5 Excellent Woodworking Joints That Every Woodworker Should Know

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Today we are going to talk about wood working joints. It is common knowledge that wooden joints help the products with strength, appearance, toughness, and flexibility. But not every joinery technique is the same and sometimes different projects require different joints. You don't want to use the same joint to construct a house that you would to build a piece of wooden furniture. Below is a list of 5 common joints that every woodworker should know.

1. Dowel Joint

Woodworking Dowel Butt Joint
Woodworking Dowel Butt Joint

The dowel joint in traditional woodworking is very similar to the butt joint. The ends of two pieces of wood are glued together. Using dowels though often make joint stronger. It is a very common joint in factory made furniture. Sometimes instead of dowels, biscuits will be used to reinforce the butt joint.

2. Miter Joint

Woodworking Miter Joint
Woodworking Miter Joint

Another woodworking joint that is similar to the butt joint is the miter joint. This traditional joint is made by cutting the two pieces of wood at a 45 degree angle to form a 90 corner. This is a common joint in picture frames. The disadvantage of this joint is the same as the butt joint: weakness. To strengthen the miter joint, many woodworkers use a spline. Here is an article on how to Build Strong Miter Joints with Splines.

3. Finger Joint

Woodworking Finger Joint on Chess Table
Woodworking Finger Joint on Chess Table

Also known as a box joint or comb joint, the finger joint in woodworking is made by cutting complementary rectangular cuts in two pieces of wood and then gluing them together. The finger joint is stronger than a butt joint and often times contribute to the aesthetics of a wood product. The wood napkin holder, wood paper towel holder, and chess tables, all use finger joints in their construction.

Woodworking Finger Joint on Adjustable Napkin Holder
Woodworking Finger Joint on Adjustable Napkin Holder

4. Dove Tail Joint

Woodworking Dovetail Joint
Woodworking Dovetail Joint

A dovetail joint, or sometimes shortened to just dovetail, is very common in good quality furniture, cabinets, and traditional timber framing. It is similar to a finger joint, where the pieces of wood interlock with each other, but the dove tail "fingers" have a trapezoidal shape. This is one of the oldest joints and according to Wikipedia, probably pre-dates written history.

5. Tongue and Groove Joint

End Grain Wood Cutting Board
End Grain Wood Cutting Board

Last, but definitely not least, is the tongue and groove joint. Because of changes in humidity, wood tends to shrink or expand. Tongue and Groove joints help conceal these environmental effects. You will see this type of joinery in good wood flooring and wooden cabinetry. The Hardwood Creations end grain cutting board uses a TON of tongue and groove joints!

There are a lot of other joints to discuss, this is only a list of 5 common wood joints. Credit given to Wikipedia for their help with some of the pictures. Below is a list of some products that have some unique joinery so feel free to add them to you home collection of amazing wood products! And please leave a comment about which joints you use often in your projects.

Tongue and Groove Joinery

Zig Zag Laminated Wood Cutting Board
Zig Zag Laminated Wood Cutting Board
Zig Zag Wood Cutting Board

Perfect for veggies, fruit, and cheese. Use this board for everyday cutting and entertaining!
Dimensions: 15″ x 9″
Woods: African Padauk (red), American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Baltic Birch (striped), American Oak (light brown)

$120.00 Add to cart
Sale!
End Grain Wood Cutting Board
End Grain Wood Cutting Board
End Grain Wood Cutting Board

Perfect for entertaining and everyday cutting!
Dimensions: 13″ x 20″
Woods: African Padauk (red), Maple (white), Purple Heart (purple), Peruvian Walnut (black), African Sapele (brown), American Oak (light brown)

$275.00 $260.00 Add to cart
Wood Backgammon Board and Pieces
Wood Backgammon Board and Pieces
Wood Backgammon Board and Pieces

Made with more than 200 pieces of wood, this wood backgammon set will be cherished for generations.
Dimensions: 18″ x 20″
Woods: African Padauk (red), American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), American Oak (light brown), Peruvian Walnut (black)

 

$375.00 Add to cart
Wood Chess Board and Pieces
Wood Chess Board and Pieces
Wood Chess Board and Pieces

The nicest Staunton chess set you will ever find! Classic look, competition size, laminated hardwoods, and American handmade. This is the set that will stay in the family for generations.
Dimensions: 20″ x 20″
Woods: American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Peruvian Walnut (black), Rosewood (dark pieces), Maple (light pieces)

 

$375.00 Add to cart
Wood Game and Coffee Table
Wood Game and Coffee Table
Wood Game and Coffee Table

This coffee and game table is made for the family. Parents can play chess or backgammon while the kids play mancala or checkers. Flip it over when you have guests over and use it as a beautiful coffee table. Made with high quality laminated hardwoods, families will be using this game coffee table for generations!
Dimensions: 20″ x 52″ (Extension legs provide 3 different heights from coffee table up to sofa table)
Woods: African Padauk (red), American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), American Oak (light brown), Peruvian Walnut (Black), Maple (light chess and backgammon pieces), Rosewood (dark chess pieces), Walnut (dark backgammon pieces)

$2,400.00 Add to cart

Finger Joinery

Adjustable Wood Napkin Holders
Adjustable Wood Napkin Holder
Adjustable Wood Napkin Holder

This unique adjustable napkin holder can be closed tight if you’re outside and don’t want the napkins blowing away or opened wider to fit more napkins. A beautiful accent to your table.
Woods: African Padauk (red), American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Peruvian Walnut (black), American Oak (light brown)

$68.00 Add to cart
Wood Paper Towel Holders
Wood Paper Towel Holder
Wood Paper Towel Holder

Mount this wood paper towel holder vertically, horizontally, or let it sit on the counter.
Woods: African Padauk (red), American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Peruvian Walnut (black)

$68.00 Add to cart
Wood Chess Table
Wood Chess Table
Wood Chess Table

The classic design of this chess table makes an artistic accent for any room. Classic look, competition size, laminated hardwoods, and American handmade. This is the set that will stay in the family for generations.
Dimensions: 20″ x 20″
Woods: American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Peruvian Walnut (black), Rosewood (dark pieces), Maple (light pieces)

$800.00 Add to cart
Sale!
Large Wood Chess Table
Large Wood Chess Table
Large Wood Chess Table

If you're a competitive player and want space for your clock or books, this is the table for you! The classic design combined with the extra large apron makes this chess table an artistic accent for any room. Classic look, competition size, laminated hardwoods, and American handmade. This is the set that will stay in the family for generations.
Dimensions: 36″ x 36″
Woods: American Maple (white), African Sapele (brown), Peruvian Walnut (black), Rosewood (dark pieces), Maple (light pieces)

$2,400.00 $2,100.00 Add to cart
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