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Tall plank dovetail

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SMALMALEKI

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Hi
I am sorry if the question is so basic but I am struggling to find a way.
What is the traditional join for wardrobe top and bottom corners? I was planning to dovetail them but can’t find the right way of cutting dovetails on long planks.
Does anybody has a blueprint for a single or double door wardrobe?

Thank you in advance :p
 

AndyT

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Yes, dovetails. Lap if it's a plain exposed top. Can be through dovetails if there's a big moulding round the top. Or housings if the sides extend above the top board, concealed by the cornice moulding.

Look on the Internet Archive or in the Sticky reference books post for books by Paul Hasluck.

Perhaps a subsidiary question should be why none of the YouTube woodworkers ever show how to make dovetails in anything except titchy little offcuts!
 

SMALMALEKI

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All the dovetails I have ever cut have been on boards up to 100 cm. it’s not practically possible to keep the boards vertically for sawing.
 

Trainee neophyte

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I'm thinking either a stepladder or scaffolding. Or a harness and hang from the ceiling with the work horizontal?

(I'm not helping much, am I, dad...)
 

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Not having cut a dovetail joint since 1962 (I swapped school woodwork for metalwork :roll: ) I'm hardly an expert but is it not possible to cut the pieces with the plank sideways across the bench? or even flat with the edge hanging over? :shock: :lol:
 

SMALMALEKI

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sunnybob":1paatjpn said:
Not having cut a dovetail joint since 1962 (I swapped school woodwork for metalwork :roll: ) I'm hardly an expert but is it not possible to cut the pieces with the plank sideways across the bench? or even flat with the edge hanging over? :shock: :lol:

Hi Sunnybob
It is all about the stand. In hand saw cutting one is trying to keep hand and saw in a particular position to avoid saw drifting. Those positions will be very challenging to cut straight.
Well at least for me.
 

AndyT

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I've made a few bookcases on this sort of scale, with dovetails at the top corners. The first one was back in the 80s, long before forums and YouTube so I had to work it out for myself.
If I remember right, the joints were cut laid flat on the bench or on a Workmate plus a support for the far end. Sit or kneel on the board and saw down. Chiselling out the laps was ok at the end of the bench. (Lap dovetails at the top of a tall piece really are for construction, not for show. Any gaps will soon fill up with dust!)
For transferring the marks, I think I arranged the boards on edge on a flat floor, temporarily clamped to a square box or block.
It all depends on the size and weight of the boards, the size of your bench and how agile you are!
 

SMALMALEKI

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Ttrees":12k3y20b said:
A good excuse to get a bandsaw (hammer)
Hi Ttrees
Or even a dovetail cutting jig. The problem is that I have no power plug in my workshop 8) :twisted:
 

SMALMALEKI

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AndyT":3kp9y0hh said:
I've made a few bookcases on this sort of scale, with dovetails at the top corners. The first one was back in the 80s, long before forums and YouTube so I had to work it out for myself.
If I remember right, the joints were cut laid flat on the bench or on a Workmate plus a support for the far end. Sit or kneel on the board and saw down. Chiselling out the laps was ok at the end of the bench. (Lap dovetails at the top of a tall piece really are for construction, not for show. Any gaps will soon fill up with dust!)
For transferring the marks, I think I arranged the boards on edge on a flat floor, temporarily clamped to a square box or block.
It all depends on the size and weight of the boards, the size of your bench and how agile you are!
That’s what I was thinking as well. I gotta give it a go. Clamping the boards do bench top and sitting on it.
 

Ttrees

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SMALMALEKI":vdid15gv said:
Ttrees":vdid15gv said:
A good excuse to get a bandsaw (hammer)
Hi Ttrees
Or even a dovetail cutting jig. The problem is that I have no power plug in my workshop 8) :twisted:
Very romantic, going all out Chippendale there! :)
 

thetyreman

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how wide will the wardrobe sides tops and bottom be? what are the planned dimensions of the piece?
 

SMALMALEKI

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thetyreman":2191c83y said:
how wide will the wardrobe sides tops and bottom be? what are the planned dimensions of the piece?
I don’t have a plan but what I have drafted is just short of 200 cm tall and 45 cm deep. Has three main compartment of 58 cm.

Any suggestions on tried and tested plans is welcome
 

Pete Maddex

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I have done some in the past on a CD rack, workmate clamped to the bench and dovetail jig clamped to the workmate.

These days I would cut them the same way but with a saw, Japanese one with the plank flat on the bench, crouch and saw.

Pete
 

MikeG.

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Pete Maddex":1nkyi90l said:
......These days I would cut them the same way but with a saw, Japanese one with the plank flat on the bench, crouch and saw........
Kneeling under the work, rather than kneeling over it on saw horses. I don't get it.
 

MikeG.

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SMALMALEKI":33xtxwod said:
......I don’t have a plan but what I have drafted is just short of 200 cm tall and 45 cm deep. Has three main compartment of 58 cm. ........
A couple of things. Firstly, 450 deep (minus the depth of the back panel, presumably), isn't deep enough for a coat hanger with shirts or jackets etc. I make wardrobes 700 deep (650 min.). Secondly, I'd be making the sides out of a paneled construction, rather than solid boards. Just make sure you have a cross-member to suit shelves and hanging rails etc.
 
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