Saturday, January 23, 2010

sliding dovetails

Sliding dovetails provide the opportunity for wood to expand and contract through changes in atmospheric humidity without affecting the structure of the piece. They are also useful when you want to make a piece of furniture without using metal fasteners... where you are purely reliant on craftsmanship for the integrity of the work.

These photos show sliding dovetails formed using the router. The piece of cherry shown in the second photo is a test piece used to determine the perfect router depth. I make a log cabin jig to guide the travel of the router. Then with the same router and bit mounted in the router table, I shape the edges of the table stretchers to fit in the dovetail grooves which will be cut later in the underside of the top. The Cherry test piece will be kept to serve as the very necessary depth guide until that operation is complete.

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