Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
But why?
Response To:
Re: Half Blind question ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
"If you look at better and best you will probably see more full dovetails than half tails. in this application."

If you look anywhere except in the Shenandoah Valley one sees more full dovetails. I don't know why unless cabinet makers were smitten by symmetry :)

The compelling advantage of the half tail is the ease of adjusting a tight fit. Just plane the flat side. For someone that cuts this joint only a few times a year this advantage is compelling. I have built numerous small, medium and large chests of drawers with this joint and the cases go together square to +/- 1 mm on the diagonals. It seems to have no disadvantage I have detected.

As far as "seeing", my family thinks dovetails are like underwear- not to be seen in public. These are unconventionally on the inside of the leg so it looks like a M&T from the front. I could have M&T the middle dividers but I like making this joint and I can make it quicker than a double M&T I would have used in a leg.

I have gotten over my aversion to over sawing (well not really) some and over sawing is a big help. Probably if I got over fretting about digging the waste out of the corners where the saw don't reach I would realize it not the problem I am making it.

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