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
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
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
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.
4. Dove Tail 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
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.