Lap and Dovetail joints

For those of you testing out the glowForge, I’m wondering if you would be interested in showing off some joinery? I have always seen finger joints to be the joint of choice for laser cut boxes. Do you think you could make dovetail joints? Do you think the engraving depth will be accurate enough to make lap joints? Come on… I dare ya. Thanks!


I had to look up what a lap joint is. There’s a lap-like feature in the box @marmak3261 made and posted up to this thread…

Thumbnail… (visit the thread for full size)

I did a laser-cut dovetail experiment, but not with a Glowforge. The thread about that…
Laser-Cut Dovetails (YouTube video)


The lap joints are possible as the stamp box demonstrates. With the 1/8" ply it doesn’t take too long to engrave the rabbet/rebate. Does take some understanding of designing the mating surface as mirrors but that is basic woodworking.

This post demonstrates the process. I haven’t tried it yet, but it would be a good challenge, especially in hardwood. The inner ply of the 1/8" might not be suitably dense enough in relation to the surface plies to engrave the gradient equally over the angle. There have been tons of long discussions about this.

The biggest obstacle for me is designing the gradients of the angled engrave. That would have to be a bitmap at the moment to get the engrave gradient place over a vector cut file. Although @dan_berry demonstrated gradient meshes for me and Inkscape does them well, at the moment it just would take long for me to design it. If someone wants to do a test file for me, I can try it.

It certainly would be a nifty trick to pull off.


I’m not testing out a GF, but I got a lot of ideas about different joints from this F360 tutorial. He uses three layers to create a bunch of different joint options, which you could easily do without F360 too. It includes a lap and a stepped dovetail.


That’s one of my favorites.


I think if I were gonna dovetail I might try making a jig for the angles. With careful planning you could get to 8" in softwood and 16 in hardwood…


Funny enough, I just redid a simple parametric clip tenon in OpenSCAD that I originally did with SketchUp… it took significantly less time than it did the first time around, that’s for sure…


oooooh, thx for the link (bookmarked!). I’m pretty familiar with Inkscape now and hope to move up to the next dimension w/F360. On the “to do” list is finding tutorials, so this helps a lot :relaxed: