Double Dovetail Box #2: Cutting the first set of dovetails

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Blog entry by Don posted 01-11-2010 07:26 AM 4879 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Milling the parts. Part 2 of Double Dovetail Box series Part 3: Attaching the Corners »

I’m not planning on going into all the gory details about how to cut the dovetails, that would be a lengthy blog by itself and it’s highly dependant on your choice of jigs or hand tools. I use a Porter Cable Omnijig but I’m sure any jig capable of making a half blind dovetail will suffice. If there’s enough requests then I may do another blog on that or could go into more detail on this one.

Step 1: Clean up the glue from the boards that you glued the corner pieces to. Make sure the ends are square, trimming a little off the end if you have to. This is one of the reasons for making the corner pieces oversized.

Step 2: Cut the mortises on each of the corner pieces.

Step 3: Cut the tails on one end of each of the front, back, and side pieces. If you want to keep things simple you can do the same joint on all sides, if so cut tails on both ends of every piece.


This box is much smaller than the Spalted Mango box so I can’t do the joints exactly the same way. Instead I’m going to reverse them end for end. That requires a second setup to cut so I’ll cut them later after the next step. This should give you an idea what the final joint is going to look like:


I didn’t get as far as I wanted to today due to technical difficulties with a router that was auto adjusting. I made several cuts before I realized that the joint I was trying to make looser was actually getting tighter. Once I got that corrected it took a few more adjustments to get the joints fitting right. I also wasted some time due to not setting things up correctly in the first place. The Omnijig is a very cool jig but there are a lot of things that can be set wrong. Just for kicks here’s what happens when you use the D5 bit when your supposed to use the D4 bit:



Next up, cutting the remaining dovetails. I’ll be travelling out of town next weekend though so the next blog may be a couple of weeks from now.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

2 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5071 days

#1 posted 01-11-2010 06:06 PM

Thanks Don good start. look forward to more info.


View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 5085 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 05:39 PM

I’m following.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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