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dovetails in 1/2 in plywood

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Forum topic by jtlighting posted 05-24-2010 01:11 AM 3834 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtlighting

27 posts in 2391 days


05-24-2010 01:11 AM

well im in the process of making a dresser for my son (who by the way is a human wrecking ball) its made out of 3/4 plywood but heres my question i was thinking of making the drawers out of 1/2 in plywood but i dont know what type of joinery to use i was thinking dovetails that i could cut on my bandsaw to make them a little wider apart but i really dont have a clue i want something that he wont be able to pull apart or break easily any suggestions would be great thanks

-- TO CUT IS TO CREATE.....


18 replies so far

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#1 posted 05-24-2010 01:17 AM

How about 1/4” plate welded together LOL I think the dovetail idea is good . If your really consered go with 3/4 sides and 1/2” bottom and if it’s all ply you can glue the bottom in.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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acrollet

9 posts in 2478 days


#2 posted 05-24-2010 02:50 AM

I just made drawers for a changing table from 1/2” plywood, and they worked great – used a jig. Here are a couple pics:
Dovetails, 1/2
Closeup of Dovetails

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jtlighting

27 posts in 2391 days


#3 posted 05-24-2010 03:32 AM

thanks sfor the jig tip but im not that good with a router yet and i thought i could use my bandsaw instead seems easier to me what do you think

-- TO CUT IS TO CREATE.....

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thatwoodworkingguy

375 posts in 2390 days


#4 posted 05-24-2010 03:35 AM

If he pulls those apart ill personaly build you a new dresser and changing table

-- thatwoodworkingguy.com ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

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thatwoodworkingguy

375 posts in 2390 days


#5 posted 05-24-2010 03:36 AM

Arent they backwards? dont the pins usualy go on the drawer face so that you can pull it apart? Just my observation i could be wrong.

-- thatwoodworkingguy.com ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

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thatwoodworkingguy

375 posts in 2390 days


#6 posted 05-24-2010 03:37 AM

NVM i was looking at the photo wrong. ignore me

-- thatwoodworkingguy.com ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

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,

2387 posts in 3007 days


#7 posted 05-24-2010 04:02 AM

We dovetail almost all of our drawers for our kitchens with 1/2” baltic. I think a 1/2” russian or baltic would do well. We also use solid maple dovetail and if I were doing this for myself I would certainly go with a solid maple wood because I just think it looks much better. Although the baltic dovetail still looks nice and is very strong in my opinion.

-- .

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jtlighting

27 posts in 2391 days


#8 posted 05-24-2010 04:47 AM

ok just to reiterate (not being a jerk) its for my son whose 13 yrs old and doesnt care about taking care of stuff if i could make it out of steel i would i dont care for looks or anything of that sort i just want a joint that will be strong enough to handle “the human wrecking ball” i mean i could literatelly contract this kid out for demo work just by letting him play on the jobsite lol…...how bout box joints how does that work with plywood is it strong

-- TO CUT IS TO CREATE.....

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acrollet

9 posts in 2478 days


#9 posted 05-24-2010 05:46 AM

Dovetails are about as strong as it gets for a box, you could use 5/8” or even 3/4” plywood for extra strength. You should be able to cut the dovetails with your bandsaw, along with a coping saw and a chisel…

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Eagle1

2066 posts in 2525 days


#10 posted 05-24-2010 01:52 PM

If you think that he really tear up the drawers that are dovetailed. I would make a small triangle block for each inside corner. Just cut them put some clue on them slide them up and down to creat a suction on them and let them dry. I really dont think he would break them apart.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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FirehouseWoodworking

685 posts in 2733 days


#11 posted 05-24-2010 04:34 PM

I’ve never had any problem with dovetailing 1/2” plywood for drawers. All the kitchen cabinets I ever built had dovetailed drawers. I guaranteed my work and have never had a callback. If you’re overly concerned, you could drive a couple small pins through the pins at each corner from opposing sides, but I think that might be overkill.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3585 days


#12 posted 05-24-2010 06:57 PM

What do you guys do about tear-out with cutting the dovetails in plywood? I tried dovetails in ApplePly with a router on a Leigh Super jig, and even with the sides taped and all sorts of blocks to help stop splintering I eventually broke down and did my joints another way (Domino).

But I like dovetails more…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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jtlighting

27 posts in 2391 days


#13 posted 05-25-2010 05:16 AM

thats what im worried about tear out and splintering thats y i think cutting them on a bandsaw would help with this so ill give it a shot and post the pics when the project is done

-- TO CUT IS TO CREATE.....

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

685 posts in 2733 days


#14 posted 05-25-2010 05:51 AM

Make sure you keep the bit clean and sharp. I used a carbide, 1/2” shank, bearing bit. Remember to never get any of the cleaner on the bearing! Don’t let gum and pitch build up on the carbide edge.

If there is any splintering, putty works fine on plywood to fill it as well as any “oops” on the dovetails. Use putty that matches the plywood.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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cbMerlin

100 posts in 2881 days


#15 posted 05-25-2010 02:41 PM

Huh, never tried doing dovetails in plywood….......always thought it would be really hard on the bits? Never done dovetails on anything but a jig so I may not know what I’m talking about but it sure seems like it would be easier/quicker than a band saw? I’ve got some vacation time coming up, I see some experimentation in my future!!!!

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

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