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Tapered sliding dovetails

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Forum topic by Angler posted 12-08-2014 05:06 PM 918 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Angler

4 posts in 736 days


12-08-2014 05:06 PM

Hello All,
I’m new here, my name is John. I’ve searched for about 2 hours and have not found the information I’m looking for. If this has been covered please point me in the direction of the thread, no need to rehash an old subject. I’m planning to build cabinets for my garage and want to put the cases together with half blind tapered sliding dovetail joints. The longest of them will be 23” long. I’m looking for a jig. What are my options? Does anyone have a favorite jig to cut this type of joint? Thank you for listening.
John


7 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#1 posted 12-08-2014 05:58 PM

John, I’ll apologize ahead of time for not being able to answer your question.

What was your rationale for choosing tapered sliding dovetails for garage cabinet construction? What materials are you using (plywood vs hardwood)? To me, this seems like a joinery technique better suited to fine furniture. It’s not that it won’t work, it just seems like overkill and more effort than needed to build solid garage cabinets. When I built cabinets for my garage, I just used plywood cases with hardwood face frame, all pocket-screwed together. I’ve also used rabbet/dado construction on the cases and had good results. Again, nothing wrong with the approach, just wondering what led you to this decision.

Good luck!

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#2 posted 12-08-2014 06:31 PM

You can make the dovetail slots by routing against a straightedge. Then use a small spacer, usually 1/16” or so thick, to offset the straightedge and make a second pass. This will slightly taper your dovetail slot.
Then use the same spacer affixed to your shelf board to taper the tail at the router table. Now the slot and tail will be tapered by the same amount, and the joint will slide together easily.
You need to be consistent about tapering the same side of the dovetails for it to fit correctly.

Only long slots need to be tapered.
One other technique you might consider is dado joints that have a short, housed dovetail at one end.

Good luck with your project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Angler

4 posts in 736 days


#3 posted 12-09-2014 05:45 AM

Hi BinghamtonEd,
Thanks for the response. And sorry for my slow reply, work reared it’s ugly head keeping me away from my fun!
As for materials it will probably be high grade MDF or birch ply. I’m leaning towards the MDF because of it’s machinability. Why half blind tapered sliding dovetails? Many reasons, among them is the design of the cabinet. They will be euro with no face frames. They will be hanging, even the base cabinets will not touch the floor. And they will be supported from the sides hung from a large dowel running through the sides by a steel cleat instead of hung from the back. My thinking is the DT will help with load capacity, holding the shelves, top and, bottom in place.
Also once the jig is dialed in my thinking is it will be very repeatable, making the fabrication and assembly fast.
All this said I’m open for suggestions.
John

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Rick M

7929 posts in 1846 days


#4 posted 12-09-2014 05:52 AM

Jig
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmyGkW16EpI&list=UU-7XY-W_C84cW2MNqujgFpg

Half blind and sliding are redundant as there is no such thing as a through sliding dovetail. Well I guess technically there could be but I can’t imagine a use for it and have never seen it done.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Angler

4 posts in 736 days


#5 posted 12-09-2014 06:07 AM

Hello Pintodeluxe,
Thanks for the input. I’ve seen the instructions for cutting the joint the way you describe I am just thinking that if there is a dedicated jig it will be a faster build. I should be able to cut the sides, tops, bottoms and, shelves and slide them together. I know the Omnijig is capable of doing this joint, as well as the Allen Designs jig, (although I’m not sure they are still in business). I would like feedback from users of the different jigs, Leigh, Router Boss, Porter Cable, etc. on how well they perform and how easy it is to set up for this type of joint.
John

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Angler

4 posts in 736 days


#6 posted 12-09-2014 06:14 AM

Hey Rick M.
I’ve seen the joint done where you can see the end of the rail from both sides. Then I’ve seen them stopped an inch or two back and the rail cut off from there to the front. That would make it half blind. I think???
John

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Rick M

7929 posts in 1846 days


#7 posted 12-09-2014 07:17 AM

Yeah I was talking about tapered sliding dovetails. Sometimes my brain dictates faster than my fingers can type. You could have one go through but I’ve never seen it, or maybe I have and forgotten.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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