Monday, March 23, 2015

Dovetail Ratios

Dovetail Angles

Playing around with dovetail ratios. Three are common, plus phi (1:1.618) and pi (1:314) which I've never heard of anyone using but thought I would toss them in for fun.

If you are interested in the relative strength between dovetail angles, search the web for:  THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DOVETAIL ANGLE AND JOINT STRENGTH - Notes from The Forest Products Research Laboratory tests (KS Walker) reported in Woodworker Magazine, January 1958.

To save you some reading I'll summarize the conclusions. In glued dovetail joints the angle made no significant difference. In unglued dovetails wider angles were stronger. The article claims that unglued dovetails were stronger because the joints could slip whereas glued dovetails the wood fibers separated. They tested hardwood and softwood, each from the same board. The softwood failed sooner in unglued joints because it more easily compressed and slipped free.