Dovetail Joinery: Stock Preparation and Marking Out a Dovetail Joint

NOW HERE IS A CRITICAL STEP.

Because the cutting gauge will register against the ends (the end grain) of each piece, they are references for the squareness of the whole assembly. Your project will not be any more true than those ends. It might be possible to get them just right using a well-tuned table saw, by the greatest precision is done by shooting. woodworking tips and techniques woodworking woodworking tips and tricks for beginners

A detailed discussion of shooting is beyond the scope of this series, but I believe it is an essential gateway technique. Here it has the added advantages of leaving a clean surface on which scribing marks show well, and can be used to make tiny adjustments in the length of a piece.woodworking tips and techniques woodworking woodworking tips and tricks for beginners

shooting the end grain

LAYOUT

Any perusal of historic and current artisan-made furniture will reveal a wide range of dovetail spacing and angles, so remember, there is more than one good way to do this. woodworking tips and techniques woodworking woodworking tips and tricks for beginners

Here are my preferences: For carcase dovetails in hardwoods, a 1:7 dovetail slope (a little more than 8°) and 1/4″ spacing on the end grain between the tails and at the ends looks good and affords good strength. In thinner stock, such as for half-blind drawer dovetails, or for soft woods, 1:6, or even 1:5, is better. Also, as seen in the photo at the top of this post, I usually make the tails narrower on the ends of the width of the board, and wider toward the middle. woodworking tips and techniques woodworking woodworking tips and tricks for beginners

Prev2 of 5Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *