Dovetails 1/4 or 1/2

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Forum topic by jwmalone posted 07-26-2016 06:58 PM 642 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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768 posts in 1548 days

07-26-2016 06:58 PM

Hello guys/gals, My next project will have several drawers, a couple 7 inches tall, about 6 that are three inches tall ( by tall I mean bottom to top). My jig will cut 1/2 or 1/4 flush. If I set up for the .25 set up it would be easier to cut them all, will the .25 dovetails be ok for 7 inch tall drawers. Overall dimensions are 18 wide 16 deep some 7 tall some 3 tall. Thanks for any advice.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

2 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1766 days

#1 posted 07-31-2016 06:40 PM


Once the drawers are assembly I doubt it makes much difference whether the dovetails are ½” or ¼”. There is a lot of glue surface and either joint should be very strong. There would be a greater number of ¼” dovetails than ½” dovetails, so the joint could look a little busy; but then appearance is a personal preference.

I would think a little more care would be needed during assembly if ¼” dovetails are selected. It will take longer to apply glue to the more numerous ¼” dovetails, so a glue with a long open time could be useful. Also, gluing just one joint at a time might be a good idea (which may also be good with ½” dovetails) especially if the glue begins to skim over. The smaller ¼” dovetail pins would be more susceptible to breaking if a mallet is used to drive the glue ladened joint together without a scrap board to support the pins when driving the joint home. But in the end, I think it is mostly a matter of personal preference; mine being ½” dovetails.

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768 posts in 1548 days

#2 posted 07-31-2016 07:06 PM

Thanks Jbrow, Ive since decided to do them by hand. My jig is just to aggravating. Nothing wrong with it paid 15 dollars for never used still in the box

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

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