Dovetail construction is where a tongue and groove is used on a box joint. The groove space fits into the other board, while the tongue piece sticks out. Dovetail construction is popular in flooring, cabinet making, and paneling. When people purchase drawers, the tongues are made to look like actual dovetails. This helps to create a sturdier drawer.
Types of Dovetail Joints
There are four main types of dovetail construction. These are:
• Sliding or French. This type of joint allows the dovetail to be used anywhere along the board. Typically, they are just found on the end of the board. This makes it easier to use in curved drawers.
• Through or English. This is the most basic type of dovetail joint. You will be able to see the end grains of the wood when you look from the side or the front of the drawer.
• Half-Blind. When this type of dovetail construction is done, you should only be able to see the tails and the pins if you are looking from the side. These are only routed from halfway to ensure that they are hidden from the view in the front.
• Secret. This dovetail joint has the joints hidden from view. If you looked at the drawer, you would not be able to see the joints at all. The wood grain on the drawer will appear seamless.
How Do You Create Dovetail Joints?
There are two different ways that dovetail construction is made.
• Handmade. Someone that is skilled at dovetail joints can create these by hand. They carve the joints and the grooves out and ensure a proper fit. However, if you want to purchase cabinets that have been made completely by hand, you should be ready to pay a more expensive price. Since these are handmade and can take some time to do, you can expect a higher price.
• Tools. Instead of carving them out by hand, you can get dovetail joints that have been created with a router and dovetail jig. This process allows for the joint to be created at more affordable pricing. Using this method will also allow cabinets to be ready quicker.
What Are the Benefits of Dovetail Construction?
Dovetail construction gives strength. When dovetails are used, you do not have to worry about cabinets or drawers breaking. It adds stability to whatever it is used on. Dovetails can also be an awesome aesthetic for those that like the look.
If you are interested in dovetail construction, you should watch this video that shows how they are made. It is fascinating seeing how a simple joint can make a cabinet so much stronger.