A Guide to Wood Joinery



By Tobin Dimmitt


 A Guide to Wood Joinery - Amish Furniture Factory

Wood joinery is the art of putting two or more pieces of wood together with a common fastener that links them. Common methods of joining wood are the everyday screw or nail, but there is a more refined way of connecting wood together that provides a professional appearance that is pleasing to the eye. No matter if you are building furniture, cabinets, or the backyard tree house, the art of joining is going to become one of your most proficient tasks. The more you do, the better you get.


There are nine common types of joints used by woodcrafters, each serving its own purpose of connection. The butt joint is created by placing 2 pieces of wood end to edge or face to edge. Use of a mitre clamp or corner clamp will help to hold the wood in place while it is being secured. The most common fastener for this sort of joint includes a nail, screw, or corrugated fasteners, and dowel. For added strength, wood glue can be used to help secure the pieces.


A lapped joint or halved joint is excellent for connecting wood for fences and for light framework that will be covered. This joint is generally connected by glue and screws or nails. A tenon saw is used to cut away half the thickness of each wood piece that is to be joined. When creating joints it is important that all edges are smooth and even.


The Tongue and Groove joint is one of the all time favorites for table and chair makers. This joint uses a center connection that joins two pieces together as in the planks of a table top. It is a nice fit when cut properly and is glued for securing.


One of the strongest methods for joining wood is the tenon and mortise joint. This is a popular securing method used in furniture crafting. It is also used frequently in the construction of gates or heavier doors. To be successful, the tenon cannot be less than a third of the width of the timber. The shoulders can be offset when the mortise is created in rebated wood. The mortise needs to be made before the wood is rebated.


A housed joint is used for shelf work, and can be clear through or stopped. Skew nails or screws are generally used to hold these boards together.


A mitre joint can be recognized by its’ tell tale 45 degree angle. The mitre joint is most frequently used for picture framing, and when done right comes to nice clean edges. Mitre joints are one that will always use wood glue for securing.


Due to their intricacy, dovetail joints are one of the most difficult to master, but also one of the most rewarding. This is a strong joint used for creating boxes and drawers.


The key to a successful joint involves knowing how to mark it properly before cutting into the wood, having the right tools on hand to make the necessary cuts, and knowing what will be used for securing the joints.  



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