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5 Points About Dovetail Joints

1. What is a dovetail joint?

A dovetail joint is a joinery technique used in woodworking, traditionally used to joint wooden furniture.
Dovetail joints are known for their inherent strength and resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength). A dovetail joint has a series of pins and tails in a trapezoidal shape and once glued a dovetail joint has no need for mechanical fasteners.
Dovetail joints as a technique predate written history and have been found inside the tombs of ancient Egyptian mummies.
All Probox Classic Bespoke and Classic Swift drawer boxes have use of dovetail joints. Dovetails are considered a signature of craftsmanship and are an attractive feature of all Probox Bespoke and Classic range drawers.

2. Why use of dovetail joint on a drawer box?

Dovetail joints are very strong by design and they also offer an attractive finish that is a true sign of craftsmanship. Professionally cut and glued dovetail joints are virtually impossible to separate.

3. How do you make a dovetail joint?

Dovetail joints are traditionally cut by hand with a saw and chisel. Probox achieve precision cut dovetails on leading edge machines. As part of the set up the dovetailing machine is programmed with the exact drawer box height and style of dovetail required, then it quickly and efficiently cuts dovetails before the craftsman hand glues and finishes the drawer.

4. What types of dovetail joints are there?

There are lots of types of dovetail joints, but the most popular at Probox are;

Standard or Traditional pins and tails

Standard dovetail joints have evenly spaced cut pins and tails, traditional dovetails have wide cut pins and smaller tails. Standard cut pins and tails offer more strength in the drawer, traditional are not quite so strong but are often specified because of their traditional finish.

Half- blind dovetail joint

Probox drawers are most commonly made with half-blind dovetail joints, as these dovetail joint uses are inherently strong, economical and very attractive. With a half-blind joint the end grain is not visible from the front end, the tails are housed in sockets in the ends of the board forming the front of the drawer. These dovetail joints are only seen at the side of the drawer.

throughThrough dovetail joint

A through dovetail joint uses is where the end grain of both boards is visible where the joint is assembled, creating a stunning dovetail effect from all sides of the box. This very strong joint is also sometimes known as a lapped, English, or plain dovetail.

5. What size will my dovetails be?

Some dovetailing machines out there will only produce 25mm dovetails, but the precision dovetail machines at Probox vary the size of the dovetail to suit the size of the drawer box.
The size of the dovetail itself is worked out by our precision cutting machine and this would be dependent on the height of the box. Half blind dovetail joints are by far the most popular as they are more cost effective to make than through dovetail joints.

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