George Vondriska

Sliding Dovetails on the Router Table

George Vondriska
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Duration:   6  mins

Sliding dovetails are a unique joint that allows you to make wooden drawer slides and other unique applications where wood is allowed to move in one direction while being locked in another. Sliding dovetail joints can also be used as a fixed joint, and a great way to create an extremely strong joint that cannot be pulled apart by common stresses on the joint. Creating sliding dovetails on a router table requires some careful setup as well as a thoughtful sequence of steps. As George provides an overview of how to create sliding dovetails on a router table, he covers several important topics:

Choosing the right diameter of router bit. This is an important decision and one that will affect the outcome of your joint, so be sure to follow George’s guidelines for how to select the right bit.

Sockets first. In the machining process you will want to create the sockets prior to milling the tails. This is because the sockets are formed by a fixed sized router bit and it is difficult to make adjustments to the size of the sockets.

Make tails to fit the sockets. This will involve some careful setup of your router table fence and a trial and error process. Start by milling on a piece of scrap wood to get your setup dialed in prior to making cuts on your final work pieces. George will help you understand what the right fit is for a sliding dovetail joint, which will be important to know as you are making adjustments to your fence.

When you are first learning how to create sliding dovetail joints it will be important to “practice, practice, practice”. Once you have mastered the sliding dovetail joint, which project will you include it in first? A dresser? A jewelry box? Some other creative application for sliding dovetails? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.

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