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I'm trying to join two board end at a 90 degree angle. I thought a sliding dovetail would be OK, but after getting good at getting the groove centered and the dovetail tight, the groove just chipped away with finger pressure. I know the boards very weak in that direction, but I need a 17" wide board so I have to use the ends and not edges.

Would the groove be stronger if it were along the edge side of the board instead (not in the edge itself)? I don't imagine it would be, and to do that would require joining two board along their edge so I have a wide enough piece.

Is a sliding dovetail just not appropriate for this or is it just expected that it will be weak there? I haven't learned how to do any kind of finger joints yet, and this is kind of a weird shape that would make it that much harder to do.

Below is a picture to make it as clear as possible, two boards are supposed to slide in there and create a v shaped box (it's a bee hive) I know I could just do a butt joint with some screws and it would be fine, but I'm trying to learn and make this nice at the same time.

Thanks for any advice.

http://i.imgur.com/Jso14pI.jpg
 

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I don't know how to make the dovetails better, but in that situation, I would just do a rabbet and glue and either nail or screw. It'd look just as nice, and probably be stronger in this application.

Acer
 

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Miter with splines? Pocket holes? Miter with dowels? Dovetails and finger joints will take a while to master, would Learn that with simple boxes to start. Have done some slotted panels like that. Whatever ur aproach, good luck.
 

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John
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Personally, I would (and do most of the time) use a locking rabbet/dado. Fast and easy to make and extremely strong. I just glue mine up. :smile:
 

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Dovetails and finger joints will take a while to master, would Learn that with simple boxes to start.
Well the sliding dovetail I have down, but yea I agree learning finger joints on plain boxes, that's why I didn't attempt on this, plus I would want a jig.

Personally, I would (and do most of the time) use a locking rabbet/dado. Fast and easy to make and extremely strong. I just glue mine up. :smile:
That would have the same problem though, a little tab that would easily break off. I'm trying to figure out if its because its on the end of the board that it broke, or just because it's delicate (which sort of defeats the purpose of bothering to do it).

In that picture the joint is cut into the edge of the board rather than the ends. Is it just not appropriate to try to join ends with any kind of a notched joint that cuts through the grain?
 

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What kind of wood are you using? I don't think it should be breaking off with finger pressure. The ultimate tensile strength should be higher than finger pressure.
 

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What kind of wood are you using? I don't think it should be breaking off with finger pressure. The ultimate tensile strength should be higher than finger pressure.
Just white pine, the piece is 1/4" thick (which it has to be in order to be centered.
 

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where's my table saw?
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why won't this work?

A rabbet on the sides and a tongue or material thickness on the bottom? Does the joint have to slide for access, or can it be glued after assembly? The amount of wood on the remaining on the rabbet should not break away, unless it's just an inferior piece. Which piece is 1/4" thick, the bottom or the sides?
 

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Old School
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In that picture the joint is cut into the edge of the board rather than the ends. Is it just not appropriate to try to join ends with any kind of a notched joint that cuts through the grain?
We have an introduction section. It would be nice for you to say a few words about yourself. In your control panel, you can list hobbies, occupation, or any other points of interest. You can also list your general location, so that may be considered in giving answers in relation to seasonal criteria.

You use words like ends and edge, and saying the piece(s) are ¼". It would help to give a better description. If the image shown with the joint is incorrect, state the arrangement of the pieces to be joined. Maybe do a rough drawing showing how you want the pieces to end up. If they have to be removable or if they can be glued, and if fasteners can be used.






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Discussion Starter #10
You use words like ends and edge, and saying the piece(s) are ¼". It would help to give a better description. If the image shown with the joint is incorrect, state the arrangement of the pieces to be joined. Maybe do a rough drawing showing how you want the pieces to end up. If they have to be removable or if they can be glued, and if fasteners can be used.

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I'm more than willing to clarify, but I don't know how I could clarify better than the picture? The piece breaking off is 1/4 the workpiece is 3/4. Also, I thought "edges and ends" were well defined and distinct words in woodworking.... I'm tryign to join two board ends, with a dovetail cut into the end of one, and a slot cut into the face of the board on the end (like in the picture)
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I'm having a hard time with this....can't you just cut the board longer?? End joining is a weak joint.

Maybe I'm reading this all wrong.
 

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Old School
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I'm more than willing to clarify, but I don't know how I could clarify better than the picture? The piece breaking off is 1/4 the workpiece is 3/4. Also, I thought "edges and ends" were well defined and distinct words in woodworking.... I'm tryign to join two board ends, with a dovetail cut into the end of one, and a slot cut into the face of the board on the end (like in the picture)
OK, so I take it that both pieces are ¾", and the edge of one will be joined to the outer face of the second piece to form a 90° corner. Will that joint be glued, or will the pieces need to be separated?

If the joint will be glued, whether the joint will be dovetailed, sliding dovetail, type of rabbet, box joints, splined, or lock miter, the small border edge should be sufficiently robust to withstand the assembly. Of course, if you were to pick at it or try to break it off, that could happen.





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Regular dovetails are the right joint to do what you are doing. That's a good project to practice them on. As you've discovered, the sliding dovetail isn't good for that application. It works great for panels that meet in the middle of a board, but not on the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, so I take it that both pieces are ¾", and the edge of one will be joined to the outer face of the second piece to form a 90° corner. Will that joint be glued, or will the pieces need to be separated?
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Glued, and that's exactly right.



Regular dovetails are the right joint to do what you are doing. That's a good project to practice them on. As you've discovered, the sliding dovetail isn't good for that application. It works great for panels that meet in the middle of a board, but not on the edge.
Yea I figured that, but every jig I know of requires perpendicular edge to align things, and since this has angles on both ends :/

I decided to try and just do a box joint as it's more easily doable with the odd shape.
 

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You can just cut regular dovetails. There will be some short grain on the pins, but who cares, you're just doing it to learn something. It'll still be stronger than screws (which are more than strong enough) There is a fancy angled dovetail that you can do in this situation that keeps the short grain down. I think I saw it years ago in Tage Frid's Joinery book. Totally un-necessary, but fun if you're into it.
 

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jschaben said:
Personally, I would (and do most of the time) use a locking rabbet/dado. Fast and easy to make and extremely strong. I just glue mine up. :smile:
+1 this is also what I use. Easy to do with table saw.
 

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Master firewood maker
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Personally, I would (and do most of the time) use a locking rabbet/dado. Fast and easy to make and extremely strong. I just glue mine up. :smile:
i use this joint for drawers. it is quick, easy, and strong. it should work fine for what you are trying to do, unless i'm not following you.
 

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If you only have this one box to do, why not try cutting dovetails by hand. All you need is a chisel and a saw. There's plenty of videos on doing this and it's a good skill to have.
 

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box building

Cutting dovetails by hand should be easy using pine. Cutting dovetails with chisel and saw is a good skill to have and I would encourage you to give it a try.
 
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