An aggregation of dovetails - it's a good thing this is practice!

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Senior User
Hi folks,

I am embarking on the building of a mottled makore bench. It is fairly simple,
a 14" wide board cut in 3 lengths (for the uprights and seat) with a stretcher
below and a wenge sculptural detail between the stretcher and seat. I want to
use dovetails at the corners where the boards join. This board is pretty - and
not pretty cheap, so I decided to try the joinery first on a poplar board almost
the same width and thickness (~ 1.5"). I have enclosed a few images of the
joint before clean up. I guess it is a combination of a corner mitered dovetail
and a mitered hidden dovetail.

Below is one of the uprights, with the inside facing up. The two outside edges have started to be mitered. I plan on using a shooting ramp and a chisel to get a perfect 45 degrees. The center dovetail will also be mitered. This should allow the grain to flow over the corner in 3 places. Of course, on the practice piece, I was so worried about the joinery, I failed to cut the joint on the proper end.:BangHead:

I went with full pins on the edges, contrary to tradition I guess. I also have the 2 outer pins wider than the interior ones. I think that I will make them a little smaller, mainly to make them seem smaller than the tails to a larger degree. If that makes them too close in size to the other pins, they will likely all become the same size as I don't want it to look like a mistake. I will make enough of those! :gar-La;

If people are interested, I will take some photos to monitor the progress of this build and things that I have learned. On that note, a 1.5" thick board means a lot of stock removal for the sockets. I removed most with a small bow saw. It just is a different experience removing the waste compared to a drawer side. Even with a sharp chisel, I found it difficult. I actually had pretty good success on the hidden socket coming in from the end of the board and splitting of 1/8" sections after chiseling to about that depth on the line. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have a ways to go with the practice joints.


View image in gallery



Corporate Member
Looks challenging...I too would be interested in monitoring your progress.



New User
What you've done so far looks real good. I to would be interested in progress pictures as well as descriptions of how you did it.

Thanks Lyell:eusa_danc
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