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Hand Tools
dovetail angles
Posted By William Tindall
Date Sunday, 5 June 2022, at 10:52 a.m.

In Response To Re: Two more, even better (Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia))

Do you have more than one dovetail angle you use?    No,  I chose about 12 degrees for drawers because that is what the Headley shop used. I say "about" because I don't fret exactly orienting the saw to the guide.  In fact I usually wind up 11 degrees, +/-.  It matters not, to me. Of course it would take 5 minutes to make a block with some different angle.  The brass thingy shown has the advantage of easily adjustable size.  But again, it involves marking and marking is wasted time in my case.  

I regard dovetails as an engineering choice, and not part of any design element of a piece.  In fact, I cover up dovetails where I can.  Not once have I ever had a customer for a piece of furniture scrutinize or comment on a dovetail beyond rarely noticing there was one.  I never subject my furniture to judges at shows so I don't have that worry either.  I don't get any personal reward for making a drawer with dovetails this or that angle so I don't put any energy to this decision.  My design energy goes into wood and wood grain selection, and the overall look of the piece.  Joints are there to hold it together and not be noticed when possible.  

Well, not exactly no.  For drawer blades I use 14 degrees to match a dovetail router bit.  But they are always covered up. 


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