Just When It Was All Going So Well…

The draw bore pegs are in the breadboard ends and the dovetail sides are ready to glue on. I often find glue-ups a little stressful, so I tried to assemble everything that I would need before I began.  The weather has been a little warm, and I was concerned about the open time that I would have before the glue started to dry.

Everything I will need assembled and ready to start the glue-up.

Everything I will need assembled and ready to start the glue-up.

So far, so good.  I started applying the glue and I was moving like lightning.  I coated the edge of the bench, the sapele board, the dovetails, and the sockets.  I put the tails into the sockets and proceeded to close the joint by driving the tails in with a mallet.

And then, disaster struck…

As I feared the center pin broke off.

As I feared the center pin broke off.

I can’t say that I was too surprised.  As soon as I had cut the pins/sockets on the breadboard ends, I saw the flaw in my design.  What I should have done was to make the tongue on the bench end about 3 inches from each side.  I could have then left more sapele behind the pins on the breadboard ends.

At this point, with the glue tacking up, I was starting to panic about being able to get the joints fully closed in time.   I managed to do it and got all of the clamps in place.

All the clamps on and left to dry.

All the clamps on and left to dry.

The center pin on the other end also broke off.  Damn, damn, damn.

And the other end too.

And the other end too.

I have to give some thought to how I will fix this.  Well, I suppose hide this would be a better term, since there’s no fixing this one.

The other side went a little better.  I’ll post more on that soon.

About Jonathan

I am a woodworker and hand tool restorer / collector. I buy too many tools and don't build enough - I need help!
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6 Responses to Just When It Was All Going So Well…

  1. Pingback: Gluing Up the Dovetailed Side Board, Take 2 | The Bench Blog

  2. Pingback: Patching my Broken Dovetails | The Bench Blog

  3. Jim McIntyre says:

    The dove tails came out great. If you didn’t show the restored broken dove tail no one would have noticed. Like Alen Holthan said. “You need a sliding fit in the mortice before you have to resort to clamps and hammers.” Dry fitting is a must. As he states in his YouTube video Build a work bench, build it with Bosch, where he makes a simple but informative video about building a bench.

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks Jim. I’m not sure that I agree with “dry fitting is a must”. On massive dovetails such as these (and in a very hard wood no less), it would have been very difficult to get them apart once dry fitted. That said, I did put the joints together (only pushing the tails about a ¼ inch into the sockets) to check that everything looked right and was going to line up. Thanks for the tip about the Alen Holthan videos, I’ll have to go and check them out.

      All the best,

      Jonathan

      • Jim McIntyre says:

        Your probably right. I haven’t make those type if dove tails yet.
        Your also a great photographer. What kind of camera do you use?
        Best regards
        Jim

        • Jonathan says:

          Sorry for the late reply Jim, I missed this one. I use a Nikon D200 DSLR camera. It’s getting a bit ancient at this point, but I keep spending my spare money on tools instead of cameras…+

          All the best,

          Jonathan

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