Think outside the box joint
For centuries, the hand-cut dovetail joint has stood as a testament to the quality of the case, box, or drawer that beheld it. These days, thanks to routers and dovetail bits, even a beginning woodworker can incorporate this joint to enhance the simplest projects.
Dovetail bits come in an array of cutting angles—usually 7-14° —and heights (see photo, right), on both 1/2" and 1/4" shanks. Generally speaking, the greater the cutting angle, the stronger the joint. But beware: The acute angles on the tails make them more fragile as the cutting angle increases, and they can break more easily along the grain.
Because of its opposing-wedge action, a properly fitted dovetail joint self-tightens. This means you can use it to eliminate fasteners, such as screws or nails. You should still glue the joint, but you won't need clamps.
Free Year + Free Gift! Order NOW and get 1 FREE YEAR of Wood® Magazine! PLUS you'll get our Great Projects for Your Shop guide instantly! That's 2 full years (14 issues) for the 1-year-rate – just $28.00. This is a limited-time offer, so HURRY! (U.S. orders only) (Click here for Canadian orders)
Add your comment
Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."