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Thread: Dove Tail Joints

  1. Default Dove Tail Joints

    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 experienceClick image for larger version. 

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  2. Default

    No matter how i hold my camera, it comes up wrong. Sorry.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Charlotte, MI


    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.
    B Lantz

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Kaukauna, Wisconsin


    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas


    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

  6. Default

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Tucson, Arizona


    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.
    Last edited by SteveNelson46; 01-08-2017 at 07:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beardstown, IL


    I have drilled and glued dowels to lock dovetails.
    thanks so much!

  9. Default

    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.

  10. #10


    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.

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