Types of Wood Joints

Woodwork Joints

Picking the right type of wood joint comes from knowing the strength and weakness inherit in the joint itself.   A good, strong joint is a obvious mark of a fine piece of workmanship.  Joinery is the joining together of two pieces of wood, to create furniture, boxes, and other objects with edges. Some joints will use fasteners,  or adhesives, and some only the property of wood. The properties of wood joints include esthetic elements combined with strength and flexibility.



About Joints

There are many ways of fastening pieces of wood together, some are purely functional such as butt joints, while others such as dovetails are functional as well as decorative. To add additional strength or appeal two or more types of joints are often combined such as splined miter joints when making picture frames.


Types of Wood Joints

Rather than using nails or screws, wood joints offer a much more attractive and secure method of joining two pieces of wood together. They’re used in furniture or in fittings found in a home. With furniture, using joints prevents separation of the pieces of wood which is important if the furniture is used regularly. For fine furniture, joints, whether mill-worked or made by hand, give the sense of a more expensive, craftsman-produced piece. There are a number of different common types of joints, each of which has a different purpose. Some are easier to make than others but they all require a good level or carpentry skill.


Woodworking Joints

Joinery is the aesthetic mark of fine craftsmanship. Without strong, beautiful joints connecting two pieces of wood together, furniture, toys, and other crafts would be produced from single pieces of wood. Once the woodworking joint types below have been fully understood and mastered, they can be applied to a multiple variety of projects, to make strong, attractively crafted material.


How to Clean-up Glue Squeeze-Out


If you're gluing properly, your joints will after clamping, squeeze-out excess adhesive you've applied to the joint prior to assembly. If you don't get any squeeze-out, you're almost certainly starving the joints. The excess glue should form small beads at the joint, and it's worthwhile to pay attention to this and learn from it, adjusting your gluing and clamping techniques with each project until this occurrence becomes normal and predictable. 
Old wisdom said that the correct way to deal with squeeze-out was to immediately clean it off the joints with a damp rag.  This does work to some degree, and in the case of hide glue, it's still the method I'd recommend -- hide glue sets up extremely hard, and is hell on edge tools -- but if your adhesive of choice is yellow (aliphatic resin) woodworking glue, there is a far better alternative.


Woodworking Joinery Basics

The need for joint making derives from the fact that woodworkers make demands on their material that nature never intended. Interlocking curves of fiber link a branch to the tree trunk. while a leg is attached to a table at an abrupt 90° intersection. Thus, although a properly glued joint is stronger than wood fiber. that bond alone is seldom able to withstand the forces exerted on tables, chairs, cabinets, and doors during normal use.  Most joints need some sort of mechanical aid-a reinforcement designed to meet the stresses head-on. From that need springs the craft of joinery.
  Joinery, the foundation of woodworking, is a subtle blend of art and engineering. Whether the product is a simple tabletop or an ornate chest, its joinery will establish its worth: Strong joints will give it longevity, and their design and craftsmanship will enhance its beauty.


Woodworking Joinery Form And Function

Ideally, joinery should achieve a balance between form and function. Each joint must complement the overall design of a piece while resisting the stresses to which it will be subjected.  The choice of a joint will often be dictated by its function and location. Carcase corners can be joined with a host of joinery methods, but a carcase that is more likely to be visible, such as a drawer, will benefit from a visually pleasing joint like a half-blind dovetail or box joint. For other project components, the options are more limited. A frame-and-panel door, for example, may call for either blind or haunch mortise and-tenons, while a chair with round rungs should ideally be assembled with round mortise-and-tenons.


Woodworking Joints Guide

Wood joints are used in everything from furniture making to home building. Attaching two pieces of wood (sometimes called joinery) can be as much art as it is engineering. Different jobs require different wood joints-there are many ways to provide varying amounts of strength and style.  There are two common ways to create wood joints: mechanical and non-mechanical. Mechanical wood joints require the use of nails, screws or other non-wood elements to hold the wood pieces together. Non-mechanical wood joints use only wood to keep the wood pieces joined.


Which Ones Should You Use?

There are various woodworking joints in use. Some are stronger than others are. Let's discuss the more popular joints, so you know which to use for your project.



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