I'm making a child's toy box out of maple. I'm using 2 x 2 inch legs in the corners
with frame and panel sides. I am considering joining the frames to the 2 x 2 legs
using a dovetail joint. The tail would be cut into the leg the long way and
the pin along an edge of the frame.
I'm wary of cutting a pin along the grain of the frames because I'm
afraid the pin might split off. I suppose I could make the pin "fat"
enough to alleviate this. Is this type of joint not recommended? Is it
prone to fail? Any thoughts or options appreciated, thanks.
Assuming that your frame-and-panel sides are actually going to use your 2 x
2 legs as the stiles, then conventionally, you'd use a mortice-and- tenon
joint between the rails and the legs for neatness and strength.
If you use a dovetail, then the joint will be more obtrusive - it will show.
If your aim is to show off your ability to make dovetails at the cost of
appearance and strength, then fine, go ahead. In all probability if the
joint is well-made, it may be strong enough for what you want to do, but it
will not look right. The traditional joint evolved for several very good
Your concern for a pin made along the grain of the leg is well-founded - it
*will* be a weak point.
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
On Mon, 17 May 2004 20:44:39 -0400, Frank McVey wrote
Frank, et al,
I could have been clearer if I'd used the right terminology. The stiles are
part of the frame and panel construction and so the stile would be dovetailed
to the 2x2 leg. The leg is not the stile of the panel. In that case a mortise
and tenon is the best solution.
And yes, the idea was to show off the joint from the top of the box looking
down at the top of the leg. In any case, I'm not going to do this. I never
choose stile over function ;-) I want a joint that will work. If it looks
good, even better.
After sending my original post I remembered a FWW cover project that had
similar corner leg construction (FWW Now/Dec 2001). For this piece the author
used biscuits to join the legs to the frame stiles. I think I'll go with
Thanks all for your replies.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.