When cutting dovetails, I need to focus but they generally come out ok. I really like cutting dovetails and enjoy projects that have them. For some reason, when my non-woodworking friends see dovetails I have made, they think I have superpowers. I chuckle inside as at best, I am average in skills. I am slow and have patience. Eventually projects get completed.
I wanted to explore both sawing out the bulk of the waste (then chisel remainder) vs. chiseling. I tried both both methods and both worked. Both work. I have a preference chiseling out the waste and not using a coping saw for removing the bulk. It might be that I have just done it more times that way. Trying different ways and seeing what I observe and prefer is the one of my goals on projects as I am still a beginner and want to learn the subtle differences when done different ways. For some other project, I will have to try cutting the tails first.
I also wanted to explore ways to align the boards when transferring the lines from, in my case, tails to pins. Early on, I tried aligning by sight. It always makes me a bit uncomfortable. Another way I have done is to cut a 1/16" thickness off the inside face of the dovetails. That rebate gives a really nice reference surface to push the complimentary board up to it to transfer the lines for the tails. The only downside is that it takes some time to make this shallow rebate. I had seen where others simply put a shallow notch on the underside of the dovetail rather than whole rebate. I tried this and I found it works really well. It gives a good reference contact point for the complimentary board. It's not quite a firm and secure as the rebate but is good enough. I suspect cutting a shallow notch on the inside face of the dovetail to aid the transfer will be my preferred technique moving forward.
One Christmas, I took a gift card a relative gave me and used it to buy a 24" beam for my engineering square. It gets used a lot more than I thought it would. I wouldn't consider it a must have tool but I am happy I have it. It comes in handy for projects like this.
The other thing I tried was cutting the dovetails 1/16" overlong and when I transferred I set them a bit deeper. That mean that both pins and tails protruded a bit and I could then easily use my hand plane to flush everything. Yes, it worked well BUT 1/16" is too much. On a large piece like this, it resulted in a lot more hand planning to flush everything. Probably not as much of an issue on a smaller piece. Next time, I will target no more than 1/32" protrusion.
Before I glued up the carcass, I wanted to do and finish the interior. That will be the focus of the next post.