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Thread: Oops, I reversed my pins and tails

  1. #16
    Derek: if I understand your comment correctly, I must completely disagree. In the photo you posted, the pins and tails are oriented correctly. The picture I posted shows a pin/tail configuration that is completely wrong. There is no mechanical advantage to the orientation I presented: it relies solely on the glue. Your picture, if I can believe what I a seeing, shows a pin/tail configuration that takes advantage of the inherent, basic advantage of the DT joint. The OP has indicated that his drawer is consistent with the pin/tail orientation in my photo. If that's the case, its not a good way to take advantage of the basic advantage of a DT joint. Without going into a detailed mechanical analysis, if you do the DTs backwards (as it were), the only saving grace is the use of modern drawer slides, which greatly influences the forces at play when a drawer is opened. Were I building a kitchen full of drawers, I'd never construct a drawer like the one I posted. If its a one-off oopps: I'd probably roll the dice and live with it. However, if I built a drawer for a kitchen that was not employing drawer slides:I'd throw that drawer in the burn pile, and make a new one. Phil


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    If the tails and pins are similar in size, reversing will not affect the strength of the joint. The use of a drawer slide is irrelevant.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Matthew, I did that with a chest of drawers I built my son 16 years ago (then 11 years old) ...



    Not only has it been strong, but it has withstood three moves he has made, taking it with him.

    He has no idea that the dovetails are reversed, and we will keep it as our little secret

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    That does not look like reversed pins and tails, Derek. You still have tails on the side, just small ones. That's quite a good job for when you were 11 years old

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #18
    With modern glue and a tight fit, those drawers will last forever. The need for a mechanical lock is from days long gone. Personally, I would remake the offending drawers if it were for a client. I would happily live with them if it were for personal use.

  4. #19
    I think the problem here is that Derek is such an advanced woodworker that he cant fathom how backwards mere mortal woodworkers can mis-construct this basic joint


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    That does not look like reversed pins and tails, Derek. You still have tails on the side, just small ones. That's quite a good job for when you were 11 years old

    Mike

  5. #20
    johnny nailed it - its a glued box joint. I would still replace it on a job but not for myself.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Gaudio View Post
    Derek: if I understand your comment correctly, I must completely disagree. In the photo you posted, the pins and tails are oriented correctly.
    I thought that it was off on ONE drawer.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    That's quite a good job for when you were 11 years old
    Good one! He has even more of my respect if he was a father at 11.
    Last edited by Dave Zellers; 02-25-2021 at 8:38 PM.

  8. #23
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    Regards from Perth

    Derek (still precocious)

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Matthew, I did that with a chest of drawers I built my son 16 years ago (then 11 years old) ...





    Not only has it been strong, but it has withstood three moves he has made, taking it with him.

    He has no idea that the dovetails are reversed, and we will keep it as our little secret

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    These pics bring back memories. In about 1940 my grandparents purchased a bed and dresser for my mother. It was maple and a Shaker style with turned apple drawer pulls. Over the years I used it as a child, as did my younger brother and my Daughter. It's since moved on to my Niece for her first born. Over the years it has aged to a rich honey color like this chest. I'm hoping your chest moves through a few generations too.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  10. #25
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    Dec 2008
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    Get some exotic dowels of a small size, drill down from the top two tails and slide the dowels in, saw flush. I do only box joints in kitchens and pin each corner as described, more for looks really, but have never had a failure. More than I can say for the machine cut dovetails I used to use. With a purpleheart or some such dowel people always comment on it and like the look. A couple of more high end kitchens I used two dowels, one inside the man one just far enough that it looks like a little target, was fun and a hit with the customer.

    Just a thought t take away your stress.........

  11. #26
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    The drawer back probably sees more stress than the front because stuff in the drawer slams into it when the drawer is slammed. Whack! and the glue cracks.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    The drawer back probably sees more stress than the front because stuff in the drawer slams into it when the drawer is slammed. Whack! and the glue cracks.
    My experience has been the opposite. People "slam" a drawer and the front whacks the body of the chest. I've only seen poorly made drawers break at the front, never the back.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    The drawer back probably sees more stress than the front because stuff in the drawer slams into it when the drawer is slammed. Whack! and the glue cracks.
    You storing bowling balls in your drawers? Several hundred years of drawer design seems to indicate that the front is the most stressed area.

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