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Joints 101



To be successful in woodwork construction the possession of two secrets is essential—to know the right joint to use, and to know how to make that joint in the right way. The woodwork structure or the piece of cabinet-work that endures is the one on which skilful hands have combined to carry out what the constructive mind planned.


Bridal Joint

Often defined as a reverse mortise and tenon, the name probably originated from the resemblance to a horse's bit and bridle.

dovetail joint

Dovetail Joint

One day, whilst enjoying a humble meal, a "joyner" sat watching some doves as they hopped about the yard. Struck by the movement of their wedge-shaped tails, it occurred to him to joint his timber by the interlocking method; hence we have dovetails.


Dowel Joint

Dowelling is the term generally given to the method of jointing timber and other materials by wooden or metal pegs, which are called dowels.


Glued Joint

Alternative names under which it is known are the butt joint, the rubbed joint, and the slipped joint. With a quality glue the joint is usually stronger than the material it is bonding.

half lap joint

Half Lap Joint

The half lap joint is also know as a "halved" joint, basically one half of each part is cut away and the parts fastened together.


Hinged Joint

Most troubles experienced by the amateur, such as "hinge-bound," "stop-bound," and "screw-bound" doors, etc., are due to a lack of knowledge of the principles of hingeing.

curved joint

Joints For Curved Work

Segments may be laminated or halved to make curved items.


Mitered (Mitred) Joints

The term mitering is not confined to the fitting of timber around a right angle; it may be justly applied to the fitting of a moulding around an angle irrespective of the number of its degrees.

mortise and tenon joint

Mortise and Tenon

A mortise and tenon joint is the method of joining timber by working a solid rectangular projection in the one piece and cutting a corresponding cavity to receive it in the adjoining piece.


Puzzle Joints

Puzzles call for very careful setting out and cutting, entailing the same degree of skill that is demanded for high-class cabinet work.

scarf joint

Scarf Joints

The method known as "scarfing" is used for the joining of timber in the direction of its length, enabling the workman to produce a joint with a smooth or flush appearance on all its faces.


shutting joint

Shutting Joints

This page deals with the joint made by the upright rail of a door frame which carries the lock, or handle, generally called the "slamming stile."

tongue and groove joint

Tongued and Grooved Joint

The tongued and grooved joint is used in one form or another from the laying of flooring boards to the construction of dressers, bookcases and other cabinet work.

misc joints

Miscellaneous Joints

This page covers several joints found in the construction and cabinet making the trades.





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