Dating furniture dovetail joints

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Each of these dovetail jigs connects to the board being cut, which then allows you to guide your router with a dovetailing bit through the wood to cut matching pins and tails of many types of dovetail joints.

Not every dovetailing jig cuts all types of dovetails, so consider not only the style of the jig but also the types of dovetails you'll need to cut when choosing a dovetail jig to use on your projects.

A sliding dovetail joint consists of a long groove with angled sides to serve as the tail for the sliding dovetail joint, while a corresponding long pin is cut into the end of the adjoining board.

Some classic furniture pieces utilized sliding dovetail joinery for wooden drawer slides, which allows the drawer to slide in and out, but with no up or down motion.

Think of a box joint as a dovetail joint with square pins and tails.

This type of joint is still connected using glue as the major strength of the joint, but without the locking ability of the dovetail joint.

Of course, therein lies the rub, in that it takes some patience and skill to craft through dovetail joints by hand.For instance, a solid dresser drawer front shouldn't show the dovetail joint, but on the sides of the box it is perfectly permissible.Half-blind dovetail joints are perfect for such an instance.In the dating sequence of furniture construction they generally followed hand-cut dovetails.They clearly pre-dated what is called “sliding French dovetails”.

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