Correa Wood Works
Craftsman furniture featuring full integral mortise and tenon joinery. 100% solar powered!

Journey to the dark side of the dove tail.

The true sign of high end craftsman furniture lies in quality joinery. I have purposely learned how to hand cut the complex joints involved with craftsman furniture to become more familiar and skilled at my craft. While I am more than capable of hand cutting any kind of dovetailed joint, there are times that I wish I could get them done more quickly.  Here is the answer to that wish.

There are a number of dovetail joints involved with the buffet I am currently building. In order to expedite this process I will be using the Leigh D4 dove tail fixture. This evening I built a simple riser box that will allow me to cut precise dovetail joints on a box up to 48″ long and 24″ wide. The base cabinet on the buffet is 43″ long and 19 1/2″ wide. The best feature of the Leigh D4 is the ability to variably space the dovetail joints. I haven’t used this tool in over 5 years and at that time I only used it once. I think it will be fairly straight forward and knowing how to cut them by hand gives you a real head-start when trying to figure out this tool.

The riser box is made from scrap 3/4″ mdf screwed together with 1 1/4″ drywall screws. No fancy joinery just some butt joints and screws. I cut all of the components on the table saw in a matter of minutes.

I like to draw layout lines in order to place the screws without any guess work. I pre-drill everything on the drill press from the inside out and then countersink the holes from the outside in.

Using a few clamps to hold it together and being careful not to strip the screws, it went together in a few minutes. I imagine you could spend more time cutting rabbets and dados but it is not really necessary. It would probably be a good idea to glue the joints but I am sure it will hold up just fine as it is. Time will tell.

-Sam

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