Half-Blind Dovetail

Commonly used in drawers such as our BAGO Nightstand.

Step 1: Measure & mark the Pins

Place the tail board perpendicular on the edge of the pin board to mark the height of the pins. Make sure the bottom of the pin board is flushed to the surface of the tail board before marking.

With a board thinner than the pin board, reflect the thickness on the end grain of the pin board. The wider side indicates the thickness of the pins.

The pins are marked on the end grain with a dovetail template. Extend the lines along the surface of the pin board to the pins’ height.

There are no rules to the arrangement and angle of the pins. The number of pins and the spacing between each pin are based on the width of the board and the aesthetics desired.

Step 2: Sawing the pins 

Fasten the workpiece perpendicular to the workbench and saw a straight line down the edge.

Step 3: Chopping and cleaning up the pins

To start chopping the waste, create a knife line. Place the cutting edge of the chisel on the baseline of the pins. Continue along the entire length of the waste.

To remove the bulk of the material, place the chisel on the halfway point of the waste material and chop straight down. Continue halving the remaining waste until it reaches the knife line.

Pare the sides of the pins down to the reference line and pare the floor of the joints flat to the reference line. Make sure the pins are straight and square to the floor of the joint before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Marking and Sawing the tails

Hold the pin board on the end of the tail board and use it as a template. Use a sharp pencil to mark the tails on the inside face of the board and square the lines across the end grain.

Fasten the workpiece perpendicular to the workbench and saw a straight line down the top. Once all the angled lines have been cut, clamp the workpiece parallel to the workbench to saw off the waste on the two edges. 

Repeat Step 3 to chop away the bulk of the materials and clean up the joints.

Step 5: Fitting the joints

Place the tail board flat on the workbench and line the pin board on the end to align the pins on its corresponding tails. Gently tap the end of the pin board to drive the pins into the dovetail slots on the tail board.

If there is tension in the fitting, take the pin board back out and pare the sides of the pins slightly until the joints fit perfectly.

1. Introduction to Woodworking Tools

Begin your journey with a clear understanding of the features and safety aspects of your tools.

2. Basics to Tool Maintenance

The next step to achieving great success is ensuring your tools are performing at its best.

3. Basics of Joinery

A continuation to your woodworking journey that brings you close to a furniture project.


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