dove-tail vs non-dovetail?

What percent difference in price are cabinets with dovetail construction vs those without? What is the advantage of dovetail? Stronger? Longer lasting?
-K
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Me wrote:

Impossible to say -- too many other factors. Could even find a cabinet w/ dovetail construction less than some others w/o. Generally better construction. Yes (as opposed to simple staples/brads, etc.) Yes (as opposed to simple staples/brads, etc.)
--
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Dovetail joints are very strong, traditional, and look good. They can be cut by hand or machine. Often more expensive furniture includes dovetail joints, but that can be a small factor in price differences.
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Today, with machines dovetails can be cut cheaply to look like quality furniture even if the rest of it is second rate. The had cut ones are the mark of a true craftsman as they are time consuming and take some skill. I've yet to even try one, let alone a series of them on a drawer.
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Pull open a drawer and look at the joint, think about the forces acting on it as you pull and push on the drawer. The nice thing about a dovetail joint is that the parts kind of lock together mechanically, so you're not relying on the glue to hold it together. (It should still be glued of course). In an antique shop you can find furniture with dovetail joints that have held together for a long time. It's not the only kind of good joint there is, but it is a very good kind. You could probably get a more informed answer in rec.woodworking. -- H
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else. Now they are done mainly for looks.
Price difference? Probably somewhere between 10% and 300% depending on the specifics.
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Toller wrote:

Disagree on both points -- they're still done in better quality carcase work for mechanical strength w/ the looks as a secondary benefit.
As for glue strength, hide glue has been used for centuries and in tests recently in FWW, it still tests as strong as the wood for common species (like oak) in a majority of fracture tests...
Glue still won't hold a drawer together reliably for a long time...
--
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And I disagree with Toller on another level: Besides the mechanical interlocking of a dovetail, think about how much more surface is available for glue. If I'm not mistaken, the only joint that has more exposed surface for glue is a very fine finger joint, but you loose the mechanical interlocking that a dovetail provides - something very desirable in a drawer front.
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When I bought my kitchen cabinets (Diamond brand), I got the dovetail upgrade free. I would have paid extra for that detail. As you say, the drawer box joints are held together by more than just glue and staples, or whatever it is they rely on without dovetails.
nancy
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