Text Resize

  • -A
  • +A
  • Editor's Mailbox
    About this Blog
    see all
    Your rating: None (40 votes)

    Basics of Dovetail Joinery

    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, too.

    And there are two main kinds of dovetails: through and half-blind (see photos above). You can see through-dovetails on both side of the joint. Half-blinds don’t show on one of the faces; that’s why they are used at the front of drawers.

    Drawer Parts

    Traditional drawers have half-blind dovetails at the front, and through-dovetails at the back. Photo: Kelly J. Dunton

    The traditional way to cut dovetails is by hand, using a saw and chisels, and that yields the prettiest joint with very narrow pins.

    The traditional method for cutting dovetails is to use a handsaw and chisels. Photo: Steve Scott

    That’s because a handsaw lets you cut very narrow spaces between the tails.

    The other way is with a router jig, and that is much easier and faster. The downside is that you’ll have to get a router bit between the tails, and that means fatter pins. But only hardcore woodworkers will know the difference. You’ll also need a pricey jig to make nice dovetails, while hand tools are cheaper, and can be used for many more tasks.

    Dovetail Jig

    A good dovetail jig will cost you $100 or more, and you’ll need a router, too, but it makes short work of these fancy joints. Asa Christiana

    Most beginners start out with a jig before they are ready to make the leap to the hand-cut look.

    Better yet, avoid dovetails for a while when you are starting out. There are other great ways to join wood pieces. Get used to the basics, and take on dovetails when you feel ready.



    Comment viewing options

    Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
    Tay Sanara writes: It's is very artistic and natural impressed. This tutorial is very interest. Hidroponik Shop also use wood materials to various aspects, but need to be polished to better use the techniques contained in startwoodworking.
    Tay Sanara writes: It's is very artistic and natural impressed. This tutorial is very interest. Hidroponik Shop also use wood materials to various aspects, but need to be polished to better use the techniques contained in startwoodworking.
    ibadah umroh ramadhan 2016
    Denny Smudge writes: well i just recently found finger joint and practiced it. now i think i can try this one. finger joint is just the basic. let's try this one.
    Meena Boys writes: What a good blog you have here. Please update it more often. This topics is my interest. Thank you. . . http://www.kungfupanda3film.com/
    Kohkoh Amuba writes: Interior wood is very artistic and natural impressed. Given this web tutorial that discusses the use of wood materials for interior design is very helpful. Tips Kesehatan I also use wood materials to various aspects, but need to be polished to better use the techniques contained in startwoodworking.
    koutb sawy writes: خدمات التنظيف بشركة ركن نجد متميزة جدا حيث نسعي لان نكون افضل شركة تنظيف بالرياض بخدمات مميزة جدا ويمكننا من ذلك افضل طاقم للعمالة المدربة حيث يجب ان يتوافر شركة تنظيف بالرياض لأي طاقم مجهز لكي تكون افضل شركة بالرياض وبالمملكة مكشلة تسربات المياه تسبب الكثير من الخسائر المادية لذلك وجب استخدام شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض ركن نجد مدربة ومحترفة تضمن حصول العميل علي افضل خدمات كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض مع الاصلاح والضمان علي كافة اعمال معالجة في الرياض او خارج الرياض بالاضافة الى افضل خدمات رش مبيدات بالرياض وكذلك خدمات نقل اثاث بالرياض
    Esteph Hede writes: nice article
    Cloe Dillen writes: Perfect ! Thank you for this article my french website mutuelle http://www.internetsolidaire.fr
    ahmad kim writes: great and valuable info kiwibox manisabis simpihku
    Haji Umroh writes: I'd like having wooden interiors but have some troubles in making one by my hand. So, I currently buy whatever fit my artistic needs. Waiting for a huge brave heart of mine to start wood working trained by this site :) Anyway, one of my site Umroh, has wood decorated (background, elements, etc.). Please visit it and gimme a like or tweet if anyone of you like it. Wood is more natural than steel or aluminium material or other similar one. I like it and this all-about-wood site! Thanks for the author of this article.
    faraz ahmed writes: Yes, great US Military force. Also, in his post you have given a chance to listen about US Military. I really appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing it. Astuce Clash of Clans
    Pean Koplak writes: dovetail joinery is one kind of complex joinery wood work
    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    Lengthy ago i observed what I expected in no time at all. Reasonably uncommon. Will probably love for many who include message boards as well as anything, site design. Any colors way for your own client for you to talk. Outstanding activity.free leads for network marketing training

    Adi Gembon writes: how about marketing freelance as example info jakarta
    yesh chin writes: this article is very interesting and nice, I'd loved reading this article of yours. I learned some thing from this article. thank you for sharing this to us ! purchase twitter followers
    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    I simply get a crucial information right here PassBeeMedia and additionally this is often really Maine I trying. because of your current posting.

    harry smith writes:

    Wow. Its amazing. I llke your post and i appreciate your post and your hard workig . Keep it up guys. Share me more post in future.   gymmatsco.co.uk

    hiujo pera writes:

    the problem is.. we need a good tools to do enjoy doing woodworking... and it cost me a lot for that.. anyway thanks for your good article..

    Dr Lindsay Kreischer writes:

    One great thing about the dovetail joinery is that it is very strong and stable unlike mort of the joints developed. Most of the research conducted i.e "Forestry research on quality of wood (California News)" has been shown to be one of the best techniques used by students and pupils in conductiong projects in there college essays for sale written online after completion of this courses in university.

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    llo there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it's really informative. I'm gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.capilar

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    Beautiful and Top Speed Cars with very high millage and expensive rates, pictures and reviews of cars poolpower salt cell

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    Beach wedding theme is a good theme for a spring or summer wedding party. There are so many good place can be chosen for your wedding destination Seagrove Beach

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    To those of us living in the twenty first century the tradition that the color of the wedding dress must be white seems like a tradition that must go all the way back to the garden of Eden. After all, wasn't Eve's fig leaf ensemble not made of white satin Seagrove Beach

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    The only sad part about moving away from Maryland recently, was having to leave ProFIT. Now in my search for a new Zumba class, I am very nervous about what I will find. Alex set the bar very high and now I am expecting, and hoping to find, the same crazy fun she brings to her classes.recuperar hd

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    This is really awesome and i love that.. This is very unique thing you put on that post.. Thanks for sharing... recuperar hd

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes: Adzet is the world's leading Marketing University Platform - providing marketing strategy and business development strategy to small and medium businesses worldwide
    dalladalla dalladalla writes:

    Yup..New Year Party is a great fun.We enjoyed on a beach with some of close friends.But it is necessary to plan out for a trip in a year which will refresh you.Best store cards online

    mardy church writes:

    Do it yourself projects are just out there ready to be explored and worked by curious and adventurous individuals willing to do their own project. - Nationwide Relocation Services

    Rodger Ani-Okoye writes:

    Some very helpful information, my work desk is falling apart, infact my computer is also on it's last legs, so anything I can do to salvage my current office space would be much appreciated.

    Tyson Roy writes:

    It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! music widgets

    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes: Adzet is the world's leading Global Marketing Service Platform - providing marketing strategy and business development strategy to small and medium businesses worldwide
    Login or register to post comments