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3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Printable Version

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3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Scoony - 03-25-2020

I must have missed Derek's 3 layer blue tape when it first came out. He posted a link upstairs. Tried it tonight on the first of four drawers adn it worked great.

The sides have already been cut.

Tape applied

Yes, I use a pencil to mark my pins. I find that I can cut to the side of a pencil mark easier than cutting to the side of a knife mark. The 3 layers of tape provide enough of a reference surface to make marking the half blind DTs easy peasy. 

If I don't make marks on the waste, I will probably make one cut on the wrong side.

I aim to make a cut as close to the pencil line, but as long as I am on the waste side, I am good. You can see on the right where I veered off course, but that will pare out easily. This was the first corner to be sawn, and it's apparent that I am a bit rusty as I have not beed doing much in the shop until lately. 

A little fuzz to clean up and a sliver to pare.

Small router plane helps level the front edge of the tail socket.

Pretty good fit.

Drawer dry assembled. I make a half dovetail at the bottom to hide the bottom groove. 

RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Scoony - 03-25-2020

And for the back pin board, I cheated.

Make the cuts, then remove most of the waste with a coping saw. 

A trim router with a hinge mortising router bit removes the waste quickly. The bearing registers right off the top of the pins.


You will still have those little corners to remove. The coping saw removes them quickly.

Tiny bit of paring where I was not close enough to the pencil line.

RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Tapper - 03-26-2020

Nice work - looking good!


RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Derek Cohen - 03-26-2020


It is time to use the blue tape for transferring tails to pins. No more pencils! Smile

And the kerfing chisel ...


Regards from Perth


RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Scoony - 03-26-2020

I do use the tape trick to mark the pins sometimes with darker wood, but i do well enough with the pencil on lighter woods that I would rather skip the extra time involved with applying tape pealing out the sections. In this case, the time spent applying the 3 layers and trimming was well worth it in the ease of registration of the tail board to pin board. it eliminates fidgeting with alignment. As for the kerfing chisel, I have tried card scrapers in the past and have split the wood so the clamp is important to prevent that. I Simply overcut the sockets and no one has ever noticed them.

RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Scoony - 03-26-2020

I marked out the other three drawers tonight and must say that this 3 layer tap trick is incredible. The ease in which the tail board registers off the tape and allows you to aline the parts quickly and accurately, I wish I had know this long ago.

I have cut a lot of dovetails over the years, and marking half blind DTs was always a tricky proposition for me. I made a blanket chest that had all half blind DTs on the carcass so that the front surface was clean with no joinery visible. The DTs on the sides were only visible at the front edge, and you have to look close to see them. The doves at the rear are only visible from the back. I have seen this on Shaker pieces and tried it out on this chest.  I spent a lot of time marking them to ensure I got a nice joint. This 3 layer tape trick would have saved me a lot of time and gray hair. 

RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Tapper - 03-27-2020

Very nice work - lovely piece!


RE: 3 Layer Blue Tape Trick - Derek Cohen - 03-27-2020

Very nice, indeed!

Regards from Perth