Mitered Dovetails a Success

Jul 23 2014

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I haven’t put much time into this recently, but did put in a half hour here and there over the last few days. I got the rest of the mitered dovetails cut. Actually, I screwed one of them up completely, cutting straight through where I was supposed to cut at a 45 degree angle. So I had to replace that piece. Other than that, though, it all went really well. I daresay I might actually be getting good at dovetails. Mine are far from perfect still, but they’re all half decent and they go a lot faster than they used to. On a couple of these, I made the cuts, cleaned things up visually, and the joint went together without any further fussing. Still a few gaps though, but nothing you could drive a tiny vehicle through.

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Next up came ploughing the groove for the bottom. Nothing I love more than using my Record 044 (as seen in the last part of this post). The whole reason for doing the mitered dovetails was to hide this groove. I have some 1/4″ maple to make a bottom panel. So I made a 1/4″ groove. That miter is 1/2″, which gives me 1/8″ on either side of the groove. After grooving all the sides, I put them all back together and all the grooves line up perfectly. I’ll make the bottom panel, and that will fit loosely in there.

I hadn’t actually used the 1/4″ cutter from my 044, so it was still in pretty rough, “vintage” shape. So I had to spend a bit of time polishing the back, making a new bevel and honing it. Really only 10-15 minutes though.

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Note that from the outside of the box, you can’t see that groove at all, just the miters.

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On the front face, I cut the top down by 1/2″. I’ll plough another groove on the two sides at least, for the top panel to slide into. I haven’t decided if I’ll groove the back as well. I’m leaning towards not grooving it though. The top will be 1/2″ thick, to be even with the top, so it will need a rabbet on the edge so it will fit in that 1/4″ groove.

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So, next up, grooving the top, making the bottom panel and lid. All in all though, the mitered dovetails were way easier than I expected, which is great. I’ll probably do more boxes like this.

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