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At the beginning of March I posted a few photographs of dovetail joints that, at first sight, look impossible to put together, let alone take apart. As I said then, there’s no real trick to them; it’s just that the assumptions one makes about the parts of the joint hidden to the eye turn out to be wrong.

Here’s the double dovetail disassembled:




And here is the triple dovetail:



Ingenious and amusing, but rather short on practical applications.

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3 Comments

  1. Brilliant! Many thanks for posting this.

    I’ve always wondered how the first joint was done and had previously assumed it involved a bit of kerf cutting and a wedge with perfect grain matching… :oops:

    Olly.

  2. Beautiful jointery. Nice to know some people still take the time to do this kind of work. Cheers.

  3. I don’t know about the “no practical application” I plan on using the double dove tail joint for the oversized beams that will be holding up my sister’s 3″ thick x 48″ wide x 9′ long (2 per table x 2 tables) cedar picnic table tops, and benches. The joint is strong enough? I’ll share the photos when complete. Nice woodwork!


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Another impossible object « Finely Strung on 15 Mar 2012 at 10:12 pm

    […] As someone who works with wood, I enjoy teasing him with the complete opposite: something that self-evidently has been manufactured but that looks impossible. One example is the captive screw here. But that’s a bit of a cheat because it depends on exploiting the remarkable elastic properties of some woods when treated with heat and moisture. Better are the apparently impossible double and triple dovetails that I wrote about a year or so ago. […]

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