Joints Used in The Construction of Amish Furniture


By Tobin Dimmitt


Joints Used in The Construction of Amish FurnitureDuring the construction of Amish furniture, a lot of emphasis is placed on using the right joints to not only hold the piece together, but to also create a stylish look. Many people fail to realize the importance of using high-quality joints in furniture, as they aren’t a primary focal point. However, joints are the key to bringing a piece of furniture together and preventing it from falling apart. Furniture that’s made with low-quality joints may weaken and even start to wobble after a certain amount of time. Since Amish furniture is made with high-quality joints, it usually doesn’t suffer from this problem.




Dovetail joints are one of the most common types you’ll find in Amish furniture. Even if you aren’t familiar with dovetail joints, chances are you’ve seen them used before. They’re most easily characterized by their interlocking fingers that connects one piece of wood or material to another. For instance, the front of a drawer may contain tail-shaped cut-outs where pins sticking out of the drawer sides fit into.


The primary advantage to using dovetail drawers is the sheer durability and strength it creates. Because the two pieces are interlocked together, there’s little-to-no chance of them pulling apart. When you combine the natural strength of dovetail joints with the high-quality, handpicked wood used in Amish furniture, you’ve got yourself a winning combination.


Mortise and Tenon


Another common type joints used in Amish furniture is mortise and tenon. Basically, this style of joint involves a square or rectangular-shaped piece sticking that’s inserted into a cut-out of the same shape, which creates a stable hold at a 90-degree angle. The piece of wood featuring the rectangular-shaped piece sticking out of it is called the tenon, while the area it’s inserted is called the mortise.


You might be surprised to hear that mortise and tenon joints have been used for thousands of years, making them the oldest known type of woodworking joints to date. In addition to their ability to securely hold two pieces of wood or material together, mortise and tenon joints also offer a unique style that’s not found in other types of joints.




A lesser-known type of join used in the construction of Amish furniture is dado. In order to create these joints, a machine must be used to cut out a slit or groove on a piece where the corresponding piece can slide into it. It must be cut just right, however, or else the other board won’t be able to fit inside.


Dado joint image source:  American Furniture Design

Leave a Reply