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Manually make a single dovetail assembly

Difficulty level:


Necessary tools:

Wood glue. Sanding paper. A chisel with wood. A wooden pencil. A cutter. A folding workbench or vice. A saw with backpack. A clamp. A truscan or failing a flat meter.

The specific shape of its head, or tail assembly, makes this assembly is probably the best to resist the mechanical effects of traction. Indeed, its reverse half-triangle shape forms a natural lock, which makes it able to withstand heavy loads. Its variant consists in reducing its size and multiplying the number of dovetails for the same assembly. Finally, the dovetail assembly can be L-shaped or T-shaped. This is the last version that we will present here in the form of a single dovetail.

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: dovetail

Step 1: trace the cutting contours of the dovetail to be made.

Begin by precisely determining the length of the dovetail depending on the thickness of the edge of its future assembly support. Once this measurement is carried out, transfer it from the end of the part to draw the horizontal line of shoulder which will constitute, after the making of the cut, the contact surface ensuring the stability of the assembly. Start from this shoulder line to draw the triangular areas to be cut. For this place your pencil on the line at one-sixth of the total width of the piece, starting from the edge, and draw a cross line to the nearest upper corner. All you have to do is repeat this action from the opposite edge.

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: assembly

For greater clarity, it is important that you make the same pattern on the back of the piece. To do this, extend the shoulder line on the contours.

Step 2: Make the dovetail cut.

To accurately cut the dovetail from the plots you just made, hold the crossbar upright with a work bench or vise, then tilt your saw back into alignment. one of the oblique lines and saw according to the slope until the line of horizontal shoulder. Repeat this technique for the second oblique cut.

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: make

Then change the cross grip so that one of the edges is up, place the saw back on the contour line and make a straight cut until the intersection clears the edge. triangular fall. Flip the coin over and do the same thing on the other side. The dovetail is formed.

Step 3: prepare the cutting of the support to receive the dovetail.

To more accurately and easily transcribe the edge of the dovetail on the support, position it on top so that the two edges are completely aligned and use the cutter to mark the oblique lines in the wood. Then reproduce the cutting area from its depth on the sides of the support with its horizontal and vertical lines in wood pencil.

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: assembly

Step 4: Cut the media.

The first phase of the cutting of a support intended to receive a dovetail in assembly consists of making the sawn timber along the lines which obliquely outwards. The saw saw should be slightly sloped as in step 2. Saw one of these two lines first, then, before sawing the second, make a straight vertical center cut to the horizontal line delimiting the depth. This additional notch will facilitate the work of cutting with a chisel. Now install the crossbar on the side and start cutting work with a chisel, keeping the chisel vertical. Position its edge on the horizontal line, hit it with the mallet, and progress in depth.

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: single

Manually make a single dovetail assembly: manually

The imprint of the dovetail finally made, it is necessary to ensure that the two parts of the assembly fit together without worries. If you perceive a resistance, make a weak sanding on the incriminated part and try again until satisfaction.

Step 5: Paste the assembly.

Before using the glue, make a quick cleaning of the wood dust on the surfaces of the assembly so that their adhesion is optimal, then glue the different internal faces of the assembly of the support as well as the lower face and the oblique sides of the dovetail and assemble them. Wipe off the apparent dripping of the excess glue and ensure the proper stability of the assembly during the time required for drying.

Video Instruction: How to make a Dovetail Joint - The Three Joints - | Paul Sellers