The term “dovetail” sounds so delicate and romantic that you’d never really associate it with the more masculine task of carpentry. Oh, but you should! A dovetail is quite a historic type of woodworking joint. It’s comprised of a tenon – traditionally flared in the dovetail shape – and a mortise into which it fits. The two pieces fit tightly, creating a strong, interlocking joint between them. The dovetail has quite the decorative appeal, especially when contrasting materials are used to accentuate the joint. Even though they’re still considered to be dovetail joints, non-traditional, funky shapes can be used too (see the associated pix). No matter what the iteration, the craftsmanship becomes part of the design.
See also: joinery