Dovetail Drawers - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-05-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Dovetail Drawers

I am making a new cabinet for my router table. I was hoping to make the drawers out of some left over oak that I had but I have since used it all up. I wanted to use Dovetail joinery but am unsure of what species of wood to use. Can I just use pine with the dovetails or would a harder wood work better? Thanks
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-05-2012, 05:02 PM
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Dovetail joints do not care what type of wood you use. Sometimes playwood will splinter and not cut evenly. However that does not stop me from using it.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-05-2012, 05:46 PM
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I made DT drawers from pine for years when I was working at a shop. We did a lot of 18th century repros.

When I started on my own I did mine out of poplar because it was what I had a lot of around and it was cheap and harder than pine. The reason I stopped is because of the lack of poplar plywood and I didn't like the look of a poplar and a birch bottom.

I switched over to Maple Euro plywood. 5/8" is 9 ply and it isn't cheap. For a while I used baltic birch but didn't like the way the grain would flake off at the corners, the Euro ply doesn't do this. But even though it isn't cheap to buy it is still worth it because you just pick up the sheet and cut your strips out of it, then to length and start with the DTing. Sand it briefly with 220 instead of a good sanding with 150 when you use solid (no widebelt) makes up a lot of time.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-05-2012, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Dovetail joints do not care what type of wood you use. Sometimes playwood will splinter and not cut evenly. However that does not stop me from using it.

Playwood sounds like fun.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-05-2012, 08:01 PM
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Are you hand cutting the dovetails or machining? poplar and magnolia are very pleasant to work with if you are hand cutting them. If machining it doesn't matter what you use.

Good luck

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-12-2012, 09:39 PM
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Machining has to use the same angle as the dovetail bit (usually 7-8 degrees). Hand cutting lets you use a smaller angle with more fragile wood to minimise the corners breaking off. (6 degrees)
Machining is good if you have a lot to do but hand cutting is faster as the machine setup can be time consuming for just one drawer. For a shop project it's a good opportunity to practice.
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