

It took me like 2 month to do them right. The trick is to cut someway inside the marks and then use an razor sharp chisel to "shave" to the mark

Honestly AV 2 says:

Now you need to try and make a tapered dovetail.

TheVergile says:

using a coping saw pretty much sounds like a loosing proposition to me.

Alex Paulsen says:

Matthias Wandel will probably argue that his box-joints would be your best and easiest option. I've seen him stress test box joints made on his "screw-advance" box joint jig, and boy are they strong. Dovetails in some ways have stress risers, which are probably the main point of failure.

Antonio Luna says:

Just like anything else in life. Practice, practice, practice. You only get better by doing the same thing over and over again. Good luck and hope to see your finished product!

JC says:

Hey Adam! How about a "Dovetails revisited" vid? Lol. Or let's see that sea chest.

Völundr Frey says:

A lot of proper carpenters are commenting on what he does wrong and even though they're probably right I'd say the easy way to get good dovetails is to remember to account for the width of the cuts. so you need to either saw on the correct side of the mark or mark with the saw width in mind. But as always it takes a bit of practice and I'm sure Adam has worked it out by now. However someone else has a go and wonder why they're a bit loose that's usually why in my limited hobbyist experience.

Matt Kent says:

12oz of groog. Which is watered down rum. Nor straight rum.

Phillip Elwood says:

Don't chisel toward your hand.

Mike OBryan says:

Just slow down and do more research. You’re trying to short cut your way into a finished product

stephen barnett says:

Two words Frank Klaus

Andrew Sutter says:

Rob Cosman dovetails.

respt46 says:

where is the sea chest video?

K McD says:

I started to make a comment like "you should try this or that," and then I saw the post date. I'm sure this has been worked out in 6 years. 😉
For once, the YouTube algorithm got it right in suggesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hP-QAAhpxQ after this vid. Good zooms. Good step-by-step. Tool and technique comparison. If you haven't seen this guy, and like wood, you should definitely check his channel out.
And no, I don't know him.

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