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Straight tails, dovetails

The straight tails assembly, the simplest, is suitable for assembling two large but not very thick pieces. If it is not difficult to achieve, it only resists traction in one direction. The dovetail assembly, which is more difficult to produce, is also stronger because the trapezoid-shaped tails (like the dovetails, the old name of the swallows), fit into notches of the same shape. thus perfect strength and tensile strength in both directions. The manufacture of drawers is a blatant illustration.

Necessary material

  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Red chalk
  • square
  • Bevel
  • Wood chisel
  • Mallet
  • Flatwood grater
  • Sanding wedge
  • Cutting saw
  • Fine tooth saw
  • Clamps
  • Trusquin
  • Plane
  • Vinyl glue
  • Abrasive paper

Steps

  1. Straight tails
  2. Dovetails

Straight tails

Straight tails

1. Make the trace and attach the workpiece vertically. The straight tails assembly is mainly used for the production of drawers. Cut the tails with a cutting saw or a saw, after drawing them.

Straight tails, dovetails: dovetails

2. Using a chisel, remove the bottom of the notches. Strike the mallet with a mallet (never with a hammer), keeping it straight. To avoid damaging the workbench, place a "martyr" piece under the workpiece. If the bottom of the notches is not smooth enough, finish it with a flat grater.

Straight tails, dovetails: assembly

3. With the tails performed, place the piece on the edge of the second and mark the tails on the latter. Extend the lines of landmarks by drawing lines parallel to each other.

Straight tails, dovetails: tails

4. An even number of notches is usually expected for each piece to have a tail on one side. Assemble both pieces without forcing too much. Using a fine-toothed saw, trim the tails on both pieces. Paste before final assembly. Finish by sanding with a sanding block.

Dovetails

Dovetails

1. As for the straight-tailed assembly, draw parallels from dots dividing a straight line into equal segments using the false square (adjustable angle bracket).

Straight tails, dovetails: dovetails

2. The angle formed by a dovetail measures exactly 78°. This angle is given by the diagonal of a rectangle of 50 x 10 mm. Draw a triangle along these dimensions at any point on the board to adjust the opening of the false square. Postpone the angle thus obtained to finish drawing the dovetails.

Straight tails, dovetails: tails

3. With the cutting saw, saw the falls (hatched at the time of the drawing). This work presents some difficulties: it is necessary to saw exactly respecting the angle of the tail (78°) and to take care not to exceed the line of cut. To avoid mistakes, always saw lightly inside the path (fall side). Place the piece between the jaws of a vise and hold the saw vertically. Use a fine-toothed saw.

Straight tails, dovetails: straight

4. Escape the falls with a chisel. Do not work too fast and use a sharp tool, so as not to burst the wood, especially if the dovetails are small. Start working by holding the chisel vertically and cutting the edge of the chute. Then empty with the oblique part of the chisel, without pressing the blade on the edge of the notch, so as not to damage it. Place the workpiece on a block so as not to damage the workbench, and tighten it with a clamp.

Straight tails, dovetails: straight

5. Finish the cut of the dovetails on each edge with a saw to cut. Always hold the saw horizontally. Saw inside the line; finish if necessary with a chisel. If dovetail sawing has not been properly done, you can shape them with a flat grater.

Straight tails, dovetails: straight

6. Transfer the drawing of the dovetails to the end of the second piece. Secure the two pieces securely to make an exact trace. Cut the dovetails a little longer than the thickness of the second piece so that you can stop at the end of the work. Then extend the pattern obtained with the truscan; plan, there too, a margin of 1 or 2 cm. The accuracy of the layout affects the quality of the work: very precise, it avoids a game in the assembly. Cut with a saw, having hatched the falls, by squeezing the piece between the jaws of a vise.

Straight tails, dovetails: tails

7. Evide with the chisel. Never force when working with the chisel, especially near the edges: the wood being thin may burst (especially if it is fragile). The chisel work presents difficulties: it is necessary to cut and remove trapezoidal shaped drops without damaging the edges.

Straight tails, dovetails: straight

8. Finishing is done with the plane, after assembly of the two parts and flattening of the tails with the saw. To assemble, give small strokes of mallet, so as to embed the two parts, placing a block of wood between the tool and the room. The assembly must be done slightly forcibly: so do not insist too much if you feel resistance. In this case, grind by shaping the grater, after locating the place. After passing the planer, you can finish by sanding with wedge-mounted sandpaper.

Straight tails, dovetails: tails

On the same topic

  • DIY tips
    • Make a dovetail assembly
    • Covered dovetail
    • Joinery: sawing by hand
    • Joinery: tracing
    • Dovetail, assembly diagram

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