Joining wood using the dovetail method

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Carpentry joints are inextricably linked with wooden construction , the roots of which date back to very distant times.

Dovetail - connection method

Connection on the so-called The " dovetail " is one of the most historically popular carpentry joints. They were used in the construction of country cottages and churches made of logs, as well as in the first frame buildings, e.g. those made using the half-timbered method. To date, this is a common connection used in roof structures. One of the oldest preserved Polish examples using dovetail- shaped overlap joints is the roof truss of the church of St. James in Toruń, dating from the beginning of the 16th century. However, carpentry joints are not limited to large building structures. elements of wider strips, boards or furniture boards are also joined using the " dovetail " method, e.g. in chests , drawers or wardrobes . The oldest connections of this type were discovered in Egypt in coffin chests in which mummies of the dead were buried, dating back to the third millennium BC. Back to this method returned to favor in the mid-15th century.

Joining wood - using the dovetail method

From a technical point of view, it is an angular connection of solid wood elements. One of the joined elements is equipped with protruding trapezoidal pins (tails), which are attached to holes (sockets) cut out in the other element. The advantage of this connection is high tensile strength . It can also be an adhesive joint , which further improves its load-bearing capacity. There are two types of dovetail joints - open and semi-covered. in a semi-covered connection, the front surfaces of the "swallows" remain invisible. Making this type of knots by hand requires great precision and proves the great skill of the carpenter who creates them. Traditionally, a chisel and a mallet are used for this purpose, but nowadays there are various types of shapes and milling machine attachments available on the market that make the work easier for craftsmen. In past eras, during furniture production, visible parts of the dovetail joint were hidden under a layer of veneer. Currently, it is a decorative element that gives character to the furniture in which it is used. It can even be a characteristic element of a collection or the signature of its designer. Precisely made, it adds charm and gives the impression of a perfect combination of tradition and modernity.

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