Chris Schwarz put up an interesting post about wedged dovetails he found in furniture and wondered aloud why these were use -> link . In the comment section, Kelley Blanton (organ builder) entered a fascinating response.
Here’s a snippet to peak your interest:
The secret to a wedged dovetail is purposefully cutting the tails out of square. … Now the joint can be assembled dry with no glue. It goes together with hardly any effort since the joint is slack everywhere except at the very bottom, where it can be quite tight.
At this point the chest is completely together, no clamps , no glue and no banging on tight fitting dovetails. Glue is brushed into each opening , then a wedge driven in which spreads the pin tight against the dovetail socket and at the same draws the joint down against the shoulder, completely avoiding the need for clamps.
Here’s a nice close up of my drawer sides with the tails cut. The small gap between the boards is the rabbet I cut to help line up sides and front. Its a trick I learned from Chris Schwarz. Next I’ll use the fret saw to clean out the waste and trim up with a chisel.
I’m cutting half blind dovetails into the walnut drawer fronts.
Here’s a trick I learned .. from some where. When cutting the half blind socket, the saw doesn’t cut the entire socket. If you sharpen the edge of a scraper and then hammer it into the saw kerf, it cuts the socket full length and .. in theory makes it easier to clean out.