Fine Woodworking Show Us Your Drawers Contest

Cove and Pin Drawer

comments (10) December 24th, 2010 in Reader's Gallery

danriffle danriffle, member
thumbs up 51 users recommend

 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: my wife

This small drawer rides under the top of a Shaker inspired sewing table.  The joint is a cove and pin--a popular machine made joint from around 1880-1910.  I made these with a combination of machine and hand work.  The table is made of poplar, stained and varnished.

Design or Plan used: Shaker Sewing stand

posted in: Reader's Gallery, table, shaker, poplar, cove and pin

Comments (10)

JeffPeters JeffPeters writes: Years ago I stopped in Pat Speilmans store in Door County Wisconsin and there was a jig for about $30 that you used a scrollsaw and a drill press to make the joint.

Posted: 5:56 pm on March 18th

teryg teryg writes: A jig, cutters and templates for the Pin and Crescent joint is available at
I've used one, and found it to be quite fussy to set up, and you must always have strong and steady control of the tools. The milling operations on the drawer's end grain are prone to tear-out, so it pays to use a series of light passes with a climb cut, in one direction. This joint is not a "slam, bam, thank you ma'am" operation. Be very deliberate, and be very careful during the routing operations.
Like the dovetail, the pin and crescent joint is unmatched for its simple elegance, and it's natural strength. Truly a thing of beauty!
Posted: 3:14 pm on January 11th

1stwoodstone_man 1stwoodstone_man writes: I have some were an articel in FWW on how to make these joints,I have never tried to make any.It is in the older FWW volumes I think from the 70s anyway very nice looking joint you got my vote.
Posted: 11:21 pm on January 8th

labolle labolle writes: They are beautiful. Nicely done. But done with a jig, I'm not sure if they compare with the other hand cut entrants.

Still, they are unusual, and have a delicate refined look that I appreciate.
Posted: 10:06 am on January 7th

SycamoreBuild SycamoreBuild writes: Dan,
You got my vote all the way out here from Burlington, WA! Dan Riffle? I know you! Jim Bradbury here and amazed at your work. Great photo by Lisa too! Happy New Year and I hope you win. Get in touch!
Posted: 1:10 am on January 5th

rsetina rsetina writes: What a beautiful joint! I too would like to see how it's made. If not I think I'll try some trial and error and see if I can duplicate it.
Posted: 4:16 pm on January 4th

danriffle danriffle writes: Thanks!

FWW #59 details one method for making them, if you have access to the archive.

I used a combination of router table, plug cutter and hand shaping.

Any editors reading? I'd love to write it up :)

Posted: 7:56 pm on December 28th

Jimd249 Jimd249 writes: Most impressive! I would like to know more.
Posted: 12:30 pm on December 28th

etim etim writes: this dovetail look elegant. i'll really love it more if i able to design this beautiful piece.well done with the nice work.
Posted: 9:38 am on December 28th

OldShavings OldShavings writes: Wow, what a showy joint. Any chance you could share more about how you created that joint?
Posted: 2:50 pm on December 27th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker

Contest Description

From December 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010, upload photos of your dovetail projects for a chance to win one grand prize.

Grand Prize: Leigh Super 12 Dovetail Jig 

Approximate Retail Value: $364.00(US$)

Contest Ends December 31, 2010

Winners will be selected by the community and announced on or about January 13, 2011.