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Wood craftsmanship - Dovetail joint

1. Introduction

A dovetail joint is a traditional joinery technique used in woodworking which is also used in furniture. Such technique are well-known for its inherent strength and resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). Dovetail joints as a technique predate written history and have been found inside the tombs of ancient Egyptian mummies. Classic Bespoke and Swift drawer boxes have use of dovetail joints. Dovetails are considered a signature of craftsmanship and are an attractive feature for our item such as drawers, chairs and console.

2. Type

Standard dovetail joint has evenly spaced cut pins and tails, traditional dovetails have wide cut pins and smaller tails. Standard cut pins and tails offer more strength in the furniture, traditional are not quite so strong but are often specified because of their traditional finish.

Drawers are most commonly made with half-blind dovetail joint, as these dovetail joint uses are inherently strong, economical and very attractive. With a half-blind joint the end grain is not visible from the front end, the tails are housed in sockets in the ends of the board forming the front of the drawer. These dovetail joints are only seen at the side of the drawer.

Through dovetail joint is where the end grain of both boards is visible where the joint is assembled, creating a stunning dovetail effect from all sides of the chair. This very strong joint is also sometimes known as a lapped, English, or plain dovetail.

3. Size

Some dovetailing machines out there will only produce 25mm dovetails, but the precision dovetail machines vary the size of the dovetail to suit the size of the furniture. The size of the dovetail itself is worked out by our precision cutting machine and this would be dependent on the height of the box. Half blind dovetail joints are by far the most popular as they are more cost effective to make than through dovetail joint.

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