I bought a 1/2" thick poplar board that was 5.5" wide and 4' long. I thought this would be good stock to practice on and if there is any left it can be used to make the treasure chest I mentioned in my last post. I also bought a back saw and a coping saw. Both saws were Kobalt brand from Lowes. I know these may not be the best but just starting out I thought they would work, plus there isn't a woodworking store anywhere within a hour of driving.
First I lay out the tails (which are where the name dovetail comes from since the tails look like a birds tail). I made the layout lines with a knife and then went of the lines with a pencil thinking it would make the knife line easier to see. I think that by making the pencil makes I may have lead myself astray because it was hard to see the knife line and was easier to follow my messy pencil line when sawing.
I don't have a real wood working workbench with a vices so here is how I work on the piece. The work piece is clamped to a crude fence that I made in a attempt to re-saw with my band saw and then the fence is clamped to my work surface. The work surface is a piece of particle board sitting on 2 saw horses.
After I cut the tails I traced the tail locations onto the other piece to make the pins. I didn't have a good way to hold the pieces together while doing this which i think was a major source of error, not to mention my inability to saw where I needed to. The joint did go together with a little persuasion, but doesn't fit together nicely. But I did succeed in making a set of hand cut dovetails.