I received my dovetail saw yesterday, and I was anxious to try it out. I ended up starting on a project, but I didn’t cut any dovetails with it. What I did do, was cut the back out for this Dovetailed Step Stool (PDF) from Frank Klausz. I had about 6 board feet of poplar I had bought to test cutting dovetails. I figure, why not test by making something instead!

I started the rip cuts with the dovetail saw, and finished them with the Handy Saw. It was a bit more effort as the Atkins saw is a bit dull, but it did a fine job and left a tight kerf (not much set, much like the dovetail saw).

Like any project I now realize I need a few more tools to get this done (intended as a gift for my wife for Christmas), so I ordered a cabinetmaker’s rasp and I’m also going to pick up a router plane (for the sliding dovetail groove).

Last night was the first real project I’ve started in over 15 years (and my first with hand tools). It was exhilarating working with only hand tools. And it really felt natural. I can’t wait to get back into the shop and improve my skills.

(This picture is of what the step stool will look like finished, in poplar)