There is more than one type/design for drawers, you know. Relatively
few (I would guess) have sides chock-a-block to the fronts. Certainly
not if metal slides are used on the sides.
Even with chock-a-block sides and fronts one could use a sliding
dovetail if you...
1. use fat sides and/or narrow pins;
2. are careful & precise.
Not totally unrelated: without a router dovetail jig, it's also possible to
cut them on a tablesaw and bandsaw, or omitting the bandsaw, a tablesaw and
chisel. I think I saw the technique in a book by Yeung Chan. Briefly, you
cut the pins first on a tablesaw with the work placed against a miter gauge
and backer board/jig turned to the angle you want the dovetails. Make small
cuts on one side of the pin then reverse the jig to repeat the cut on the
other side of the pin. After the pins are cut, trace them onto the tail
piece and cut the tails either on bandsaw or handsaw and chisel. You must
be able to cut the tails accurately to a scribed line for this method to
Woodcraft has an article FWW published years ago that shows how Mark
Duginske did it:
For through dovetails (which I prefer), I usually do them on my
tablesaw with a little cleanup with a chisel, similarly to what Duke
described. I actually lay them out on a CAD program (I use CorelDraw;
it's cheap, easy, and powerful enough for most of the stuff I need it
to do). I print out and attach the pattern to the board with
I'm happy to provide more details on what to do after that if you're
btw, thankyou for allowing this thread to be archived!
I'm sure this scan be done on a router table, but not without some
kind of setup. Keep in mind there are various sizes of dovetail
bits, some for hardwoods others for softwoods. A box joint is
stronger than a rabbet joint and can be made with a router.
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