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A Stopped Groove in a Dovetailed Box
of the greatest challenges in building a box made with through
dovetails are not the dovetails themselves (yes, I know they are
supposed to be the be-all to end-it-all). The greatest challenge is
really the stopped groove that holds the box’s tray bottom.
In a box made with half-blind dovetails it is possible to hide the open ends of a complete groove in the dovetail itself. But one cannot do this with a through dovetail since a full groove will leave gaps in the box ends. The router plane is the ideal tool to create a stopped groove.
First mark the groove sides with a cutting gauge.
Knife the lines about a 1/16” deep
Drill the stopped end (an alternative is to chisel a small mortise).
Then chisel out the groove.
Now it is time for the router plane to remove the remainder of the waste. The straight ¼” cutter is used.
Although the router plane is capable of removing the waste without the aid of a guide, it is advisable to use the fence as well. The end piece on the left, below, shows how I gouged the sidewall. With the fence in place, the router plane will make shavings to rival those of a plough plane.
In spite of the slip above, the groove proves to be a nice fit for the bottom piece.
And here is the finished box (and no groove holes!)…
Regards from Perth