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The Editors Mailbox

Winner Announced: Help Crown a Dovetail King!

comments (30) January 17th, 2011 in blogs

thumbs up 30 users recommend

We have a winner! - CLICK TO ENLARGE

We have a winner!

UPDATED January 13, 2011
Over 2,000 votes were cast for the winner of our Show Us Your Drawers dovetail gallery challenge and a clear winner has emerged. Receiving well over 50-percent of the votes was user rcheek's Curved Dovetails on a Small Lingerie Chest. Dovetails this tight are always tough to produce but they're all-the-more difficult when the drawer fronts are curved. Well done!

Coming in second place was user, EdwardG99's My Workbench, which would be equally at home in a formal dining room or a dusty shop.

In third place was user, havens' Drawer Module for Jewelry Armoire. Several custom templates were built to produce the drawer joinery. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that this was havens' first attempt at curved dovetail joinery.



The time has come to crown a new dovetail champ and give away a great piece of gear from Leigh Joinery. We've poured through the entries and selected six different finalists based on several criteria including popularity with the online community, originality, and just pure skill.

Dovetail Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

• Router-Cut Sliding Dovetails 
• Make a Tapered Sliding Dovetail 
• How to Cut Sliding Dovetail Joints 
• Half-Blind Dovetails 
• Basics of a Half-Blind Dovetail Jig 
• How to Cut Dovetail Joinery 

Truth-be-told, we really didnt' see any sub-par joinery among the contest entrants but as always, we needed to cull the crowd a bit and limit the voting pool. Review the following entries carefully and cast your vote using the poll at the bottom of this post. Remember, there's a Leigh Super12 Dovetail Jig on the line!

Curved Dovetails

Mouse Cabinet

My Workbench

Advanced Dovetails

Cove and Pin Drawer

Curved Drawer Module

Select your favorite dovetailed project below.
Voting is limited to one per person.


posted in: blogs, dovetails, contest, half blind dovetail, show us your drawers, dovetail joint

Comments (30)

janetsimons janetsimons writes: I am completely blown away - beautiful, elegant, clean. Do you need an apprentice?
Posted: 1:29 pm on January 18th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: snowbelt3: I'm a Lagavoulin man, myself.



Posted: 10:48 am on January 18th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: I don't understand the point of this contest....the person with the best dovetails wins a dovetail jig? Shouldn't the person with the WORST dovetails get the jig?

Similarly, I have seen contests that give an entire shop full of tools to the person with the best wood shop. Again - why?

You might as well have a contest that awards a brand new bandsaw to the person with the nicest, most expensive bandsaw.

Regardless, Rcheek did a great job on those 'tails and is the clear winner as king of dovetailing.

If he is reading these blog comments and decides he doesn't need that new jig (and clearly he doesn't) then he should get ahold of me as I could REALLY use one.

Posted: 7:08 am on January 18th

snowbelt 3 snowbelt 3 writes: If you "poured through all the entries," I hope it was a good single malt scotch. (Is there any other kind?)
Posted: 4:14 pm on January 17th

blockhed blockhed writes: A clear winner! Congratulations. It's too bad your prize is obviously not needed in your shop!
Posted: 2:05 pm on January 17th

DOCWELLS DOCWELLS writes: Excellent craftsmanship, but personal preference is cove and pin drawer - in part because it is something different.
Posted: 2:01 pm on January 11th

RamblinRose RamblinRose writes: kudo's to all the contestants! a lot of talented woodworkers out there and an inspiration to all of us.
Posted: 9:20 am on January 11th

spannerman52 spannerman52 writes: It's not fair having to choose they are all at the summit of the craft simply superb work guys
Posted: 4:07 am on January 11th

cahudson42 cahudson42 writes: FWW has a great number of Dovetail tips, but here are two others where they weren't listed as such, and not as easy to find. Two streaming videos:

Above is a Roy Underhill Woodwrights Shop from 2008-2009 - the 1st part of a Joiner's Toolchest. Its essentially a complete lesson in handmade through dovetails. Some neat transfer marking tricks using the tail saw kerfs you may not have seen before.

A David Marks WoodWorks show - another tool cabinet - this time in Walnut. While the dovetails are 'handmade' - no jig is used - David uses a bandsaw with a stop, spacers, and tilts as necessary to make the saw cuts. If you aren't that great with a dovetail saw, you might take a look.

Posted: 2:27 pm on January 10th

maxmorley maxmorley writes: Nice presentation FW. Congrats.
Posted: 12:00 am on January 9th

backflush backflush writes: Wow, those curved dovetails are amazing. Great execution and demonstration of handwork skills.
Posted: 10:38 am on January 7th

KWesenberg KWesenberg writes: Beautiful work, always a fan of great organization and you have done a beautiful job.
Posted: 6:46 pm on January 5th

blkf250 blkf250 writes: REALLY tough choice but the detail and the complexity of the curve............... really..."WOW"
Posted: 8:59 pm on January 4th

GlenFr GlenFr writes: WOW!!!!
Posted: 4:17 pm on January 4th

oldeddy oldeddy writes: All the entries are great but this tool chest/work bench really takes the cake for a well planned practical design. I can only aspie to such intricate work.
Posted: 3:37 pm on January 4th

Bob_Da_Builder Bob_Da_Builder writes: A beautiful job on a really difficult joint to achieve! Hope you win!
Posted: 1:47 pm on January 4th

ajgilderson ajgilderson writes: Not only an incredible piece of handwork; but, also an excellent use of contrasting woods. Very artistic. And...very nerve wracking to execute in such a valuable wood. Congratulations!
Posted: 12:11 pm on January 4th

dustynut dustynut writes: All of these entries are fantastic and inspire me to keep working at becoming a better craftsman. Bravo! What a difficult thing to choose just one. They all deserve first prize.
Posted: 12:04 pm on January 4th

RiverRockWS RiverRockWS writes: Great work all around! I am drawn to the workbench, but I think that's because I am in the process of rebuilding one for myself. You can tell that a lot of care was taken in each project, keep up the great work all.
Posted: 11:07 am on January 4th

Billboy Billboy writes: Curved Dovetails: Really makes us appreciate the fine art and craft of dovetails
in a handmade piece. Love the precision.
Posted: 10:05 am on January 4th

Woodworkx Woodworkx writes: Curved dovetails are hard - well sorted solution to a difficult but beautifully finished series of joints
Posted: 7:04 am on January 4th

nykyou nykyou writes: the beauty and skill of the joints reflexs the skill of its master.
Posted: 6:38 am on January 4th

TopamaxSurvivor TopamaxSurvivor writes: Very difficult choice. They all did superb work. I hope I made the right choice!
Posted: 4:28 am on January 4th

Struwwelpeter Struwwelpeter writes: It must be so much fun working in the self created environment of this beautyful workbnech!
Posted: 6:51 pm on January 3rd

pond50 pond50 writes: Innovative and creative design by a master craftsman.

Posted: 6:48 pm on January 3rd

308defense 308defense writes: I like the workbench drawers for a couple of reasons. One they are unique overlay fronts on the drawers. Secondly the craft person Had a service intended for the drawers. Now he can build a set for my workbench.
Posted: 4:42 pm on January 3rd

crockettcr crockettcr writes: I like this design.
Posted: 4:23 pm on January 3rd

Blakewd Blakewd writes: Don't laugh but work this beautiful actually brings a tear (very small) to my eye. When someone like my fishing buddy asks why I go to so much trouble to get a joint tight when it is in a location that will never be seen, I tell him that I know it is there. Personal satisfaction in a job well done is worth a lot. This workbench is worth a couple of tons of personal satisfaction. Nice work.
Posted: 4:19 pm on January 3rd

HowardPeson HowardPeson writes: Overcoming the challenge that this joint presents is outstanding and well done.
Posted: 3:37 pm on January 3rd

rgw rgw writes: Difficult choice, actually, but I can easily identify with working out effective solutions along the way.
Posted: 3:25 pm on January 3rd

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