Popular Woodworking 2004-08 № 142, страница 53

Popular Woodworking 2004-08 № 142, страница 53

the front edge the width of the divider. Finally, chisel out the waste between your saw cuts.

Don't Forget the Tails!

To make the mating joinery on the dividers (the tails), I use my router table. Use the same dovetail bit you used to cut the dovetail sockets to form the tails to ensure that the joint fits well. Set the fence to adjust the size of the tails, cutting on both sides of the divider. I like to sneak up on the final cut to ensure a snug fit.

Set the bit to cut at the appropriate height for each joint style. For the basic sliding dovetail, that height should be about two-thirds of the width of the case side. If you're making a shouldered dovetail, allow for the 3/l6" shoulder depth in your layout.

The through dovetail is cut with the height of the tail equal to the thickness of the case side (if you are adding a shoulder, remember to allow for the shoulder).

Your through dovetail doesn't need to expose the whole width

of the divider. For example, you can show only 3/4" on the sides if you like. After cutting the tails on both ends of the divider, use a saw to trim the end 3/4" back from the front of the divider on both sides. Then cut from the back of the divider right at the point where the tail begins from the divider to remove the unneeded tail section. Repeat this cut on both ends.

With the back portion of the tail removed, slide the divider into the dado in the case and mark, then cut, the matching socket.

Whatever Size You Need

While these techniques work great with the standard 3/4"-thick drawer dividers that are common today, they also work with other thicknesses of dividers by using different-sized template guides and bits. The guides are readily available in a wide variety of sizes, including 51/64" and 1" if you need thicker drawer dividers.

You should consider using sliding dovetails for any number of woodworking tasks. The possibilities are endless. PW


Making a shouldered sliding dovetail begins by cutting a dado in the case's side. This dado is easily made with a pattern-cutting bit and the right jig, which I call a straightedge guide.

The bed of my jig, shown below, is simply two pieces of plywood cut slightly longer than the width of the case side, then glued or screwed together face to face. (Depending on your router and bit, you might need only one thickness.) To complete the jig, screw a third block to the underside of the straightedge guide to hook it square against the front edge of the case side. The hook should be sized so you can clamp the jig in place without

interfering with the base of the router. As you cut the dado, make sure you move the router in the correct direction (against the rotation of the bit) to keep it tight against the jig.

Next, install a template guide in your handheld router and the dovetail bit. I should mention one important detail: To use a template guide that is the same diameter as the pattern-cutting bit's bearing collar (in this case 3/4"), it will be necessary to attach the guide first, then insert the bit afterward. Because of the identical diameters, the router base can't be slipped over the bit with the template guide in place. The guide is the same

diameter as the collar to allow the dovetail to run exactly down the center of the dado cut.

With the template guide in place and the depth set on the dovetail bit, you're ready to cut the dovetail socket, as shown below.

With the socket created, it's time to make the mating tail on the end of the drawer divider. Mount the dovetail bit in a router table and run both sides of your divider on end between the fence and bit. You will need to make a few test passes to get the perfect fit. Note that I'm using a push block behind the divider for safety and to stabilize the piece during the cut. —GH

The first step involves plowing out a simple dado with a pattern-cutting bit, shown at right.

You can easily rout the tail of the joint on your router table with the matching dovetail bit.



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