Cherry desktop organizer/pen holder with chiseled dovetail joints

This is my first time trying lasercut dovetail joints. I copied the basic design of the organizer from one that I found online, and followed this guide here for the joints.

In the process of making the design, I learned a lot and would do many things differently.

  • The align tool in Adobe Illustrator is pretty powerful, specifically key objects. There are probably other ways to make the pattern than creating a single dovetail and duplicating/aligning it but that’s what I knew how to do, so.
  • If I were to do this again, I would probably try a simpler design with fewer dovetails. They were pretty tricky, and probably made trickier by the fact that I was using MDF core instead of solid wood.
  • The MDF didn’t chisel well or sand well in between the dovetails, and I was left with either joints that were too snug or joints that had a bit of gap (like you can see under the cat design). I bet solid wood would be much easier.
  • I cut the base and the center dividers pieces too long and had to saw 1/4" of the bottom of each of them because I didn’t want to waste the wood and re-do them entirely.
  • I also mucked up one of the measurements on the back and didn’t realize it until I’d put it all together, by which time I couldn’t pull it apart without risking the wood peeling off the MDF.

All in all, though, I like the look of it, especially as something different from the normal finger joints I’ve done before.


I love the dovetailing! but not favoring plywood of any sort and especially not with MDF of any sort but it has given a great Idea! If you engraved the truncated triangles in both directions and inlaid the holes everyone would be trying to figure how you had dovetails going both directions!


Wow, that is very nice indeed! Like you, I’m a fan of trying something different besides the standard finger joints.


For all the ‘faults’ you see (as creators do), it turned out beautifully!


Kudos! Dovetails add a really nice look.

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This is wonderful! :heartpulse:

Well done. Quite ambitious and it turned out great. I don’t even like doing dovetails with a jig.