Narrow Display Cabinet

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Try your hand at revered  joinery while creating this distinctive showcase

This display cabinet may be relatively small in stature, but its design incorporates one of the pinnacles of the woodworker’s craft: hand-cut dovetail joints. For many woodworkers, the hand-cut dovetail is seen as a rite of passage, and for good reason. The joint requires a raft of hand skills, including careful layout, accurate sawing, and skillful chisel work. While the joint may seem intimidating at first, with a little practice and the right tools (See page 40), you’ll soon be able to add this feather to your cap. 

To build the cabinet as shown, you’ll need to cut two kinds of dovetails. The corners of the cabinet are joined with through dovetails—those visible on both outside faces of the joint. The drawer front is attached to the drawer sides with half-blind dovetails, which show only on the side of the drawer, not its face. The techniques used for cutting both forms of the joint are similar, but with a few key differences, as I’ll explain.

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