I’ve read a number of books that describe dovetail joint layout. Yet, I could not picture it; I couldn’t figure it out. I liked the look of the dovetails, but I could not comprehend how to make the joint. Probably, too much, too hard, back in the 70s, which certainly had an effect on the number of functioning brain cells. However, after day one of the North House Folk School Dovetail Log Building Cabin class and I fully understand how the half-dovetail functions. It is really quite simple; seeing it in person and actually performing the layout and cutting made it clear that this technique is easy and useful.
Also, it was clear that working with square timbers and cutting half-dovetail joints is way quicker than either hand-scribed log cabin construction or timber framing. I plan to use this technique to build the sauna at The Stump Ranch.
A few photos from day one in the class:
Discussing timbers in the workshop.
Using a slick to clean up a half-dovetail notch.
The North House School is located right on Lake Superior in downtown Grand Marais, Minnesota.
A few logs notched and ready for fit up.