Making a Drawer with Half-Blind Dovetails
You don't have to sacrifice speed for a hand-cut joint
Synopsis: Half-blind dovetails are no more difficult to cut than through dovetails. Frank Klausz prefers not to let the joint show through on the face of a piece, so he uses half-blind dovetails on drawers. After meticulous preparation that includes assessing and marking the wood for grain pattern and growth rings, he marks his stock before cutting the pins and tails. Multiple photographs illustrate his work sequence, how he chisels the joints and clamps them, and how to fix imperfect fits.
When I make drawers, I use half-blind dovetails to join the drawer front to the sides. I’m a traditionalist and prefer not to let the joint show through on the face of a piece. To enhance the look of the joinery when the drawer is pulled open, I use two contrasting woods on my drawers, such as walnut for the front and white ash for the sides and back.