This particular box is
made out of Bald Cypress (beehive scraps) I had.
Cypress can be an extreme wood, I have seen is so
hard and brash it would explode trying to drive a
nail in it. I have also seen it so soft you could
push a nail in it with your fingers. The pieces for
this box were a happy medium, mild and pretty
I started by plowing a grove for the bottom board to
set in a ¼ in wide x ¼ in deep.
I plowed the grove before I cut the
sides to length, this is faster and easier than plowing the
groves on each individual piece.
I then cut the pieces to length,
the front and back pieces are 12 in long the ends 8 in.
My favorite way to lay out
dovetails is the way Roy Underhill teaches in his dovetail
class. First lay out the baseline for the tails and pins on both
boards with a cutting gauge.
Starting with tailboard (yes, this
is a tails first method) pick a chisel the width you want the
pins to be (3/8 in in this case) and strike in on the base line
on both sides of the board even with the edge. This will be the
bottom of the two outside half pins. Then divide the space
between by the number tails you want. Once this is done strike
in on the base line centering the chisel on the division points,
these will be the bottoms of the two full pins.