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Dovetail Stool

The Dovetail Stool is solely supported by dovetail joints. With this simple structure, the stool can reach force balance, which maximises the effort of every wood joint. 


Zhang Zheyuan


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The wood joint, also called the mortise and tenon joint, is a kind of joinery technique in woodwork, which is a symbol of craftsmanship in China and all over the world. The dovetail joint is traditional and representative among all kinds of wood joint. There are mainly two kinds of dovetail joints, of which usages are quite different, but both work as resistance to keep two individual parts from being pulled apart, horizontally or vertically.

Using only one type of joint, the Dovetail Stool is designed to highlight the function and delicacy of wood joinery. The stool is only made with 4 main parts and 5 dovetail joints, along with several wood bolts to stabilise the structure. Also, the side view of the stool makes reference to the form of a swallow in traditional Chinese drawings. It bears meaning because the dovetail can also be translated as “swallow-tail joint” in Chinese. This structure can also be applied to other objects or furniture.

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