Single half blind DT

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Forum topic by Bohaiboy posted 10-26-2017 04:47 PM 785 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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76 posts in 2602 days

10-26-2017 04:47 PM

I am using half blind DT’s for a door frame for a jewelry armoire. The frame is approximately 2.5” wide and 3/4 stock. Frame size approximations are 18” tall by 14” deep. There will be a 1/2” panel installed on the door in a dado.

My question is I think the single HB DT should be set 1/2” in to the vertical piece but how wide would you make the DT for the 2.5” wide board? I am thinking 2” with 1/4” on each side but maybe it should be 1.75” with 3/8” on each side. Aesthetically both look nice but more concerned on structural.

Thanks all

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

5 replies so far

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1448 posts in 2919 days

#1 posted 10-26-2017 04:49 PM

I think for a jewelry box structural concerns aren’t that high of a priority. Its not like you are going to stand on it. Go with what you think looks best.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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10477 posts in 4456 days

#2 posted 10-26-2017 05:23 PM

While I don’t think the joint is likely to have
much stress, I don’t find a single wide half-blind
dovetail exposed on the outside of a door
aesthetically appealing. The machine cut
half-blind dovetails used in mass production
of drawer boxes are considered ugly for a
good reason. Prior to the fetishization of the
dovetail in the 20th century the joint itself
was considered unattractive and not suitable
for exposure in the finest work.

I think you would find a splined or dovetail-keyed
miter joint easier to make and better looking
in retrospect. I would miter and dowel it
personally, because I have equipment to make
short work of it and the finished joint is the
most clean and unobtrusive in appearance.

A single, wide dovetail is seldom used in the
application I’m visualizing for the jewelry box
door. You wouldn’t use a single wide half-blind
dovetail in a drawer box, you would use 3
or 4 per corner. That’s partially aesthetic
tradition but it also spreads the stress on the
joint across several acute corners. The modern
aesthetic of very narrow pins and wider tails
notwithstanding, balanced, evenly spaced
pins and tails are considered the strongest
way to lay out a dovetail joint.

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76 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 10-26-2017 06:16 PM

Here is a drawing of what I am thinking. The first pic is the total cabinet view with doors left and right that hinge in the rear. The red drawing is how I was thinking of the fails and stiles with a half blind dovetail.

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

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26181 posts in 3491 days

#4 posted 10-26-2017 07:13 PM

About like this?

Near the bottom of the picture. I used a sliding dovetail to attach a breadboard edge to this lid…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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12 posts in 2645 days

#5 posted 10-26-2017 07:39 PM

I built similar doors for my hand tool cabinet and I used box joints. While I don’t think they’re that great aesthetically they are a strong joint for this situation because of all the long grain glue surface. I’d be a little nervous that those dovetails wouldn’t be able to resist racking forces – although it’s not a very large door so you might get away with it.

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