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What Is A Dovetail Joint?
Dovetail Joint Definition: What is a dovetail joint? A dove·tail or /ˈdəvˌtāl/ joint is an interlocking joinery technique used by carpenters or woodworkers for building strong custom wood drawers. There are many different types of Dovetail Joint techniques used in woodworking such as, through dovetail joint, secret mitred dovetail joints, secret double-lapped dovetail joints, sliding dovetail joints, and half-blind dovetail joints. View more information about each type below.
Applications of a Dovetail Joint?
Dovetail joints are most commonly used woodworking. Carpenters use dovetail joints to create cabinets, furniture, drawers, log buildings, carcass construction, timber framing. Dovetail joints are known for their strength and durability. Dovetail joints don’t require mechanical fasteners to stick together like other joinery techniques do. Rather, dovetail joints use pins and tails to interlock together, where one side has a pin that locks into the other side’s tail, and then glued together for a solid dovetail construction. The benefits of dovetail drawers are endless.
Other Applications Of Dovetail Joints
Dovetail joints are extremely strong due to the way their pins and tails are shaped. The interlocking pins and tails make it more difficult to pull apart the joint and almost impossible to pull apart after gluing. Dovetail joints are commonly used in jewelry boxes, dovetail drawers, furniture, and cabinets where more strength is needed. Dovetail joints require skilled woodworking to build and are almost impossible to build manually. There are 4 different types of dovetail joints used for different applications.
What Type Of Wood Are Dovetail Drawers Made Out Of?
Dovetail Joinery techniques can be used on nearly any type of solid wood including maple, aspen, melamine’s, plywood’s, alder, and oak. View below to find our what dovetail joints are used for and the different types of dovetail joint techniques used by woodworkers, furniture building, and dovetail drawer box manufacturers.
History of Dovetail Joinery
The dovetail joinery technique goes all the way back to earliest days of mankind. Some examples of dovetail joinery are found in furniture dating back to ancient Egypt and Chinese Emperors.
Different Types Of Dovetail Joints
What are the different types of dovetail joints? There are 5 different types of dovetail joint methods available.
- Through Dovetail Joints
- Half-blind Dovetail Joints or Single-lap Dovetail
- Half blind dovetail vs. Through dovetail
- Secret Mitred Dovetail Joints
- Secret Double-Lapped Dovetail Joints
- Sliding Dovetail Joints
Through Dovetail Joints
A Through joint is where the end grain is visible from both boards. Through dovetail joints are most commonly used on box construction and carcass (framework of the piece). This joint is also called a plain dovetail by many in the woodworking community. In the past the ends showing through would have been masked by a veneer. Today they are a sign of exceptional quality and are left showing with pride.
Though dovetail joints are referred to as English dovetail joints in the case of drawer construction.
Half-blind Dovetail Joints or Single-lap Dovetail
A half-blind dovetail joint also known as the single-lap dovetail joint is exactly opposite of a through joint because the end grain is not visible on the boards. Sockets house the tails at the end of the boards so the dovetail ends are invisible.
Half-blind dovetail joints are commonly used for attaching drawer fronts.
Half blind dovetail vs. Through dovetail
The only difference between half-blind dovetail joints and through dovetail joints is that half-blind joint end grain can only be seen on one side vs. through joint grain that can be seen of both sides of the boards.
Secret Mitred Dovetail Joints
A secret mitred joint is also know as a full-blind mitred dovetail and full-blind dovetail joint. Secret mitred joints are used in box work and cabinet construction and offers the best strength out of all of the dovetail joints. These joints are used for box work or fine cabinet construction where strength is needed without a joint you can see.
Secret Double-Lapped Dovetail Joints
The secret double-lapped dovetail joint is kind of the like the mitred joint but has a visible section of end grain on a single edge of the joint. similar to the secret mitred dovetail, but presents a very thin section of end grain on one edge of the joint.
Secret double-lapped joints are used for box construction and carcass construction to hid the dovetails.
Sliding Dovetail Joints
The sliding dovetail joint is created by joining 2 wood boards at 90 degree angles, where the they intersect different than other types of dovetail joints. They intersect by sliding the tail of one board into the middle socket of the other. Sliding dovetail joints are commonly referred to French Dovetail joints.
Sliding joints are commonly used to joint cabinet sides to shelves, sides to cabinet bottoms, shelves to horizontal partitions, table frames to adjacent sections, sides to drawer fronts, cabinet sides to front rails, body and neck in guitars and violins.
Buy Dovetail Drawer Boxes At DC Drawers
Thank you for reading our definition of a dovetail joint and the different types of dovetail joints. If you are looking for the highest quality premade dovetail drawer boxes Drawer Connection is your source for quick order fulfillment and consistent quality. Stay tuned for more from the expert drawer box manufacturers at DCDrawers.com
For more information give us a call at 1-877-917-4887.