How To Cut A Secret Mitred Dovetail

Dovetail Joint Machine

waste lap-thickness line mitre line

Hidden Dovetail Joint

LAP-DEPTH LINE

Images Pins For Cutting Dovetails

mitre waste

5 Marking and cutting the tails

Lay the tail member flat on a bench. Holding the pin member on end, align its inside face with the shoulder line marked across the tail member. Scribe around the pins to mark the shape of the tails. Square parallel lines across the end grain to mark the tips of the tails. Cut the tails and mitres as described for the pins, and mitre the lap in the same way.

A mitred dovetail, which is typically used when both components are the same thickness, requires careful marking and cutting. Since it is entirely hidden, it is sometimes referred to as a secret mitred dovetail. Contrary to usual practice, cut the pins first and use them as a template for marking the tails.

lap-thickness line

1 Marking guide lines

Set a cutting gauge to match the thickness of the wood, and scribe a shoulder line across the inside face of each component. Using a marking knife and mitre square, mark the mitre on both edges, running from the shoulder line to the outside corner. Reset the gauge to the thickness of the mitre lap and, working from the outside face, scribe a line across the end grain. Using the same setting, scribe the depth of the mitre lap on the inside face. Cut and trim the lap on each component (see opposite).

2 Marking the pins

Set a marking gauge to 6mm (!4in)and scribe a line parallel with each edge of the work, running up from the shoulder line and across the end grain to the lap. Set out the pins between these lines. A home-made cardboard dovetail template will help space the pins regularly.

mitre waste mitre line

LAP-DEPTH LINE

waste

3 Cutting the pins

From the marks drawn on the end grain, square parallel lines down to the shoulder on the inside face. Saw and chisel out the waste between the pins (see page 90). Don't worry if you saw into the lap. Cut the mitre on each edge, following the marked line with a saw.

Hand And Machine Cut Tails

mitres, tail member pin member tail member pin member

Secret Mitred Dovetail

4 Bevelling the lap

Trim the lap to a mitred edge with a chisel, working from each end towards the middle. If necessary, finish with a shoulder plane.

Secret Mitred Dovetail

4 Bevelling the lap

Trim the lap to a mitred edge with a chisel, working from each end towards the middle. If necessary, finish with a shoulder plane.

Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

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Responses

  • paola
    How to cut a Secret mitred dovetail?
    6 years ago
  • amelia
    How to make.a cardboard dovetail pattern?
    6 years ago

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