LumberJocks

Full blind hand cut dovetails, why?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 139 days ago 1551 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


139 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: dovetails full blind hand cut

I just received this advice in my inbox: its time to try full blind dovetails. Why? If I hand cut dovetails I want to be able to see and admire them! What do you say?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


32 replies so far

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2855 posts in 1085 days


#1 posted 139 days ago

Hmmmm, elegant joint but I’ve never seen one in campaign furniture. Most of what I’ve found is rabbeted, although it might actually have hidden DT’s, I don’t normally get to take it apart.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6782 posts in 1901 days


#2 posted 138 days ago

im with you bob, if im going to hand cut them, i want to see them, i cant imagine doing all that work to not see them, nope, there going to be seen…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Don W's profile

Don W

14622 posts in 1165 days


#3 posted 138 days ago

Although I agree 110%, I guess there are times when it just doesn’t fit the style. Remember the DT is one of the strongest joints you can make, so there was a day when it was more about function then presentation.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4348 posts in 890 days


#4 posted 138 days ago

I agree with Don W—function over presentation in a time before biscuits and dominos.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View 12strings's profile

12strings

372 posts in 982 days


#5 posted 138 days ago

Yep, It’s a good joint because it (1) has the strength of dovetails (stronger than biscuits), and (2) is hidden. I chest made this way would last hundreds of years if done well.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4840 posts in 1396 days


#6 posted 138 days ago

I used full blind dovetails in a recent project (blog here) but they were a little different than these. I understood that the intent was to have the structural strength of a dovetail without any end grain showing to telegraph through a veneered surface.
The way I did them, they appear to be a mitered corner rather than a lap joint. Mine, however gave the illusion away when you looked at the ends (top and bottom) of the joint.
Patrick Edwards corrected me in a comment telling me that the last pin on each end should be mitered to complete the illusion of a mitered joint. His blog is much better than mine.

You can find his blog on them here

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

View stefang's profile (online now)

stefang

12570 posts in 1932 days


#7 posted 134 days ago

Good question Bob. My only reason would be just to cut them as a challenge. I have found through experience that glued miter joints are more than sufficient for a small box unless it is expected to get some very abusive handling. A miter cut is after all part side grain and part end grain, so it holds a lot better than many think. Blind or half blind dovetails were used in the past for furniture case goods which were heavy and needed a strong but invisible joint as visible joinery is not always a good attribute on some designs.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View iminmyshop's profile

iminmyshop

104 posts in 592 days


#8 posted 133 days ago

There are many ways to put joints together including miters. Most of the support given is more than adequate. Most fine furniture is over-engineered. So while it is true that there is terrific strength in hidden dovetails, an L shaped laminated spline would also give a ton of strength, be lots easier to make while still remaining hidden and be lots easier to do. In short, I agree that if I am going to all that trouble, I literally want something to show for it. A quiet self-pat on the back just wouldn’t do it for me.

#9 posted 133 days ago

Mike, pardon my ignorance, but I have always regarded the miter joint to be 100 percent end grain.
Please educate me. How does the miter cut reveal any side grain?

Don

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9576 posts in 1216 days


#10 posted 133 days ago

Paul, that link to Mr. Edwards does indeed show what I considered a full-blind dovetail, or “A secret mitered dovetail joint”. What Mr. Schwarz is doing is a full-blind rabbeted dovetail per “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery”

Good stuff in this post!

Would I do one? If the furniture style required, yes.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1374 posts in 318 days


#11 posted 133 days ago

I would certainly want to see my work also if taking the time to hand cut.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2439 posts in 949 days


#12 posted 133 days ago

I could definitely see using these for carcase construction. I think difference between visible dovetails and blind dovetails is like the difference between a mortise and tenon and a through mortise and tenon. The blind one is not seen so could be made faster with les concern for the visual aspects.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#13 posted 133 days ago

Hmmmmmm! I did not know this discussion was happening. Just because you are getting notifications, doesn’t mean you are getting all of them. I guess I’m with Mike, started getting this one today.

Bondo Gaposis, Not as much pride of accomplishment and bragging rights in M&T as there is with DT ;-) at least IMO.

Is there a way to do full blind; either secret mitered dovetail or full-blind rabbeted with a machine? Seems to me the only way to do them is by hand.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Loren's profile

Loren

7230 posts in 2246 days


#14 posted 133 days ago

Well, I wouldn’t do them unless I had a specific reason to do them
for structural or stylistic reasons. They look pretty easy to do
compared to making clean through dovetails by hand. Realistically
one can make quite a mess of them if they don’t show.

... I think with some ingenuity some power tool method could be
devised to remove a lot of the waste in these sorts of joints,
but establishing the final geometry would probably involve
hand work. I haven’t thought about it more than a little as
most woodworking clients would never care or care to know.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2439 posts in 949 days


#15 posted 133 days ago

Topamax, maybe my point wasn’t clear. When you make a normal M&T joint none of it is visible and it is fairly easy, but when you make a through M&T joint you have to be much more careful because the tenon and mortise is visible on one side. My thinking is that a full blind DT joint maybe a lot easier than a half blind as none of it is visible. I will have to make a few to know for sure.

-- Bondo Gaposis

showing 1 through 15 of 32 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase