What is dovetailing in furniture?

What is dovetailing in furniture? The dovetail joint is used in furniture for its strength and beauty.

Furniture makers and carpenters use the joint to construct small cabinets, coffee tables, bookcases, blanket boxes, bee boxes…anywhere you need strength.

The dovetail joint is noted for its resistance to being pulled apart because of its interlocking, trapezoidal shape. For this reason, the dovetail joint is commonly placed in the sides of a drawer, with the pins showing in the front. The furniture maker may choose to fix a timber veneer on the front of the drawer, if the exposed front does not fit the design brief.

Furniture designers use dovetails to add a touch of drama and interest. They feature openly in the sides of furniture, and can be adapted to form large butterflies in table tops and small butterflies in the lids of jewellery boxes.

Gifkins Dovetail manufactures two sizes of jigs for dovetails and finger joints:

  • a Standard jig body; with templates that cut joints to approximately 300mm high, and
  • a Jumbo jig body; with templates that cut joints to approximately 470mm high.
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