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A Stopped Groove in a Dovetailed Box

One 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.

Drill the stopped end (an alternative is to chisel a small mortise).

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


January 2006