Tools for Working Wood
Hand Tools Skills - Mastering Dovetailing - Classes with Joel Moskowitz
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First steps in learning to saw straight
Marking out the baseline
Sawing - In class we will be using both Our Gramercy Dovetail Saw and this inexpensive Gent’s saw
Cutting tails then removing the waste with more saw cuts
Ready for glue-up

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 Tuesdays. Jan, 9,16, & 23 (6:00-9:00) 2018: Mastering Dovetailing ($385.00) In Stock
 Saturdays. Jan, 13th (11:00-5:00) and 20th (11:00-2:00) 2018: Mastering Dovetailing ($385.00) In Stock
Saturdays, January 13, 2018 11am - 5pm and January 20, 2018 11am - 2pm
Tuesday Nights, January 9,16 and 23 2018, 6pm - 9pm.

Over the years we have had many discussions with customers and colleagues about the ways in which apprentices mastered certain woodworking skills. As some of you might already know, we are firm believers in practice. Most of woodworking isn't some magic formula; it's about learning decent hand skills and practicing them. With this in mind, we are offering Mastering Dovetailing, a limited-enrollment class with both class instruction and daily practice at home. The class will meet on three consecutive Tuesday nights or on a full day one Saturday and half day the following Saturday.

We will not be using odd gadgets, revolutionary new techniques, or never-before-revealed cabinetmaking secrets. We will, however, try to mimic late 18th century methods used by apprentices who churned out dovetail after dovetail with simple tools, basic techniques, and practice. This class incorporates a daily assignment between meetings: cutting a dovetail each day using the techniques learned in the first class. The class will consist of three phases: (1) Exploration of the features and uses of hand tools used in dovetailing. This includes sharpening (2) Beginning to dovetail and the establishment of good dovetailing technique and (3) Continued practice and development of dovetailing skill. Students will learn how to grind and sharpen their chisels. Saw straight consistently and accurately lay out important projects. The home assignment will entail cutting a dovetail a day, putting into regular practice this woodworking essential. Students' progress will be evaluated on the follow-up sessions, with areas for improvement noted. If anyone runs into trouble during their daily dovetailing, they are welcome to confer with Joel via Skype to get them back on the right track.

Students in the class will need to have certain tools at home for the homework practice. The list is below. There is no need to obtain the tools before the first class - in fact we encourage you to try out some different options at the first class before you buy -- except you will need to bring or buy eye protection for use at the first class.

Tools needed for the class and home practice:

  • 1) Dovetail saw: Gramercy Tools dovetail saw, which was designed to make dovetailing easy, is recommended. In class we will be using the Gramercy saw and an inexpensive Gent's saw from PAX. Please contact us to discuss recommended alternatives.
  • 2) Marking gauge - any kind, any maker
  • 3) Several sharp pencils
  • 4) A square. Starrett or Colen Clenton would be best but we can suggest other options. A small square is ideal, but if all you have is a regular 12" combination square, go ahead and use it (as long as it is accurate)
  • 5) Eye protection
  • 6) Optional: a coping or fret saw with a decent blade
  • 7) A marking knife - any maker. An Xacto knife would be great
  • 8) A pair of SHARP chisels, one narrow and one wide.
  • 9) A mallet

We stock all these tools in various styles and options. If you don't own a particular tool at the class you'll have a chance to play around with our tools and see for yourself what options are the best for you and what works that also fits your budget.

The class teaches an essential woodworking skill via correct technique and regular repetition. Once you have your dovetailing skill in place, you can go on to do all kinds of fancy woodworking.

Limited to four students. See you there! Note: Tuition includes all materials and use of tools. Students must purchase or bring safety goggles and sign a waiver of liability.

Cancellation policy: You may cancel registration up to 8 days prior to the class for a full refund. Cancellations made within 36 hours of the class will be subject to full payment of the materials fees and a $50 cancellation penalty, for a refund of $150. Cancellations made with less than 36 hours advance notice and no-shows to the class will not qualify for any refunds. There are no make-up sessions and no partial or pro-rated refunds for missed class meetings.  
Customer Reviews:

Mastering Dovetails

By: Steven (Aug, 2017)

This class was great!! Joel is a straight shooter and will tell you like it is. This is exactly what an apprentices needs. It is nice to learn from someone who is passionate about his craft. I am glad to see he is adding the sharpening component to the curriculum. I cannot wait for the next TfWW class.

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