Dovetails on Drawer Dividers


New member
I am building a rural New England style cherry bureau that will have Chippendale features such as straight bracket feet and a carved shell on the upper middle drawer. Does anyone have an opinion about whether through dovetails on the end of the dividers are appropriate for the 1750 through1780 period? Should the dovetails be half blind so they are only visible from the front?
I'm not sure I understand the question.  At first I thought you were asking whether the dividers should be blind (i.e., whether the dado or dovetail socket should extend all the way to the front of the carcase) or whether it was OK or not to have the dado/socket show on the front.  My answer to that would've been that either would be appropriate for a rural New England piece and because you're not copying any specific piece it's your choice.  But then you mentioned visibility only from the front, which makes me think you are considering having the end grain of the drawer divider show on the side of the carcase.  I've never seen that done before and it strikes me as a bad idea.  Do you have examples where you've seen that?

Also recommend you check out Jeff Headley's thread "An Outstanding Chest" under the Case Furniture sub-forum.  In post 18 of that thread, he shows a sliding dovetail socket for the drawer dividers.  He applies the dovetail to just the bottom of the socket, as this makes fitting the divider much easier.  You might consider his approach for your bureau.