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Sliding Dovetail Bench Madisonville KY

You can build this bench in a weekend or two. And once you’re set up to build one, multiples are no sweat. So don’t worry if you can’t decide whether this bench would look best in your front hall or at the foot of your bed—build two! If you build your bench from white oak, as I did, you’ll even be able to use it outdoors. I spent about $100 on lumber and another $25 for a dovetail router bit.

Fastenal- Madisonville
270-825-8227
2560 Nebo Rd Madisonville, KY, 42431
Madisonville, KY
 
Kmart 9121 / Cross Merch
(270) 825-3233
50 Madison Square Dr
Madisonville, KY
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :0-0 and for Sat:0-0
Sun:0-0
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :0-0 and for Sat:0-0
Sun:0-0

Lowe's
(270) 825-1999
550 Island Ford Road
Madisonville, KY
Hours
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 9 am - 7 pm

Providence Do it Best Hc & Ren
(270) 667-7603
109 Montgomery
Providence, KY
 
Sebree Hardware And Rental
(270) 835-0126
518 U.s. Hwy 41 North
Sebree, KY
 
LOWE'S OF MADISONVILLE, KY.
270 825-1999
550 ISLAND FORD RD. MADISONVILLE, KY, 42431
Madisonville, KY
 
Madison Sq S/C
(270) 821-1010
110 Madison Square St
Madisonville, KY
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-21
Tue:9-21
Wed:9-21
Thu:9-21
Fri:9-21
Sat:9-19
Sun:10-18
Store Features
Mon:9-21
Tue:9-21
Wed:9-21
Thu:9-21
Fri:9-21
Sat:9-19
Sun:10-18

Miller's Bldg Sup & Lbr
(270) 736-2678
12292 Hwy 81 S
Sacramento, KY
 
Malone Lumber Do it Best
(270) 338-3252
204 W Depot Street
Greenville, KY
 
Dugger Hardware and Pool Supply
(270) 676-3698
10 Nortonville Rd
Nortonville, KY

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Sliding Dovetail Bench

Sliding Dovetail Bench

Super-strong router joints give it elegant simplicity.

by Tim Johnson

This elegant bench has humble origins: Its forebears have been sat upon, stepped on and dragged about for centuries. Utilitarian ancestry is readily apparent in our bench. It features simple construction and strong interlocking joints. 

The pieces fit together like a puzzle, with sliding dovetails and half-lap joints. Sliding dovetails may sound difficult, but I’ll show you how to master this tricky joint with a simple jig, a router and a router table. 

The bench is sized so you can mill all the pieces with your 12-in. planer. I’ll show you how to cut perfectly fitting half-lap joints and how to make the tapered keys that fill the dovetail sockets.

You can build this bench in a weekend or two. And once you’re set up to build one, multiples are no sweat. So don’t worry if you can’t decide whether this bench would look best in your front hall or at the foot of your bed—build two! If you build your bench from white oak, as I did, you’ll even be able to use it outdoors. I spent about $100 on lumber and another $25 for a dovetail router bit (see Sources, below).

Prepare the Pieces

1. Glue up boards, if necessary, to make stock for the wide top (A, Fig. A, below) and legs (B). Plane this stock to final thickness, along with a piece for the rail (C). Mill extra stock for test cuts and the keys (D) to the same 1-1/8-in. thickness. Your stock must be dead flat when you rout, and also when you assemble the pieces, for the dovetail joints to fit well and slide smoothly. 

2. Rip the top, legs and rail to width; then crosscut the ends to length. Make sure the cuts are square.

Rout the Sliding Dovetails

3. Build the socket-routing jig (Fig. B, below). Use your top (A) to establish the width between the jig’s rails. To make sure the fences are spaced properly during assembly, fit a piece of scrap ripped to the proper width between them. 

4. Establish the dovetail sockets in the jig’s rails by setting the dovetail bit to 3/8 in. exposure and routing a test socket in extra stock. Mark the centers of the sockets in the rails.

5. Mark the socket locations on the edge of the top. Then position the jig by aligning the socket centerlines. Clamp the jig and the top securely to your workbench. Make sure the jig’s rails are flush with the top. If they protrude, the router base will catch on them and cause trouble.

6. Rout the sockets (Fig. A, Detail 1) in a clockwise loop, bearing against the left fence on the way out and the right fence on the way back (Photo 1). A dovetail bit with a 1/2-in. shank produces smooth, chatter-free results. If your dovetail bit has a 1/4-in. shank, rout clearance channels first, with a 1/4-in. straight bit.

7. Rout dovetails in the leg blanks on your router table, with a tall fence installed for support (Photo 2).

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker