Q: I’m confused: what’s the difference between “half-blind,” “through” and “rabbeted” dovetails?
A: The names of these three dovetails give you a hint as to how they work: On a half-blind dovetail, the end of the tail board is imbedded in the pin board, so the joint is only visible on the side. From the front, the joint is “blind.” For through dovetails, you see the ends of both the pins and tails, since the parts pass right through each other. Rabbeted dovetails are really just modified half-blinds. The tail board sets into a deep rabbet on the pin board instead of being flush with its end. They’re useful for building overlay-style drawers where the drawer box front is also the drawer face. The projecting tongue of the rabbet forms a lip to cover gaps around the drawer opening.