Dovetail Notes

Dovetail Notes:

  1. Odd number of tails will result in a tail at the center of the board.
  2. Even number of tails results in a pin at the center of the board.
  3. More tails than whole pins, by one. As a hook to remember this, I use my hand as follows:
  • I think of my thumb & little finger as 1/2 pins.
  • I think of my middle finger as a whole pin.
  • I think of my forefinger & ring finger as tails.

See Hi-Tech Graphical Sketch below.

This hook also helps regarding the fact that an even number of tails results in a pin at the center of the board.

4. Pin Board — Angled lines go on end grain side of board & straight lines on face of board.

This concept is shown in the Sketch below.

5. Tail Board — Angled lines go on face of board & straight lines on end grain side of board. This concept is shown in the Sketch below.

6. Depth of cut for pins & tails = thickness of board. Mark with a marking knife, a line, for
this depth of cut around all four sides of the board.

7. Make the half pins (at the fat end) roughly half the board thickness
(roughly 3/8″ for a 3/4″ thick board).

8. One rule of thumb is for the pin width to equal the board thickness. Personally for
say a 3/4″ thick board, I like to go with a pin width that is roughly a 1/2″ on the
fat side of the pin.

9. Rule of thumb for tail width, from thickness of board to around 1.50 times the thickness
of the board.

10. Tail boards for the sides of drawers & pin boards for front and back of drawers.
In closing, I find the notes above helpful for visualizing dovetail concepts.

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Until Next Time, Take Care
AL

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