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Kerfing Chisel for Half-Blind Dovetail Sockets

The kerfing chisel is used to deepen the kerf of a half bind dovetail pin in the area where the saw blade cannot reach. This facilitates the easier removal of waste in that area ..

The use of the blue tape is discussed here.

In use …

I built this tool several years ago after watching a video by Tage Frid. Tage used a piece of bandsaw blade, which he hammered into the kerf. This looked rather uncomfortable to hold (!) so I decided to build a special purpose version.

The blade is as thin/thick as a standard dovetail saw blade (.020"). I used a beltsander to thickness the steel. It is pretty even in thickness all the way through - the last thing you want in this situation is a wedge!

The end of the blade is square. A bevel here would act like a chisel and cleave the wood.

The origin of this "kerfing chisel" was a stainless steel trowel ..

Just remember that when you use a wedge, even one with parallel sides that acts like a wedge, there is the danger of splitting wood along the grain.
Always add a clamp across the board (see below). And proceed slowly. Best to “nibble” along the kerf line than take a big bite, especially if on the outer edges of the board. Listen and feel how you are progressing. Having said this, I have had very good results over the years without splitting boards.

Regards from Perth


January 2011 Revised October 2011