Dovetail Layout

■ After reading about dovetails in Woodsmith No. 66, here's another method for designing and laying out "through" dovetail joints.

One of the toughest jobs in laying out dovetails is visualizing how they will look on the actual workpieces. For example, to help visualize how the dovetails will look on the corner of a drawer, I draw them out on a 3 x 5 index card.

Cut the card the same height as the drawer, see Fig. 1. Then draw a line down the center of the card. This represents the corner of the drawer. Isabel one side of the line "front" and the other side "side."

Next draw base lines to the right and left of the centerline equal to the thickness of the drawer front and side.

Now lay out the pins and tails. (I also shade in the sections that will be end grain on the boards.)

After the pins and tails are laid out, erase the extra base lines and fold the card in half. To see what the joint will look like, hold the card against the corner of the drawer, see Fig. 2.

Once you like the layout, fold the card over on itself and hold it on the workpieces to make starter marks for the tails and pins, see Fig. 3.

Rev. Mark A. Cordes Shoreview, Minnesota

TRANSFER LAYOUT MARKS TO WORKPIECE

DRAW

DRAW CENTER UNE

PINS

Dovetail Layout

FOLD

CARDBOARD ALONG CENTERLINE AND STAND UP TO VIEW POSSIBLE JOINT

THICKNESS OF STOCK

HEIGHT OF SIDES

TRANSFER LAYOUT MARKS TO WORKPIECE

DRAW

DRAW CENTER UNE

PINS

THICKNESS OF STOCK

HEIGHT OF SIDES

FOLD

CARDBOARD ALONG CENTERLINE AND STAND UP TO VIEW POSSIBLE JOINT

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