Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I share your pain.  Making any joint match almost flawlessly is a talent that seems to elude me.


I find that I should cut out one half then fit it on top of the other half and mark the matching outline with a very fine pencil.

I then cut (scroll saw and/or chisel), file and sand (in that order) to fit.

Leave the "nose" end extended a bit.

The pencil outline will be just outside where I need to be.

If I can get that to match it allows me to bring (sand or chisel) the nose in a little bit for the final fit.


I still cannot make them perfect and tight but the real build was not.

It will take a lot more practice for me to "get it".



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is where mill is very handy - I can easilly make joints on 2-8 planks at the same time (assuming the same thickness), and they would be perfectly fit in all dimensions, tight and with a consistent angle. It takes about 8-10min for the batch including the setup. And no need for the careful markup - just make sure that all planks have the same angle in the mill vice.

Without mill, it was a lot of fitting, took around 30min per joint (instead of 10 for a number of joints), and it was hard to get tight fit on a thick stock.

Cutting perfect scarfs by hand is a skill to learn, doing it with a mill is a simple procedure that does not require any skill. Easy-peasy! :) One of the biggest reasons that pushed me to buy the mill.


Here are some basic pictures of the process. I use a wooden "template" that fits under the planks inside the vice to ensure correct angle.







Edited by Mike Y
Link to comment
Share on other sites


If you want the best videos I have ever seen, go to utube and look up "daves" or "dave stevens" videos. The build he does is the Caustic

"daves" is on modelshipworld

If you can't find him or the videos, send me PM and I will look for the links

His videos are outstanding, everthing is very clear and spot on.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice and easy - if you happen to have a mill and know how to set it up properly , Mike!


True, and it is also a matter of taste - some prefer to master the hand tools, some prefer to use mills for such precision tasks



Probably, but you need to know how to work with a mill first!!!

Well, this sort of task does not require any milling experience - it was my first thing to cut, worked like a charm from the first attempt.

Just fix the plank in the vice, follow the steps, re-measure twice if not sure, done!

No intricate setup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Accurate mark-out with a very sharp, hard lead point and very well sharpened tools are the keys to a tight-fitting joint.

Agreed, although fro me at least I find a nice sharp knife point rather than a pencil works better, especially on dark woods. Changing from an HB lead to 4h helped but I still find myself scoring a light cut as a mark wherever possible.

Making sure the backs of your chisels are flat and polished helps to see if you are on your line and perpendicular to your cutting surface.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted some instructions for making close fitting joints at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/11685-how-to-get-close-fitting-connections/#entry357279.


I agree with Capt. Chaos, you need to use a scoring knife to layout joints accurately, especially for scaled work.  Even for cabinet scale woodworking (dovetails, tenons, etc), I use a scoring knife to layout the joints to ensure a tight fit.    To use an Aubreyism, pencils ain't in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...