A popular joint in cabinet making, the half lap dovetail joint offers not only strength, but is a great choice for a beautiful finish.

It is a mixture between a half lap joint and a dovetail. It is a decorative joint, but is very strong and is commonly used in cabinet making and on the top rails of furniture.

What is a half lap joint?

A half lap joint it where wood is removed from each of the two pieces of wood where they are to join, so that the wood comes together and becomes the same thickness and is flush. A dovetail half lap joint is where the decorative dovetail shape is used to help add intricate detail to the visible joints in your furniture.

This particular joint it great for showing off your precision woodworking skills. And with the dovetail visible, choosing your face sides is important. Ensure you consider the faces and look for the grain direction that will give your desired, decorative look.

Learn how to cut a half lap dovetail joint

Join Sean Evelegh in our Woodworking Wisdom demonstration, as he guides you through the steps required for cutting this particular joint by hand.

Other cabinet joints

Read our other articles to learn how to make a range of furniture and cabinet joints and perfect your joinery skills.