When building the Monticello Bookcases for the June 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, I used through-dovetails with a mitered shoulder to join the cases. This joint gives a nice finished look to the front edge of the boxes, yet it is easier to do than some other similar joints, including the secret mitered dovetail.
While I know that some woodworkers will be put off by the mitered section of this joint, I encourage you to try it in scrap to see how simple it is. If you can make a regular through-dovetail, this joint is only a couple extra saw cuts.
The trick is to cut the miter freehand and right up on your line. Then, when you assemble the joint, you can tighten up the dovetails by sawing through the miter with a thin-kerf saw. Every cut will tighten the joint at the baselines of your pin board.
I prepared a sample joint this morning and filmed the process.
— Christopher Schwarz
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