Furniture Making - DOVETAIL WEEK - Making a Dovetailed Drawer - in East Sussex

Duration: 5 Days

Price: £590

Run by: John Lloyd
at John Lloyd Fine Furniture

01444 480388

Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ

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About the Course

What you will Learn:

On this course you will make a drawer to fit the table you made on the JOINTS WEEK - Make a Table.

SHARPENING REFRESHER – As always, sharp tools are the key to success


MAINTAINING A SUPER SHARP SAW – Blunt saw = Dodgy dovetails

MASTERING THE DOVETAIL SAW – Tricks and exercises to help you saw straight


TIMBER PREPARATION – Perfect dovetails need perfectly flat wood

THROUGH DOVETAILS – Often thought of as the simplest but in some ways the hardest

LAPPED DOVETAILS – Not as tricky as you might think and one half of this joint is hidden!

HOUNDSTOOTH DOVETAILS – A dovetail variation that is guaranteed to impress


JOINTING A DRAWER BOTTOM – Includes cutting tongues on the router table


If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

This is not just cutting dovetails for sake of it, it’s more about training your hands and learning core cabinetmaking skills, cutting dovetails happens to be a very good way of judging how you’re progressing in this quest which ultimately just relies on good, solid technique and an in-depth understanding of the process and the tools that are required for success. Having said that though, if you make furniture, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the design is, or how perfectly the veneers have been matched, if there’s a drawer to be opened you will, without question, ultimately be judged by how lovely your dovetails are.

Dovetails are a wonderfully elegant and efficient solution for jointing pieces of wood along their edges and, being a mechanical joint, are amazingly strong, even without the addition of glue. There is perhaps good reason for judging furniture-making expertise by the quality of your dovetails, perfect dovetails rely on accurate planning, skilful sawing and precise chisel work – the three main hand skills that need to be mastered by the cabinetmaker.

Over the many years that I have been teaching dovetailing, I have analysed, refined and simplified the process to make it easier for everyone to conquer this timeless joint. Combine technique with a bit of focussed practice and you are guaranteed the silly grin and warm, fuzzy feeling that I find always accompanies the completion of a crisp set of dovetails. No need for jigs or confusing, noisy, router systems, mastering basic skills, will inevitably result in perfect dovetails, straight off the saw.

Accurately making and fitting a drawer is just an extension of the precision required to cut dovetails, and a well thought out design and thorough understanding of the process makes piston-fit drawers attainable rather than just an aspiration.

Teaching hours are from 8.30am to 6pm to enable students to gain the most from their time in the workshops.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be provided. Students are requested to bring their own packed lunch.

Want to review this course?

I gained essential skills which I have wanted to learn for many years.

- - #5655

Great teaching in a wonderful location. Clear instruction, which includes not just the 'how' but also the 'why' for all the techniques. Good emphasis on getting the basics (sharpening, marking,sawing, chiselling) right in order to achieve precise joints. Delicious cakes too!

- - #5654

A wonderful chance to spend a whole week working with wood with a patient and knowledgable tutor

- - #4780

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Course Start Dates

Monday 27th August 2018

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