In this video James Huggett shares a very detailed tutorial on how to cut a half-blind dovetail joint with hand tools, for use on drawers and case pieces.
Jim has cut many dovetails over the years, and here are some of the lovely dovetailed drawers that Jim has made using this half-blind dovetail joint:
Notice the deeply scribed layout line on these drawers. That, along with irregular and more delicate pins, are a sure sign of hand-cut dovetail joints. Wide and very uniform dovetail pins are a sure sign of router cut dovetails.
If you missed the video tour of Jim’s dream workshop last week, watch it here!
A half-blind dovetail joint is used to hide the joint on a drawer front, while still benefiting from the strength of the joinery. Typically, the flared “tails” are cut, and used as a pattern to transcribe on the drawer front, where the sockets will be cut out for the tails to fit in.
Jim specified that using properly squared lumber is the first key to having success with making the half-blind dovetail joint, followed by precise layout, accurate sawing, and finally careful chisel work.
Don’t get discouraged if your first half-blind dovetails don’t come out looking as nice as Jim’s…the key to success in hand tool woodworking is persistence and practice!