The best woodworking isn’t just functional — it’s beautiful too (unlike many in-laws, who are just the opposite).
And butterfly keys are a prime example of how beauty and function can work together.
They go by a lot of names: Bowtie keys, dovetail keys, dutchman, DeVito joints (I made one of those up)…
But whatever you call them, they’re created through a simple process — which you can use to inlay any shape you like.
Today, I’m channeling my inner lepidopterist and explaining the basics of butterfly keys…
Including 5 ways to cut them, a simple inlay process, and a few tips to make sure you don’t rip off the wings along the way.
July 11, 2022
Would you also use a butterfly key to prevent a large slab from splitting (further) during its drying process? I got a nice 40" oak cut into slabs – some dry nicely, some have started splitting in the middle and the cracks are ever so slowly widening.