I've done a number of
dovetail tutorials but had ignored the full-blind dovetail
(also known as the "double lap") primarily because I don't
see a lot of use for it.
But recently, I decided to do a tutorial on this type of
dovetail just for completeness.
I suppose the reason the full-blind dovetail is not used
very much is that you can't see the dovetails - and other
types of joinery, perhaps made by power tools, are
available. And if you did want to do a hidden dovetail, the
secret miter dovetail gives, in my opinion, a better looking
joint since it looks like a miter joint (no end grain
For this tutorial, I'm going to use two pieces of clear pine
about 6 inches wide. Clear pine is straight grained, not
very hard and has no knots that might get in the way. I
forgot to take a picture of the two pieces of pine before I
started the work.
Make sure your wood is flat, square, and the same thickness
all around. Also, make sure the two pieces are the same
width across. For this tutorial, I'm using two pieces that
are the same thickness. You can use pieces of different
thickness but your layout will be a bit more complex.
To help you understand where we're going, and what a
full-blind dovetail is, I'm going to start by showing the
completed joint, and the way the two pieces are cut to fit
together. Here's the completed joint.
And here's the two pieces of wood, cut to fit together. Note
that one of the pieces has a rabbet cut on the end, while
the other does not. In a way, this is similar to the secret
miter dovetail which has a rabbet cut on both pieces. One
way to think of this full-blind dovetail is as a transition
between the half-blind dovetail and the secret miter
Here's how the joint fits together.