LumberJocks

Two solid cedar raised beds. Double dovetail joinery.

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Project by exelectrician posted 78 days ago 1989 views 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Constant renewal is the theme in our garden.
This time though I decided that these raised beds were going to last a very long time. Four by eight cedar beams from a local yard in Bremmerton were cut using double dovetail construction thereby eliminating the need for corner posts. All beams received a oil based undercoat with a latex house paint top coat before assembly.
After assembly and caulking I dressed up the inside and outside with another coat of latex house paint.
Done and Done!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself





14 comments so far

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

786 posts in 1668 days


#1 posted 78 days ago

Very impressive joints, these should last a good long time. I wonder though no worries about the latex paint on the inside??

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Brit's profile (online now)

Brit

5107 posts in 1446 days


#2 posted 78 days ago

Very nicely done. I love those joints.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View dpmeyer4867's profile

dpmeyer4867

17 posts in 734 days


#3 posted 78 days ago

Can you talk about your irrigation tubing?

View J Azuma's profile

J Azuma

30 posts in 85 days


#4 posted 77 days ago

Very nice. I love the application of dovetails.

-- J Azuma

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4843 posts in 1401 days


#5 posted 77 days ago

Well done!
That’s the joint we used to use on deck hatch coamings ( about three feet high) on commercial fishing boats.
A rod bolt down the corner will tighten everything at once, a great joint.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

868 posts in 237 days


#6 posted 77 days ago

Wow, that’s cool. Nice joints, make it look nice and add some natural holding power.
Although I might have put the pins on the long side, and the tails on the shorts.. because I think the long side has more pressure on it.

But nice build.

-- Jeff NJ

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1485 posts in 1031 days


#7 posted 77 days ago

dpmeyer4867, just standard rain-bird drip irrigation. The tomato supports are sch 20 3/4” plastic drilled with 1/2” holes and 7/16” dowels put through.
The beams are held together with 3 1/2” decking screws in pocket holes drilled on the inside at 18” centers.
Thanks for the interest and kind comments.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1910 posts in 472 days


#8 posted 77 days ago

Impressive joinery. Great execution.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View swirt's profile

swirt

1935 posts in 1575 days


#9 posted 77 days ago

woodchuckerNJ Your intuition is generally right. However in this case, there are no pins. Double-dovetails literally means there are tails on both the short and the long boards. It is a slick joint that due to the stacking nature of the beams, they don’t need to slide together like traditional tails and pins.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1485 posts in 1031 days


#10 posted 77 days ago

swirt, Thanks for the explanation so clearly put.You are right, the build starts with the bottom ends, and then the two sides, then the two center ends etc., etc,. The screws apply pressure holding the layers together that way the joints can’t come apart.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1910 posts in 472 days


#11 posted 77 days ago

^^^ that’s what I found so cool about this build. A quick check of exelectrician’s projects reveals another build with double dovetails, but on a smaller scale. The bat box. Also excellent execution there.

Shipwright makes a great point about how he used them in shipbuilding, and how rods would be used to force compaction on the joint and tighten the entire structure in each direction. I hadn’t seen this type of joint previously, and find it fascinating.

What makes them so appropriate here is that they lock the structure together without the need for glue or mechanical fasteners. We’ve all seen retaining walls that have failed or are in the process of doing so. This box lasts as long as the wood does.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View Fettler's profile

Fettler

109 posts in 600 days


#12 posted 77 days ago

I was just buttressing our sloppy raised beds. I’m pretty jealous.

We live in Seattle (Green Lake) and with the consistent moisture /humidity the boxes look pretty tattered after a year. I just build some hanging planters using compound dovetails I should post.

Where did you buy the lumber? Best deals on Cedar I’ve found (w/I driving a hundred miles) is at limback lumber in Ballard.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View vskgaming's profile

vskgaming

35 posts in 218 days


#13 posted 77 days ago

Just cannot take my eyes off of the beautiful straight cuts using a hand saw :)

They look great.

-- VSKGAMING

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1485 posts in 1031 days


#14 posted 76 days ago

vskgaming, Drool no more. The compound angles were cut using a special 7 degree dolly and my bandsaw. The straight cut you see with the handsaw in the picture, is first done using a square and a circular saw then the last 7 degrees of cut is done with the hand saw. Thanks for the compliment though.
Fettler I paid $1.80 a b.f. delivered. I found these guys on Seattle C/List out of Port Townsend, I was happy at first when they delivered them but after I started cutting I discovered two of the 14 foot pieces had massive cracks (looked like the tree fell on a rock and partially broke the beam) but they sold them to me any way. I weighed the probabilities of me winning the argument and the cost of the aggravation, I used the spare four footer I bought, in case I made a stupid mistake which I didn’t. Cut out the broken pieces and glued in good wood, called it good.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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