Dovetail Angles

The sides of a dovetail must slope at the optimum angle. An exaggerated slope results in weak short grain at the tips of the dovetail, while insufficient taper invariably leads to a slack joint. Ideally, mark a 1:8 angle for hardwoods, but increase the angle to 1:6 for softwoods. The proportion of each tail is a matter of personal interpretation, but a row of small, regularly spaced tails looks better than a few large ones, and also makes for a stronger joint.

Dovetail Joint Angle

Insufficient taper

Exaggerated slope

Insufficient taper

Hardwood

Softwood

Softwood Hatching ImageDove Tail Joint

5 Removing the waste

Set the work horizontally in the vice so that you can remove the corner waste with the dovetail saw, then cut the waste from between the tails, this time using a coping saw.

8 Marking cutting lines

Align a try square with the marks scored in the chalk, and draw parallel lines down to the shoulder on both sides of the work. Hatch the waste between the pins

Dovetail Joint Angles

9 Cutting the pins

Make fine saw cuts on both sides of each pin, following the angled lines marked across the chalked end grain. Finish flush with the shoulder.

8 Marking cutting lines

Align a try square with the marks scored in the chalk, and draw parallel lines down to the shoulder on both sides of the work. Hatch the waste between the pins

9 Cutting the pins

Make fine saw cuts on both sides of each pin, following the angled lines marked across the chalked end grain. Finish flush with the shoulder.

5 Removing the waste

Set the work horizontally in the vice so that you can remove the corner waste with the dovetail saw, then cut the waste from between the tails, this time using a coping saw.

6 Trimming the shoulders

Use a bevel-edge chisel to trim what remains of the waste from between the tails. Finish flush with the shoulder line.

6 Trimming the shoulders

Use a bevel-edge chisel to trim what remains of the waste from between the tails. Finish flush with the shoulder line.

Dove Tail Angle

7 Marking the pins

Set the cutting gauge to the thickness of the tail member and scribe shoulder lines for the pins on the other component. Coat its end grain with chalk and clamp it upright in a vice. Position the cut tails precisely on the end of the workpiece, then mark their shape in the chalk with a pointed scriber or knife.

Dry Trimming Machines
10 Trimming the joint

Remove most of the waste wood with a coping saw, and pare the shoulders with a chisel. Assemble the joint dry, trimming any tight spots until the joint fits cleanly and snugly.

Dry Trimming Machines

top cramp bar finger assembly

Dovetail Joint Angles

cross bar front cramp bar fore-and-aft adjustment scale

Rotating the fingers

Once you have adjusted one half of the assembly, all that is required to utilize the other set of fingers is to unclamp the entire assembly, rotate it, and clamp it

Hand Routers That Trim Angles

finger assembly test piece

A Course In Wood Turning

A Course In Wood Turning

Ever wondered what wood turning is all about? Here are some invaluable information on how to make beautiful items out of wood! That one little strategy from A Course In Wood Turning that I implemented not only worked, but the results were completely astonishing. I had never seen anything like it! Now, keep in mind that I had tried a lot of other products up until this point. You name it, I probably tried it! That’s how desperate I was to improve my skills with wood turning.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment