6 Types of Dovetail Joints

Dovetail joints are used to join framing and panel sections. These joints are efficient and strong because they resist twisting and control warping. They work without the use of nails or glue.

Double Lapped Joints

Double lapped joints hide the structure of a closed drawer. The mortises are cut so that they are hidden in the front panel.

Full Dovetail Joints

Full dovetail joints connect corner joints in wide panels. They are often used in cabinets and drawers. The type of wood used will dictate the slope of the tenon. The slope is determined using the rise over run method. For softwoods it is 1 in 6, and for hardwoods it is 1 in 8.

Half Blind Joints

Half blind dovetails are visible from the side. The wedge is visible, however the slots are not. The tenons of these joints in less than the width of the panel. This allows a solid panel to be displayed from the front.

Mitred Dovetail Joints

Mitred dovetails joints hide corner structures. The tenons and mortises are cut in hidden edges of the panels and mitered together.

Sliding Joints

Sliding dovetails join panels at the face rather than at the corner. They are often used in cabinetry shelving. The back edge of the shelf is shaped into a long tenon. A mortise that matches is used to connect it.

Timber Framing Joints

Corner dovetail joints are often used in log cabin construction. Two walls of timbers are interconnected using wedged tenons and sloped mortises. There are many different variations of the timber framing joints that are used in construction joinery.