I’ve been having bad back spasms lately (shoveling 5 cubic yards of wet mulch will do that to a middle aged guy), so I made no attempt to woodwork this past weekend. The good news is I was able to catch up on some blog reading as well as watching some woodworking videos. Considering that I’ve been making a fair share of dovetailed boxes lately, my reading and video watching was centered mainly around the dovetail joint.
For this particular post I have no real desire to touch on the mechanics of the dovetail joint and how it is sawn. However, I briefly want to discuss one aspect of the joints appearance.
For whatever reasons, I took to the dovetail joint fairly quickly. When I first began, it seemed that the hallmark of a really skilled dovetail joint was a very thin pin. So after I developed some consistency in sawing dovetails, I began sawing the joint with thin pins. At some point, however, I stopped. Why? I don’t really know the exact reasons. Because the dovetail joint is first and foremost structural, maybe larger pins, more on par with the tails, looks stronger to my eye. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I don’t really care for the look of thin pins on an aesthetic level. In fact, on most contrasting woods I think they look hideous. But there are some cases such as half blind dovetails in drawer construction where I think they look okay. Otherwise, I’m not a fan.
So, the whole point of this little post is to see what the opinions are of woodworkers who may read this blog. How do you like your dovetail pins, thin, beefy, or somewhere in between? In most woodworking project videos that I’ve seen the thin pin is avoided like the plague. Is there a reason for this? Once again, I’m writing this post because I want to know what other woodworkers think, so if you care to let me know I would appreciate it.