The typical range for dovetail angles, ranges from 7 degrees to 15 degrees. When two angles are given for dovetails, the use of the two angles are as follows:
- The larger angle is for softwoods
- The smaller angle is for hardwoods
The Sketch below shows dovetail joints with angles ranging from 7 to 15 degrees. If you wanted to be right in the middle of the 7 to 15 degree range, then you would use 11 degrees. Personally, I like the idea of going just above the midpoint, and using 12 degrees. What angle you use boils down to what angle appeals to you.
Info regarding the Sketch above:
- The black members are the pins
- The crosshatched members are the tails
- The angle used is shown on the right hand side
- The wood members are 3/4″ thick and width of each wood member is 6″
- The pin width at short end is 1/4″ (between tails) and the half pins were sized to make up the remaining width
- The tail width at long end is 1.50″ (I chose to use twice the thickness of the wood member)
- At least for this particular layout, I personally do not perceive any significant difference over the 7 to 15 degree angle used for cutting the dovetails
- I first centered a tail on the board and then proceeded to layout the rest of the tails and pins
The Sketch below labels some of the terms used in items 1 thru 8 above.
The Sketch below diagrams the tail and pin angle.
In closing what you typically see used is fat tails & skinny pins, for dovetail joints.
Until Next Time, Take Care