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Dovetailing

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Blog entry by venicewoodworker posted 08-11-2011 01:48 AM 971 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK….so here is a question up for discussion. I was taught to start and end dovetail joints on half of a tail, not half a pin. If this is correct, I was just watching a video from a guy who started a case on half a pin and ended it on half of a tail. I never saw this. What do y’all think?



10 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10327 posts in 1363 days


#1 posted 08-11-2011 01:56 AM

I did it each way in the half blinds of the drawers of my Roubo Cabinet build, and I can say it didn’t matter much. I know there’s a standard way, Roy U. did a show on the topic. I’m kinda neutral at this point, wondering too what LJers have to say.

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

View acducey's profile

acducey

65 posts in 1249 days


#2 posted 08-11-2011 02:43 AM

Frank Klausz is a pins-first man, but he admits there are many ways to cut dovetails; it’s amazing to watch him do it on YouTube.
Dove tailing a drawer; www.youtube.com/watch?=vG-04jryTkJc
Three Minute Dovetail; www.popularwoodworking.com/video/klausz

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2393 days


#3 posted 08-11-2011 02:55 AM

I think it boils down to personal taste.

I personally think that half a tail looks ‘off’ since one side is straight and the other is angled, but half a pin looks normal as both sides are straight anyway. I always keep full tails.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View venicewoodworker's profile

venicewoodworker

100 posts in 1373 days


#4 posted 08-11-2011 03:35 AM

OK so I agree with you guys, but on one side of the drawer you have one half of a pin and on the top you have one half of a tail. To me it seems like you are too lazy or you don’t know how to lay out the dovetails. Just me, but the guy I was referring to has his own tv show. I don’t…..just sayin. I think it is sloppy joinery.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10327 posts in 1363 days


#5 posted 08-11-2011 04:01 AM

Okay, guilty of not reading the OP and understanding it. You saw somebody begin a single joined corner one way and ending another way? Is so, yes, that’s out there…

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15064 posts in 2420 days


#6 posted 08-11-2011 08:07 AM

Pins are so small, how could you possibly make a half pin?

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

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2473 posts in 2272 days


#7 posted 08-11-2011 02:18 PM

If I am attaching a drawer front with half-blind dovetails, I typically make the pins 1/2” at the wide end. I make the two end pins more than half that, around 3/8”. I have made some small drawers and maintained that ratio. Maybe the inner pins would be 1/4” and the end pins 3/16”.

When I look at the top of the drawer front, I like to see a solid piece go all the way across. With half-blind, my preference is to not see the drawer sides coming out to within 1/8” of the front – if that makes any sense.

I have had tails on the ends for other uses, like joining pieces of a cabinet. I stick with the symmetry of both ends being the same.

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1488 posts in 2869 days


#8 posted 08-11-2011 08:33 PM

I kinda like half a tail, but I mostly think that’s an aesthetic decision. But I’m definitely a “tails on both ends or pins on both ends” kind of guy. Half-and-half feels like you’ve got a fixed width jig and are too lazy to get the details right.

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

View venicewoodworker's profile

venicewoodworker

100 posts in 1373 days


#9 posted 08-11-2011 11:09 PM

The guy was cutting them by hand. To me it looked like he got lazy on the layout.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10327 posts in 1363 days


#10 posted 08-11-2011 11:58 PM

What a weird calling card to leave w/ your handwork. Not right.

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

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