My test joints turned out well enough that I decided to go ahead and finish the drawer, which I will find a use for at some point. I did find that very careful fine-tuning made a difference but some small gaps remained. I used a filler of glue and sawdust to fill the gaps and this is what I ended up with:
Pretty good, could be better. The best way I have found to fill small gaps in dovetails is sawdust and shellac and that's what I will go back to in the future.
Here's how I think I can improve:
- I need to make further progress on precise, crisp marking out of the pin board but in a way that produces a line I can follow;
- Although I have made significant strides, there is always room for further improvement in sawing technique.
I decided that I would try to use a marking knife but then find some way to highlight the knife line so I can see it. After a number of unsuccessful experiments, I settled on putting a chisel in the knife line and drawing a line with a .5 mm mechanical pencil along the back of it. Here's what it looks like under magnification:
After all of the fumbling around marking out dovetail pins that I have done, this simple and obvious solution seems like it is going to work. I think it is better than the masking tape trick or any other method I know of. Quicker too.
Here's the result:
This is dry fit off the saw and chisel and is a significant improvement. Further improvement depends on sawing accuracy, so this is what I am focused on.
I ran out of wide scraps, so I had to start making shallower drawers:
If I could make them this well on a consistent basis, I'd be satisfied.
Now I have two wide drawers and two shallow drawers and nothing to put them in. May have to think of a project.