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The various types of Dovetail Joints allows for a strong piece along with the look of strong craftsmanship. The use of modern jigs and tooling allows the use of these joints by anyone with the patience to learn how to do it correctly.
Dovetail Joinery When you look at dovetail joints in a woodworking project you immediately think quality. The joint is tight, it looks fantastic. Getting the hang of cutting dovetails used to be the sign of a master craftsman. Now cutting dovetails has become easier with great new jigs and the help of plunge routers.
There are a couple of different ways to construct sliding dovetails. In the small wardrobe I am currently building, the construction relies for strength on through dovetails on the upper ends and a panel with sliding dovetails at the lower ends. For this reason, the sliding dovetails run the full width of the sides, rather than only have a short dovetail opening into a dado.
When you read a lot of "fine woodworking" style magazines, sometimes it seems woodworking is all about the hand cut dovetails. Personally, I'm not that infatuated with this type of joint, but I thought I'd play around with them a bit.
Comparing the strength of a dovetail joint to a box joint. I had been thinking of buying a dovetail jig for some time, and for that price, I figured it was worth a try. It turned out, I still needed the router template bushing set, but I managed to get one of those. I made a few test joints until I got the adjustments right. Getting a dovetail joint that really fits is quite satisfying, especially the way it locks together even without glue.
No joint commands more respect or intimidates woodworkers the most then hand cut half-blind dovetails. Beginners dream of the day they can execute the joint with flawless precision while veterans enjoy the process so much, they look for excuses just to include it in their next piece.
Dovetail joints have been a favorite of woodworkers for decades. Our predecessors cut these intricate joints using nothing more than hand tools, applied with extraordinary levels of patience and skill. Today, we have the luxury of routers and dovetail jigs. While these modern tools certainly make this process easier, they do not guarantee perfect results. Proper setup is crucial to good results. For our purposes here, we will assume we are cutting dovetail joints on a drawer. There are many other uses for dovetails, but essentially the same procedures, and problems, apply to virtually all of them.
The dovetail is symbolic of fine woodworking. There is simply no stronger or prettier way to join the sides of a solid-wood box, whether it is for a big chest or one of the drawers inside it, which might be pulled in and out thousands of times in its life. I say solid wood, because a dovetail doesn’t look good or hold glue well in plywood, so it’s not used for that. There are two parts to a dovetail joint, pins and tails. The tails look like the tails of doves (hence the name), and the pins are on the opposite board and fit in between the tails to create a joint that is impossible to pull apart in at least one direction. Add some glue, clamp the joint together well, and it will be impossible to pull apart in the other direction.