Bookcase #2: Only Joint I know

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Blog entry by BlueRidgeDog posted 12-20-2019 04:38 PM 661 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Have to start somewhere. Part 2 of Bookcase series Part 3: Setbacks and Progress »

With the inlay done and the top and bottom cut to finished length, the next step is to join the two. I really only know one joint and that is a dove tail.

I laid out some tight pins at 11 degrees:

For me the key to a great dovetail is a perfect tail (no snickering). If you get them perfectly at a right angle to the face, the joint is likely to work. For this reason I use either a band saw or table saw for the cut.

In this case I did the cut with the table saw:

This was way better than the band saw as you only have to mark one face, then you flip the board, then do the same for the other board(s). Fast, accurate.

That said I don’t do the “nibble” as I want a perfect shoulder. Back to traditional methods with by cutting out with a saw then chopping.

Because the pin board is so long, I can’t do the standard vice setup with the pin board in the vice and the tail on the bench, so I had to reverse it and take A LOT of time making certain they were square:

To cut the pins I had to stand on bucket. It was not my best work:

They came together with the normal pin trimming and testing. They may get covered with moldings.

3 comments so far

View PPK's profile


1872 posts in 2054 days

#1 posted 12-20-2019 07:02 PM

Hey cool. Never seen dovetails cut like that on the TS before.

-- Pete

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#2 posted 12-21-2019 10:52 AM

Well done and I liked the way you cut them on the table saw. Very enjoyable blog with great photos too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


884 posts in 1024 days

#3 posted 12-21-2019 01:17 PM

Of all the methods I have tried, the table saw methods makes stunningly accurate, fast and very precise cuts. Since each cut occurs four times on a board, it has minimal setup. Simply attached a tall fence to your miter, with a small base so the part or drawer side can rest on it, then set the saw to your desired angle and make a kerf. Mark out your tails as you would normally (I use the two divider method) then place the board in the “jig” and align the mark to the kerf cut and clamp in a block for that spot. Cut, rotate, cut, flip cut, rotate and cut…then move to the next cut location.

Clean out the waste and shoulders normally (chop to line etc).

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