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Reply by Rich

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Posted on Dado vs sliding dovetail

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#1 posted 09-28-2020 02:28 AM

I initially missed the grain orientation between the shelf and box side. Aj2 didn’t. He pointed it out in post #1.

If you choose to build it that way (you shouldn’t) then you really have no choice but to do a sliding dovetail. If you glue that shelf edge into the side along its full length—whether it’s sliding dovetail or a dado—it will fail due to the direction of the wood movement.

The reason you want to do the sliding dovetail is that you should only apply glue to about an inch or two of the joint, so the board can move by sliding in the dovetail. When you build something that way, you want to apply the glue to the front inch or two of the joint. That way when the wood moves it will do it towards the back where it won’t show. If you were to glue the back of the joint, then when the board moves, it will protrude and recede from the front and it will show.

If you try that with a dado it will be weak, since nothing about that joint ties the two together.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner


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