Dovetail – design term

Dovetail is the name for a shape that looks like a dove’s tail and is used to join things together, especially in woodworking. A dovetail joint is made up of a number of tabs in the shape of a dovetail that fit into holes in the other part. Dovetails are often used to join the corners of cabinet drawers and other box shapes. These can be made by hand or by machine. The ones made by hand are seen as a sign of good craftsmanship. A through dovetail also called a slip dovetail, is often used to make modern drawers. It has a protruding dovetail-shaped piece that slides into a continuous groove of the same shape.

Sources

Pile, J. (1994). Dictionary of 20th-Century Design. Da Capo Press, Incorporated. https://doi.org/10.1604/9780306805691

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