I am in the planing stage of making a small letter box. I want to use
through dovetails(something I have not done before, always half-blind),
and I am wondering how one attaches a bottom the the box. In half-blind
dovetails I always just ran a groove through the pins and it did not
show but on through dovetails I am thinking it will. Any ideas?
You have to use stopped dados for box joints and through DT's.
Alternatively you cut a small piece to glue and insert in the resulting
Or you make the bottom bigger than the box and let it be exposed then glue
it directly to the bottom.
I was dealing with the same situation as nicols and had planned on
pursuing the idea that Leon suggested until i saw your post. Thanks
for the suggestion and the link.
Chris Friesen wrote:
I don't know what a letter box is but I understand the problem. The elegant
solutuion might be to start the dovetails above the level of the base, and
have a simple step or rebate joint or mitre at the level of the base.
With thru dovetails the slot is generally located so it is centered
at the level of a tail. You can run the slot the full length of the
pin board as the slot runs between pins and will be covered by the
tail. On the tail board you have to stop the slot short of the end of
the tail so it doesn't show through.
Right answer. One way to cheat is to use a dry assembly, suitably clamped,
and a slot cutter on a router table. Place the bottom of the assembly on
the table and rout around. You'll need to round the corners of your bottom
where they don't show, but we all love rounded bottoms anyway, right? Make
sure the slot cutter is shallow enough not to run through, and Bob's your
shirttail relative anyway....
Believe it or not, I bought the plowplane from Japan Woodworker to make the
rebate in little boxes. The plane will do from 1/8" to 1/2" rebates. I had
not considered doing half blind dovetails to hide the slots. I think I'll do
one that way. :-)
On 8 Dec 2006 15:13:04 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
I make small boxes for all my cutters, bits etc so I make them from
time-to-time. I use Chris' method.
But I don't understand why you don't see the same groove on half
blinds. If you Dado all the way to the edge I believe you will see it
on two sides....??
If the groove is situated to fall in the location of a tail on the side the
groove will not show. The end of that tail is buried in the front or back
pieces and the front and back pieces are covered by the side tails.
If the groves happen to be located where the front and back piece pins are
located, "between the side tails", the grove will show as it is not covered
by a side piece tail.
Let me see if I can describe this correctly. The groove on the
half-blind runs through tail socket and on the tail board it runs
through the tail. In the first case the tail cover the groove made into
the socket, nothing showing there. In the second case the groove shows
only on the end of the pin. This being a half blind the pin does not
run all the way through and the groove is covered by the material left
in the pin socket. The problem with the through dovetail is that there
is that the pin runs all the way through and does not have any material
left to cover the end. Here is a cute illustration if you cannot
visualize the joints.
It depends on the project but often I'll lay out the dovetails so that
the groove falls on the exposed end grain. After the box is assembled
I'll drive a small wedge (with a little glue) in the gap. Once trimmed
and sanded flush the wedge is almost invisible on the end grain.
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