Dovetail-like joint with something like a loose tenon?


Is there a corner joint for boxes, drawers, etc that is made with three pieces: the two parts plus something like a loose tenon?
The only thing I can think of is something like a spline joint but I'm wondering if there is not something a bit more artistic and strong. I'm imagining something you could make on a table saw that would look something like a dovetail joint. It could made of different woods for contrast.
Anybody? I am making any sense?
Thanks,
Jim
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Yes, there is one on the market and I have one, it works great.
http://www.dovetailspline.com/index.html
Don

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What you describe is called a dovetail keyed miter joint, at least in Gary Rogowski's "Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery", Taunton Press, 2002. The joint is described elsewhere as well.
It's basically a specialized form of a keyed miter joint.
http://www.dovetailspline.com/creating_joints.html
Patriarch, who has never done one that way before.
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Thanks!

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wrote:

That would be a spline. If you allow "2+n" parts, where "n" can be large, then you can use a keyed joint. Splines are a single wafer running along the joint, keys are lots of little wafers running across it.
I don't like splines in mitred corners - there are short-grain weaknesses.
Keys come in two main flavours; thick and thin. Thick are big thick things, deliberately visible. They're often made to use "dovetail" shaped keystock, which needs to be made separately. If only one side of the joint is visible (e.g. drawers with false drawer fronts applied afterwards) then these can be indistinguishable from dovetails.
Thin keys are parallel and the thickness of a saw kerf (although this can be quite a thick blade, or even a dado). Their advantage is that the stock is easy to make and the joint is cut on a single pass. If you do these in two batches with a tilted sawblade, then they can have an attractive staggered look that's reminiscent of dovetailing. They're _very_ quick to make and you can use them to strengthen a joint you've already made.
Both versions need a jig to cut them. The jig for the first is usually a small table to support a sliding router, this table having a pair of 45 fences underneath to support it across the corner. Use a dovetail cutter and slide it through the edges in one pass. Saw the key stock up on the tablesaw, but be careful to get the width exactly right. Leave the height over-tall, you'll plane the excess off later.
To make the thin sort, make a sliding sled for your tablesaw slots. More 45 fences support the box above it.
As with all contrast timber techniques, go easy on the ebony and maple look. Fumed or ebonised oak in white oak looks much better.
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