Dovetail rakes or bevels

The actual rake of the dovetail must now be decided. For carcass-work where strength is necessary and appearance of little consequence the slope can correspond to a slope of 1 in 5 or 1 in 6; while for show-work, drawer sides, etc., 1 in 7, and for very fine decorative dovetailing 1 in 8, can be used, always bearing in mind that the rake must not be too coarse, i.e. much below 1 in 5, or the short grain will be too weak, while too fine a pin, i.e. over 1 in 8, will have no real holding power. To set out these rakes it is only necessary to square a line across the bench-top and measure off the distances as in 154:3, setting an adjustable bevel to the rake or making up a simple wooden template (154:7). With proficiency neither bevel nor template will be required, and the eye alone will soon grow accustomed to the required slopes.

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