Best Types of Dovetail Joints for WoodworkingBlog Administrator
The dovetail is one of the most powerful and strong joints in all of woodworking. The dovetail is an interlocking joinery technique, which most carpenters use to provide their woodwork with excess strength.
There are quite a few different types of dovetail joints that are used in woodworking. But there is no doubt about the fact that they are versatile and can make wood pieces last for ages. To put that theory to test, you can visit any antique store and look at the piece. You will find that most of them have dovetail joints. Pull out drawers or put the grandfather’s clock to check and you will notice the fine craftsmanship is loaded with dovetail joints.
The dovetail joint has two basic parts; pins and tails. The tail looks like a dove’s tail, thus the tail and the pins are placed on either side of the joint. This holds the joint in place and stops it from sliding to one side.
The dovetail joint is extremely strong, this is one of the major advantages of using it. Other than that, it has a large gluing area, which provides resistance when someone tries to pull it apart. So the joint looks good and adds an extra attractive element to the mix.
But it does have one disadvantage, the technique is quite hard to learn. It can get incredibly challenging to mark and cut the corners, and if you mess up this step, then your joint won’t have any of the advantages that we have mentioned.
Always decide what type of dovetail joint you want to use by analyzing the project type, the function of the product, and the design. Like we said there are six different dovetail joints that you can use.
In this article, we will discuss all about them and will also learn the application of each type. Read on!
Types of Dovetail Joints
There are four major types:
- Through dovetail
- Half-blind dovetail
- Sliding dovetail
- Full-blind dovetail
All four of these are crucial concepts in the wood making and needs to be made with precision so that it can look gorgeous and also have great strength.
Through Dovetail Joint
A through dovetail joint is a joint in which you can see the end grain form both sides, this shows the hand skills of the woodworker. This technique requires a very high level of expertise and, therefore, shows the designing skills of the woodworker. Usually, you learn with time, when it comes to a dovetail. The through dovetail is usually the first skill that you learn about when you start joints.
Dovetail is also known as a plain dovetail joint. Today, a wood product made with such joints is regarded as a work of utmost quality. You will find these dovetail mostly in the construction of a drawer.
Half-blind Dovetail Joint
A single lap dovetail is one of the most versatile and the most popular dovetail joint. Many people also refer to it as the half-blind dovetail. It is usually used to join the front of the drawer to the sides, whether it is used for front-facing drawers or in a solid wood case.
A single lap dovetail joint works in the exact opposite mechanism than a through dovetail joint. Its grains are completely hidden and cannot be seen. The socket tails at the end of the two boards are invisible. They are commonly used to attach the front of the drawers.
However, it is quite expensive and that is why it is no longer available in the market today. It is only seen on a few pieces, where the budget has no bounds and the wood maker is skilled enough to nail the technique. No matter if the wood is cut by hand or machine, amateurs can use this to manufacture high-quality furniture pieces and make one of a kind heirloom.
Full-blind Dovetail Joint
A full-blind joint is used in high built cabinets and has incredibly intricate box work and cuts included in it. Woodworkers join the board outside with a wooden board using an inside edge and a marked line.
It shows a 45-degree angle across the word so that the joint is conveniently hidden. It offers exquisite strength to the dovetail joint and cannot be seen from both the inside and the outside. The mitered joint is very close to this one in design, but there is a very small difference if you look closely.
Due to the joint being extremely discrete, the joint is also called as a secret miter.
Sliding Dovetail Joint
The sliding dovetail joint has quite a lot of applications ranging from case construction to wooden tables. This is somewhat a hybrid between dovetail and a dado joint, which has a groove on one side and a tongue on the other. This joint is then secured by a sliding tongue in the groove, which is why it is known as a sliding dovetail joint.
You need to master the exact art of combing two boards at the right angle, right where the intersection is. This offers immense strength to the furniture piece. The sliding dovetail is assembled by carefully sliding the piece into the socket. It tightens the rear of the joint and then you can keep on tightening it until you reach the desired tightness.
The dovetail joints are an excellent set of techniques, which can change the entire outlook of your furniture. Even though it is an extremely rare art and requires next-level precision, the result is phenomenal.