There are a lot of ways to joint corners securely, this obviously does use dovetails. Some methods: dowels, mitered lock joint, bisquits, simple glue/nail, inside bridge, etc., and on. Good woodworking books should detail many of the methods. They are numerous and there is not enough space to detail them here. Some are simple, and some require a lot of experience and tooling.
has definitions and examples of most typical joinery methods.
--- Most formal definitions give this as "A joint
formed by abutting the squared edges of two pieces", which of course can mean any two edges, but this seems wrong to me, since the "butt" of a plank is the END, not the edge and in common usage, "butt joint" far more often agrees with my own sense that it means butting the ENDS of two planks. The phrase "to butt up against" is even more vague and can even encompass face to face "butting", so I consider this to be a vague term. Examples:
--- There are two fundamental types of joinery
, carcass joinery and frame joinery
. Carcass joinery is the art/science of attaching planes (of either solid wood or plywood
) to form boxes. This is used for such diverse items as drawers, cabinets, bookcases, etc. Most joint
types can be used for both frames and cases, but the types that are associated mostly with cases include dovetail joints
, dado joints
, rabbet joints
, and box joints
. Also called "case" joinery.
--- A carcass joint is any joint used in the construction of a carcass
(as opposed to a frame
). See carcass joinery
--- In general, "case joint" is synonymous with carcass joint
but there is one carcass joint that is sometimes specifically called the case joint and that is the simplest type of joint for a drawer front/side; the joint just butts the end of one plank (the drawer side) up against the face of the mating plank (the drawer front). The joint can be just glued, or it could be reinforced with biscuits
or dowels. With no reinforcement it is a very weak joint. Compare/contrast to drawer locking joint
and end miter joint
. The case joint is also called an "end to face butt joint". Examples: