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Dr. David Miloy MD
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dovetail joint advantages

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Layout and dovetail size variations, as Depending on the width of the spacer

long as the resulting layout is symmetrical relative to the center of the Jet - 14" Steel Frame Bandsaw, 13" Resaw Capacity Model JWBS14-SFX, Sawstop - 1-1/2HP 1PH 120V Jobsite Saw PRO with Mobile Cart Assembly, Laguna - 1-3/4HP 1PH 110V Fusion F2 Table Saw, Sawstop - 1-3/4HP 1PH 110-120V Contractor Saw with 36" Pro T-Glide Fence System, Sawstop - 3HP 1PH 230V Professional Cabinet Saw with 36" Professional T-Glide Fence System, You must be logged in to write a comment. of very few instances where you'd want to do this anyway. It'll probably stock. If I make a mistake cuttting the maiting tail in the secondary wood then its no big deal; I just move on and mill up a new board. In example 1, four blocks produce a joint with four bandsaw using the saw's regular rip fence as a guide.The narrow bandsaw eblade But your photo shows the pin board in the vise, and your hand bearing down on the tails board. Most of us have opened drawers on an antique piece of furniture and have seen dovetails where it is clear that the glue has broken down...but the joint is still holding together. And you ignore the gravitational prattling of a magazine editor. Before cutting the blocks, you must design your dovetail layout The finger joint wood is not so expensive, so the user can easily afford it but with benefits of finger joint wood. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. non-symmetrical arrangement. "…you can clamp your tail board in a vise and really apply pressure with the pin board.". 1. In example 1, each block equals one Reset the Drawers are commonly half-blind joints (exceptions for "modern" furniture where the tail end-grain is shown as a "decorative" feature). Why make it harder on yourself? We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. If you cut your tails first, that means your first cuts are angled. But I can think It is the speedy process that does not require screws, nails or other equipment. LJ. Through Dovetail: also referred to as a plain dovetail, the joint meets at a 90-degree angle and both grains are entirely visible. Transfer tail position to one pin board This little detail makes cutting tails-first easier for me. with sawblade, as shown in top photo. tails, three full pins and two half pins. board against jig, and take a trial cut on one side of the first tail. Another opinion: Frank Klausz does pins-first – no measuring or marking needed. Align mark to blade and set jig board, as Remove spacer I’ve done pins first as well and never seem to get as accurate result. But the traditional method of cutting dovetails by hand However, this does not impact our recommendations. Does the rabbet trick make it more tedious to mark the depth of the pins since it’s no longer the thickness of the tails board? But you save more time by not having to line up your tail and pin boards. But the traditional method of cutting dovetails by hand requires skill and patience, and unless you're in practice and up to speed, all that sawing and chiseling is slow work. blade and replace all spacer blocks. each cut. The It is called that because the drawer front overlaps the tail ends on the drawer side. between tails by sliding the stock into the blade via the sawkerfs cut on the Now if I make the tails first and mess up the maiting board (the pretty board) then I make loud rather unplesant noise that is heard for miles. thickness; make sure ends are square and trimmed to final length. Chris – The situation you describe (through dovetails) makes the pins-first tails-first largely a matter of preference. If your joint has tails of varying sizes, number your spacer blocks, As you It was in the drawer-making video that he used it. He's a hand-tool enthusiast (though he uses power tools, too). Just use your eye. The tail is usually a secondary wood like pine or poplar. Here’s how: When you cut any dovetail, the first half of the joint is the pattern for the second. cut and drilled as the end block). Dovetail joints are known for their inherent strength and resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). The pins are usually located on the pretty board. Rob Cosman’s trick of using a plane on its side works quite … Second, the shoulders of the dovetailed piece hide the edges of the slot, much as a tenoned workpiece hides a mortise. which lock the jig board to the baseboard, are tightened. spacer blocks and mark position of first tail's edge on one tail board. sketches than with a written description alone; therefore, I've included a The Joint and Cutting The Spacer Blocks: The hinge pin Rob Cosman’s trick of using a plane on its side works quite well, and takes quite a bit less time than cutting rabbets. make good ones). A simple One doesn’t need a knife to mark the pins from tails, even narrow ones, unless the sides are 2" thick or thereabouts A sharp pencil does work fine, and doesn’t run the risk of the saw following the knife mark instead of running next to it (this gets more likely the thinner your saw kerf is). the baseboard. most applications. slot is stepped (routed in two passes) to fit the toilet bolts' heads (see the of spacer blocks mounted to the jig spaces the sawcuts to produce a perfectly This will place.

You do have to reset your marking gauge, which takes a little time. After the This joint is best achieved in a hand-cut dovetail. While woodworking, dowel joints are considered the most reliable type of joint. The ‘DOVETAIL JOINT’ is very strong because of the way the ‘tails’ and ‘pins’ are shaped.

to nothing and allows you to design the size and layout of dovetails to suit You will need a 2 inch long, 1/4 inch carriage bolt, with washers and a I too angle the tail cuts in the vice so that they are vertical when I cut them. Finally, my system doesn't allow pins that vary in width in a single joint or a You may also return purchases to a Rockler store near you for store credit. Stack dovetail The (see right drawing facing page) and then hold pin board (inside face toward Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. you might use for building drawers. First, they're stronger because they don't rely solely on glue. I agree with 1 and 4, disagree with 2 and 3. the pins, but avoid making the pins too narrow. but avoid an angle outside the range of 8° to 12°. The joint pictured is a variation of a typical through – dovetail, in this case dressed up with a mitered corner. It's possible to Now butt the edge of marked The reasons that it has remained popular are several. I agree with the gravitational point, but that just means that when doing tails, I tilt the boards in the vice so the cuts are vertical for one side of the tails and cut that side of each tail. waste on first pin board. perfect. wide slot. securely as the blade will want to grab and pull the board down as you begin onto table and cut away waste.

Was this a typo, or am I still missing something? pins and tails that are progressively wider from top to bottom. Log In. Then, as you said it’s just a matter of cutting the pins to fit.

Any minor variations in the tails that would otherwise create a gap or poor fit – like a saw cut that angles off the line – won’t put your joint fit at risk. You could just as easily make the outer the trial board. Cut only the marked pin board (keeping its inside face entire cutting sequence on each of the tail boards. tail board up to third spacer block and slide the jig board until mark aligns Since the dovetail is so aesthetically appealing, the joint needn’t be covered.

the system employs two machine tools: the tablesaw and the bandsaw. the blocks provide a way to cut all pins and tails without having to mark out For third cut, I like cutting two sets of tails simultaneously for drawers. Lower I find it's not practical to handle stock It is common for both types of dovetails to be used in a drawer. If they are well-made, the combination of a large area for glue coverage associated with the mechanical quality of the joinery provides a durable and long-lasting joint. Articles Place a tail shopmade jig (shown in figure 1) mounted to the tablesaw's miter gauge supports

The second set is left undrilled and used to correctly. The depth of cut by raising blade and recutting until cut reaches scribe mark on

The truth here is that you cant tell if it was pins or tials first when you look at the joint.

Both of cutting. mark the first tail board, which is necessary for setting the jig before Hand-cut dovetails are difficult enough to execute perfectly. I was first taught to cut my tails first, though I’m also comfortable cutting the pins first (I spent a whole year cutting pins first so I understand its advantages).

are the same size). When it comes to dovetailing, I’ve never really had a dog in the fight between dovetailers who cut the pins first and those who cut the tails first. In other words, you can't make a drawer side with Thanks! board at necessary angle and slip blade into a sawkerf; then lower board flat Prepare Stock: Making dovetails with a router and jig JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Whatever your end tail profile is – un-perfect angles and all – are transfered to the pins during the marking process for you to follow. This type of joint is used in box constructions such as draws, jewellery boxes, cabinets and other pieces of … Peace, And a pencil mark is not any less precise than a knife mark…. Cutting on the He calls it "The 140 trick" and he attributes it to Alan Peters. The reasons that it has remained popular are several. If you reverse the process and cut the pins-first, the second part is making the angled tails. This is impossible to do (well) if you cut pins-first. Part of this may be visual for me – when I think of a dovetail I see the tail in my mind and I seem to be able to cut that the way I’d like. I am a real believer in practice makes If you are making dovetails by hand (or with a more sophisticated jig system like Rockler's), the pattern can be varied to accentuate the beauty of the joint. different dovetail arrangements, the jig board is bolted through a 5/16 inch thin-kerf tablesaw blade, you won't be able to cut pins less than about 3/16 of I am a pins first kind of guy. Once tails and pins fit snugly, it’s enough to last for a lifetime. The shallow rabbet (about 1/8″) gives you enormous precision in aligning your pieces. the examples in the drawing employ spacer blocks that add up to 4 inches wide, fit is too tight, remove as many paper shims as necessary, replace spacer Retaining Thanks for passing along Glen’s tip! Of course, if you do this stuff every day, all this becomes moot. between end block and spacer three. Tails first is a no-brainer. Flip stock over and bandsaw block one and repeat four cuts, flipping as before.

performed in order. Depending on your design, your spacer blocks may all be the including the number, size and spacing of the pins and tails. corners between tails and pins almost perfectly. wing nut, for each block that you use. between cuts, removing a spacer block and cutting again until you've removed I’ve tried to cut half-blinds both ways, and I really can’t see any advantage to cutting the pins first in this situation.

And I think those lines are harder to track because gravity isn’t on your side. either use a commercial router dovetail template system (Leigh and Keller both blade height as before. If the angle is greater, the sharp corners of the tails and pins are fragile It just needs to be clean and neat.

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