tips on doing a blind secret mitred dovetail joint

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Forum topic by AKSteve posted 06-15-2012 04:44 PM 8105 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 1695 days

06-15-2012 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joining chisel jointer traditional

I am going to attempt blind secret mitred dovetail joints and wanted to know if anyone else has done this and what kind of tips can anyone offer. I am thinking i will have to do it all with hand tools which is what I want to do. thanks in advance! :)

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

9 replies so far

View Richforever's profile


750 posts in 3112 days

#1 posted 06-15-2012 04:53 PM

I tried it once. It took a long time and renewed the question in my mind as to why anyone would use it. Getting the mitered edges to “close” after mitering them seemed to be the hardest part. Need to leave enough of the edge beyond the dovetail for this. Lots of trial and error and hand chiseling.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 1695 days

#2 posted 06-15-2012 05:08 PM

thanks, Yeah I know it seems silly because there are plenty of other joints I could use, but the Challenge will be half the fun, and I probably won’t ever do it again, but I really like the strength it would give not to mention that it would be a pretty clean mitered edge to it.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Infernal2's profile


107 posts in 1589 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 07:17 PM

I use the exact same method for doing a secret set the same way I do half blinds. I saw carefully corner to corner and then just very carefully pare out the waste. I’ve only used it on one project because (as noted) they take a long time to layout and cut.

The biggest tip is to take your time. I know Cosman uses a modified chisel to do most of his dovetails and I would imagine that having one of those would make it a bit quicker (rather than using skews).

View bandit571's profile (online now)


13849 posts in 2075 days

#4 posted 06-15-2012 07:57 PM

Go to, look up the Woodwright’s Shop. They will have an archived show about Dovetails. Either 2006, or 2007, I think. Roy shows all the steps to making several dovetails, including the Mitre Dovetail….

Plus it is free to watch as many times as you need to watch it…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2389 days

#5 posted 06-15-2012 08:23 PM

Be sure and watch this gentleman make them.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2027 days

#6 posted 06-15-2012 09:44 PM

I’ve seen some of this guys videos before. Its some of the coolest stuff I have ever seen.

View Infernal2's profile


107 posts in 1589 days

#7 posted 06-15-2012 10:00 PM

I’m curious, has anyone here tried a Japanese square? Is the flexiblemetal easier to use than a standard carpenter’s square?

View Tokolosi's profile


674 posts in 1746 days

#8 posted 06-15-2012 10:26 PM

Sorry cant help with the dovetails but that video David posted is amazing. I watched for probably 20 minutes. Through his complete build. All I want to say is that one day, I too want to build a cabinet that has such tight tolerances, that when you close one drawer, the others pop out from the air pressure! Incredible!

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 1695 days

#9 posted 06-15-2012 10:30 PM

Yeah I can’t wait to see it, I am at work and they filter out youtube videos. I have to good practice wood at home I will probably get started on it this weekend, just bought some curly maple for the Table today, it’s going to look awesome.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

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