Woodworking Joints

Woodworking Joints

Every carpenter and joiner should know about woodworking joints.  This article explains each woodworking joint in detail.  The ability of joining two pieces of wood together is the foundation of wooden construction.  Without this vital knowledge it would be difficult to construct wooden structures that are strong and durable.

The type of joint a woodworker would use depends upon the application.

Basic But Joint

Everyone would agree this is the most basic woodworking joint our there.  It is nothing more than when one piece of wood butt onto another.  The best way of connecting a butt joint is at right angles, or square to the other piece of wood).  The butt joint is then secured using screws or nails. It is common to see butt joints for wall framing on construction sites.

Mitered But Joint

A mitered butt joint is similar to the standard but joint.  The main difference is that the two surfaces are joined at an angle, rather than square to one another.  This involves cutting an angle first using a mitre saw.  Mitered but joints help prevent end grains showing.  This makes the joint neater than a normal but joint.  However, the disadvantage is that joint strength is lost.

Half Lap Joint

This type of joint involves cutting a slots in the wood, also known as a lap.  The two slots fit together almost like a jigsaw puzzle piece.  After one piece of wood has been slotted into the other, the resulting join should be flush.  Cutting slots in wood will reduce the overall strength in that area, as there is less wood to provide the strength through that cross section.

Tongue and Groove Joint

These types of joints are very common very wooden laminate flooring.  The joint is designed so that one piece of wood slots into another.  However, when applying this principle to woodworking projects the join would be secured via nails or screws.  A tongue and groove joint is very strong.  This is because there is a large area of adjoining surface areas, which is particularly useful if you’re going to glue the joint.

Mortice and Tenon Joint

The mortise and tenon joint is a popular method regarding woodworking joints.  They are probably one of the most elegant and strongest of the joints.

Biscuit Joint

This method involves cutting slots into your woodwork, in the shape of a biscuit.  These slots will be in both pieces of wood you wish to make into a joint.  The two adjoining slots will have a biscuit shaped piece of wood inside to provide support.  This method is popular for projects such as table tops, where you have to reply on glue and the swelling of the biscuit to hold the boards in place.

 

Pocket Joint

This joint involves cutting a slot in your wood.  Then you pre-drill a pilot hole at an angle between two boards before connecting the two with a screw. the drilling part needs to be done accurately, usually done via a jig.  Ideal projects are things like cabinet face frames, or anything else that requires a lot of strength.

Dado Joint

A dado joint is where square-grooved slot in created in a wooden board.  Then another board will slot into that square grooved slot.  It is a similar concept to tongue and groove woodworking joints.  The dado joint is great for connecting plywood

Rabbet Joint

A rabbet is basically a dado cut along the edge of a board. These joints are usually seen at the back of cabinets, or similar assemblies.  The rabbet joint adds a considerable amount of strength to the assembly.

Through Dovetail Joint

The through dovetail joint is classic, beautiful and very strong.  It never fails to add a touch of class to any piece.  These joints can be created via hand cutting or machining with a jig.

Sliding Dovetail Joint

A sliding dovetail had endless uses.  its basically a dado joint with a locking mechanism.

Half Blind Dovetail Joint

What happens when you need to use a dovetail joint, but both edges of the dovetails should not be visible?  The solution is to use a half blind dovetail joint.  This slightly different version hides the end of the through dovetail.  A perfect example is a drawer front.

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