Talk:Dovetail joint

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I felt it necessary to remove the following from the Dovetail joint entry: "cutting dovetails by hand is time consuming." In fact, cutting the dovetails for a single drawer is much faster than setting up the router. This is especially true for furniture where drawers of various sizes are used, requiring multiple resets of the router. I agree, however, that in long production runs machinery is faster (as is true for any cut in a manufacturing setting). For an instructional video, see "Dovetail a Drawer" by Frank Klausz.

This is correct. I did a small correction on the bit about the glued dovetail joint: it is not necessarily "permanent", technically speaking, when glued. One advantage of the joint is that it can be disassembled later, if using hide glue, wooden wedges, etc. Because a dovetail joint is usually, but not always, used in wood, I also specified with "wooden". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Frank Zamjatin (talkcontribs) 10:09, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


    Dovetail means to fit pieces together like in a puzzle! 00:05, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

What about the meaning of "Dovetail" in this sentence quoted from the Washinton Post: Sunday, March 9, 2008. "Two key issues that dovetailed to the Popular Party's advantage in the campaign were immigration and the economy. Spain has enjoyed 14 of rapid economic growth, which coincided with a large......." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I think you will find that this 'definition' of dovetail just borrows from the idea of how dovetails interlock. I don't think that there is any need to add these specifically, because they would fall into the category of dictionary entries. You could not write an article on this use of the word. SilentC (talk) 23:28, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Not only woodworking[edit]

This article should be expanded to another page added to explain other examples of dovetails outside of "woodworking joinery". For instance, "dovetails" also describe types of radial retention means for blades and other structures in gas turbine engines. Also, you can use a dovetail on plastic articles not just wood ones, and so this article currently is a bit misleading, or at least incomplete. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Thats what the disambiguation page that is linked at the top is for. ViridaeTalk 23:39, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
No need to use the disambiguation page, because it's the exact same thing, except with a different material. The dovetail joint is not specific to woodworking, and the article should be changed accordingly. It may be most common in woodworking, but it is also used in many other areas, for example for linear guides of lathes and such, or to attach turbine blades to a shaft. --Tetris L (talk) 21:21, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
If you have the knowledge to do so, then you don't need to wait for agreement, just do it! :) SilentC (talk) 04:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Umm, neither of those examples is actually correct. On metalworking machinery, they are dovetail *slides*. They don't join. They make a sliding fit which is resistant to lifting. You can achieve the same effect with box ways by putting a sliding surface along the opposite side from the main bearing surface, but a dovetail is cheaper to make. In turbines, they are not called dovetails and they are not the same shape. They are called "christmas trees" in the shop, my aging brain has forgotten the correct technical term. But it ain't "dovetail." They are shaped like an upside-down christmas tree with NO SHARP CORNERS. The principal is similar but not the same as a dovetail. Also, in general they are once again not a tight fit. They have to have a fair amnount of clearance to account for large temperature variations. In operation they actually rattle around some. So once again, as this article is mostly about permanent or semi-permanent joints, the use in turbines and metalworking equipment does not seem applicable. (talk) 13:32, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Lennon Lyrics[edit]

Please delete this if not appropriate. When the 'White Album' was released, it was generally considered that the John Lennon lyrics quoted reflect Lennon's love of absurd word-play; it is unlikely that he was attempting to learn cabinetmaking - although he was doubtless aware of the true meaning of a Dovetail Joint. He surely was alluding to to another form of 'joint' popular at the time. This comment may well be utterly superfluous in the context of carpentry; if so, my apologies, and delete me:) (talk) 08:00, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

'Glass Onion' by The Beatles innocuous reference to a 'dovetail joint' should be considered for inclusion in the article. A lot of people will still come here looking for this because of that song. (talk) 03:32, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Miter or mitre?[edit]

Both types of spelling (br./am.) are used in one article. Which one should be used? Lehnekbn (talk) 10:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Pin vs tail[edit]

It is never explained in the article which protrusions are called pins and which are called tails. A great explanation (with a picture) is here:

However, I am not sure about the copyright.

Ukookami (talk) 08:49, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

"French Dovetail"[edit]

The article states that in drawer making, a full-blind dovetail joint is sometimes called a "French Dovetail". This is incorrect. According to and a "French Dovetail" is a "stopped sliding dovetail" used in drawer making. It was used primarily to join the drawer sides to the drawer front when the drawer front was curved, where through dovetails and variations would be extremely difficult to make.

A through dovetail (and variations such as blind, lapped, etc) may be referred to in the drawer industry as an "English Dovetail".

I have corrected this in the article. (talk) 21:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)