Dovetails

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Not the size required for the job as shown, but I will purchase one.
I think that bench is interesting. Where did you find the picture of that bench?

Is the dovetail 2" wide and you'll make 2 passes with a 1" w dovetail bit? I'm curious.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I think that bench is interesting. Where did you find the picture of that bench?

Is the dovetail 2" wide and you'll make 2 passes with a 1" w dovetail bit? I'm curious.
I have a builder who gives me a lot of business and his wife found the picture I think on Pin-interest. So I will make it for a special price as I value his business.

I reverse googled the picture and found a company who advertises that for $1,200. Their dimensions are 44” wide, 14” deep and 32” high. She wants 40” wide to fit a specific space, but the rest the same. I guess it is Plantation wood stained from the picture. (Rubberwood)

To cut 1” deep with a 1 1/2 hp router, I believe it will take a few passes to get the depth. Looking at a 1” depth cutter the width is much less.

The initial cuts will provide the dado and an adjustment of 1/2 the cutter’s width each side will cut the final dovetails in the top.

I believe I should be able to do each stretcher with two cuts.

I am not sure the width of the dado, will figure that out once I get going in the shop.

I have 3 1/2” Ambrosia Maple stock, so I may increase the thickness, again will figure that out once I get going in the shop.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
You can make half inch deep passes but it’s going to be slow and hard on the tools and the operator. I’d take shallower passes and it will be smoother going.
 

redknife

Chris
Corporate Member
Can You help me understand the joinery?
I think I see a one-piece sliding dovetail across the width of the bench on both sides.
I suppose the legs are mortise-tenon into the sliding dovetail. Would these be pinned in place (don’t see pins)? Might they traverse all the way through the top and be wedged tenon? Other?
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Can You help me understand the joinery?
I think I see a one-piece sliding dovetail across the width of the bench on both sides.
I suppose the legs are mortise-tenon into the sliding dovetail. Would these be pinned in place (don’t see pins)? Might they traverse all the way through the top and be wedged tenon? Other?
I guess any of those you mentioned will work. I believe a 3/4” x 1 1/2” MT joint glued should be strong enough with glue only, no pins needed.
 

JohnnyR

John
Corporate Member
I'd Dado it on a table saw and then clean up with a router or router plane. Instead of investing in a mammoth dovetail bit I'd use a handsaw or bandsaw which cut I would make first before the dado.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
You can't run a dovetail bit full depth.

Hog out the bulk with a straight bit almost to the shoulders, then use your dovetail bit.

I recommend you do a tapered dovetail.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I kinda like the dado first approach. Do it on the table saw, then use the router to dovetail the sides. Leave the top a little wide until you finish that operation, then trim off a little from each side to get rid of the tearout.
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
i think what is missing from all the "hog it out with something else" commentary is the WHY behind it. taking that much material with any router bit is rough on the bit. it will do it. taking that material is no biggie for a saw blade however. if you want to use the expensive bit for another project later, that is the way to go. hog it out with a dado blade, many passes on a regular blade, make kerfs and chisel it out, handsaw, router bits, etc. however works for you.

does the dovetail show on the backside?

14 inches deep means you'll need to allow for movement. that dovetail will restrict the seat from expanding and contracting. because it has to be slid in, gluing only in the middle would be impossible. maybe you could make the tail piece, cut it in two and insert from each side? or keep it intact and only glue the front. this means that side will stay pretty much flush but the tail piece will move in and out on the backside of the seat.

very cool project. deceptively simple. go for it.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
I can make sliding DTs using this dado guide and whatever bit I think would be best, but my first choice is my Woodrat.


Dado_Jig.JPG
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
Can You help me understand the joinery?
I think I see a one-piece sliding dovetail across the width of the bench on both sides.
I suppose the legs are mortise-tenon into the sliding dovetail. Would these be pinned in place (don’t see pins)? Might they traverse all the way through the top and be wedged tenon? Other?
When I built a small table with similar construction (based on the one in Chris Schwarz's "The Anarchist's Design Book"), I wedged the leg tenons into the dovetail batten.
 
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mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
14 inches deep means you'll need to allow for movement. that dovetail will restrict the seat from expanding and contracting. because it has to be slid in, gluing only in the middle would be impossible. maybe you could make the tail piece, cut it in two and insert from each side? or keep it intact and only glue the front. this means that side will stay pretty much flush but the tail piece will move in and out on the backside of the seat.
If the joint is fit properly, you'd only put glue at one end of the dovetail, and direct the movement towards the opposite side, but it looks like the bench in the picture has a center stretcher between the battens that the top can be fastened to.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Thanks for all the comments, appreciated.

Over the years I have learned not to procrastinate too much about the process. If go into the shop and then it just happens. When I get there I will take all the advice given into account and post up how it happened.
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
If the joint is fit properly, you'd only put glue at one end of the dovetail, and direct the movement towards the opposite side, but it looks like the bench in the picture has a center stretcher between the battens that the top can be fastened to.
i get you but in the interest of having both sides look good, having the tail batten sink in during humid months might not look great.
 

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