Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Dovetail Shelf Joint Depth?

David Weaver
Is there a rule of thumb for the depth that the tails would go into a carcass side when those tails are full length on the end of a solid shelf?

E.g., half the thickness of the sides on a 7/8" side, or 60% or whatever else may be the case.

it seems counterintuitive to make them too deep, but if they are compressed and glued into the case side, I'm sure strength of the case is first more than it needs to be and second not that compromised with a tight joint.

I'm asking this a little bit too late as i've already made a quick dovetail plane to cut the tails on the ends of my shelves (it will go about half depth on a 7/8" side). Strength either way won't be an issue, this is a question of aesthetics.

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