Housed Sliding Dovetail jig

BKHam

Bradley
User
Why did i do this: I hate having to setup straight edges to cut dadoes or dovetails slots or cross cut. i find it finicky and inaccurate.

If you have done any casework, from a small box with drawers to a chest of drawers, you probably considering sliding dovetails. by housed, i mean there is a shoulder. There are a couple reasons to do this:
1. extra glue surface
2. cool look
3. ease of alignment

here is an example.
Screenshot_20210512-112421_Gallery.jpg


It first starts by cutting dados in the case sides where you want the shelves or drawer dividers. if your case sides are cross cut square then however you choose (even setting up some sort of straight edge), it should work out alright. i prefer to use a table saw fence and my dado stack. next i want to cut the dovetail part of the joint. All of my project parts were milled together including the secondary wood i used for internal parts. I took real care to get this dado width exactly to match those parts.

i create a mortise or slot jig as we've all done before, cutting some scrap ply into 3 strips, then sizing the middle strip to be the size of the mortise. In this case, i sized mine for a router bushing. I'm using a bushing because most dovetail bits don't have bearings.

make the jig longer than you think.
20210512_103026.jpg


then i take a portion of that middle scrap and rabbet in on both sides creating a little tongue. This tongue needs to fit my case side dados exactly. as you can see below, it tongue doesn't need to be very deep.
20210512_103040.jpg


that tongue can then fit into the dado, perfectly centered. the top, thicker part then fits my mortise jib opening allowing me to place it snuggly over it. here is a picture of the underside of the jig.
20210512_103134.jpg


you could use a version of this to cut dovetail slots of any width.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
This is great thanks for sharing! Is there any advantage of this over normal sliding dovetails other than the cool factor? Seems like the dado would help make a clean joint. Some of my sliding dovetails end up with a small gap when i get them sized properly.
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
This is great thanks for sharing! Is there any advantage of this over normal sliding dovetails other than the cool factor? Seems like the dado would help make a clean joint. Some of my sliding dovetails end up with a small gap when i get them sized properly.
The main advantage for me is accuracy and avoiding the straightedge setup. by using my dado stack to setup the first part of the joint, i know i can place those dados exactly where i want, parallel to the top or bottom edge. trying to line up a straight edge was always annoying and finicky to me. Its the same reason i really love my tracksaw.

there is another advance potentially, depending on your construction. my drawer runners ride in that dado, unglued at the back. This gives them a little extra support.
 

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