View Full Version : Dove Tail Joints

01-08-2017, 01:45 PM
I love using Dove Tail joints, but recently I got the dove tails really tight, had to force them together with a rubber mallet.
My question to you more experienced than I, should i be able to leave the dove tails as is workout glue, or should i try to tap it all back apart and glue the joints.
I thought about glueing in a 3/4 x 3/4 walnut strip in each corner to keep it frm moving.
The bottom of the chest will help keep it from racking is my thought. But then there will be a hinged lid on top, so that that may cause some movement on opening and closing.
Im not sure if the dovetail is designed to be a glue free joint or not. Any comments would be helpful. Im a rookie and always take advice from experience8294782948

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01-08-2017, 01:46 PM
No matter how i hold my camera, it comes up wrong. Sorry.

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01-08-2017, 02:19 PM
I would be concerned about chip out taking it apart. What if you used a thin cyanoacrylate (super glue) along the joint inside the box? It will flow into the joint.

01-08-2017, 02:38 PM
I know you run a slight risk taking it back apart, but I would, and glue all joints. The strength you get is well worth the effort.

01-08-2017, 03:30 PM
With the joints being that tight there is no room for glue. It would all be squeezed out when put back together. Unless you want to take apart and enlarge the joints, I think the super glue suggestion would work best in this case. IMHO

01-08-2017, 05:04 PM
These look like box joint or also called Finger Joints. But there are different types of dove tail joints like half blind, Through and double lapped and I can not see the joint well enough to make sure. Either way I do many of these joints and glue is needed. If I were in your situation I would probably go with two part epoxy from inside the box and not take it apart if you fear breaking the fingers or dovetails. Dovetail and finger joints are all designed to be glued.

01-08-2017, 07:17 PM
Those look like box joints. Did you cut them with a dovetail jig or with the table saw. Either way if you don't glue them at some point they will come apart.

01-09-2017, 02:15 PM
I have drilled and glued dowels to lock dovetails.

01-09-2017, 02:51 PM
They are through dove tail joints, I guess the opinion is overwhelmly glue, so I think I will, since they were tapped it maybe the wood has since conformed and taking loose may not be to bad, I will go slow how ever. Walnut wood is hard and seems tough. Thanks for taking time to help me.

01-09-2017, 03:19 PM
What if you placed a small vertical cleat with glue at each corner on the inside, cut at 45. BTW, great job on the dovetails.

01-09-2017, 08:01 PM
With closer inspection I can now see that they are indeed dovetail joints but you still need to glue them. I use clamping blocks with hollow sections to fit over the pins and tails for both sides of the joint on each corner. It also helps to use a glue with extended open time and blue masking tape on the inside corners for squeeze out. They make a beautiful and strong joint but really tough to glue up. Especially if they are a little tight.

Nice job on the boxes and joints.

01-09-2017, 08:12 PM
Thanks Steve, I love dovetails as well. Im thinking tight bond 1. More working time i think. If you have a picture of those clamping blocks, not picturing what you are saying. Thanks again for your advice, I take it all to heart.

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01-09-2017, 10:43 PM
Dovetails were invented long before glue. If they fit that tight without glue they should be fine.

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01-10-2017, 01:20 PM
My money would be on hide glue long before any wood joints. All they needed was to boil a hide.

01-10-2017, 01:55 PM
You can drill a hole from the top of the dove tail. Glue a small wood dowel to lock them in place.

01-10-2017, 02:08 PM
What about tapping the joints apart just enough to force some glue into the crack? At least part of the surface would get glued.

01-10-2017, 02:46 PM
Roger B has a neat idea, but a 12 inch long hole straight down is not easy in my mind. will just tap it a part cant be to bad, next time I glue before Thanks Guys everyone helped so well

01-10-2017, 04:28 PM
I think George in post 5 has a good point. There is no room for glue. If you take it apart and put glue on all joint surfaces, the wood may expand and you may not get it back together.

01-27-2017, 12:29 PM
83133 So I took several different experts advice and got the lower part of the tack box done. I did tap off the dovetails 2/3 of the way and used an acid brush to get glue in all the joints thoroughly and clamped it. It was a bit nerve racking but it went slow and didn't get any break out. Now on the top part of the box. Thanks all

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01-27-2017, 01:29 PM
Nice save. It looks great.

01-28-2017, 12:00 PM
Thanks bergerud

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01-28-2017, 01:53 PM
I agree, looks great!

01-28-2017, 01:58 PM
Ditto to all comments. Very nice.

01-28-2017, 07:29 PM
Looks great-aunt wait to see the finished product!