Half-Blind Dovetails

One of the mysteries for beginning woodworkers is how to build dovetailed drawers. Many fear them as much as table saw kickback, so they pay other companies to make drawers for them or buy jigs to do the work.

We’re not going to tell you that making blind dovetails is something simple that you can master with just a few tricks.  Cutting dovetails is a skill that develops in time. The trick is to learn the basics and keep practicing. 

One excellent way to do this is to prepare two boards of equal widths. Cut your joints on the ends of each board and assemble them. Inspect the results and then trim the joinery off each board and start dovetailing the boards again. 

Save each joint you cut. In fact, we recommend putting a date on each joint and sticking it on a shelf in your shop. It’s helpful to refer to your past mistakes so you can avoid future ones. Most of all, stick with it. Almost no one cuts good dovetails out of the gate.

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