Making Dovetail Joints: Mistakes to Avoid Making Dovetail Joints: Mistakes to Avoid

Dovetail joints can be tricky to create due to their odd shapes. A dovetail joint is so named because of its resemblance to the flared tail of a dove. It splays outward and sits in a niche created from the opposing shape. Be sure to avoid the following mistakes when trying to create a good dovetail joint.

Mistake 1 – Incorrect Marking

When you mark a dovetail joint remember that the shape you are creating is transferred exactly onto the receiving piece. Mark the size of the joint on the side of the wood and then turn the edge upward so that you can neatly and accurately mark the flair.

Mistake 2 – Inaccurate Cutting

Avoid the mistake of cutting the dovetail the wrong way around. If you have marked it correctly this shouldn’t happen, so watch how you place the wood when you cut it.

Mistake 3 – Mismatching the Cut on the Last Piece

If completing a square with dovetails remember to place the joint the right way up. Many people make the mistake of cutting the last piece upside down or inside out and end up with a mismatched joint. Avoid this by checking twice before you cut and it fit the last section in.

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