What is a dovetail joint?

What is a dovetail joint? According to Wikipedia, “a dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery (carpentry) including furniture, cabinets, carcase construction, log buildings and traditional timber framing.

Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength), the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. A series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of another board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dovetail_joint

The evidence of the durability of this joint can be found in any antique shop. Pull out the drawers of most furniture pieces and it’s likely that the majority were constructed with a dovetail joint.
The advantages of the dovetail joint are that:

  • it is the strongest of all joints because it is an interlocking trapezoid, and so resists being pulled apart
  • it has a large gluing area inside each; and
  • it always looks attractive, particularly when cut from contrasting timbers.

Sourced partly from: www.toolstoday.com/g-46-dovetail-joints-different-types-and-their-uses