Woodworking joints

Woodworking joinery  is the craft of connecting and securing the separate members of the wooden construction  to one another by means of specific cuts on the ends and/or sides of the members. Woodworking joint is the spot where the two pieces of wooden construction are joined together to form a rigid self supporting and permanent construction. Woodworking joints can be formed between the edges or between the end and the face, in the direction of the length, at right angles or it may be at an angle, other than a right angle. Various glues or fasteners (nails, screws, bolts…) are being used to increase the strength, effectiveness and rigidity of woodworking joints. Since the main purpose of woodworking joints is to join wooden parts together, their construction should be done carefully, so it would not weaken the parts that are joining.

To be able to successfully design your wooden construction is necessary to bear in mind two things: to know the right woodworking joint to use, and to know how to make that woodworking joint in the right way.

In order to finish some woodworking project you will have to take a large number of actions like project design, wood selection and preparation, finishing, but durability and sturdiness of your wooden construction will mostly depend on the choice and the manufacture of woodworking joints.

Every woodworking joint must fulfil important requirements:
-    It must support the load transmitted from other parts of wooden construction, or the load that has direct influence on the members of the woodworking joint. This load includes the weight of the construction itself, the external weight or the forces that influence your construction, various internal and residual stresses.
-    It must let the wood move as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity
-    It must provide suitable gluing surface or anchor for fasteners.

On some constructions the visual appearance is also important, so an additional requirement for woodworking joints is to be either decorative or unnoticeable. In both cases the woodworking joints must be properly and accurately crafted.

Each of these joints has a name and is usually some variation of a hole or slot on one timber, and a corresponding, matching projection on the other.

The purpose of our woodworking joints category is to introduce the basic types and methods of making woodworking joints to the amateur carpenters, and for the experienced carpenters to serve as a reminder, or to expand certain knowledge in this field, if needed.

There are many types of woodworking joints; some can be made easily and the others are quite difficult to make, but the practice will show you that the more complex the woodworking joint is, the stronger it is.

The quality woodworking joints can be manufactured with the hand tools, but if you need high productivity, you will have to rely on machines and power tools.

Woodworking joints can be divided into three categories, depending on the functions they perform:
-    Lengtening – To increase the effective length (Lap joint, end to end butt joint, scarf joints, end to end half lap and sloping halving joint, end to end finger joint and laminated joint)
-    Widening – To increase the width (tongue and groove joints, Butterfly key joint, edge to edge butt joints, dovetailed keys joint, edge to edge butt joints reinforced with dowels, biscuits and splines)
-    Framing - To terminate or to change direction (half lap joints, mortise and tenon joints, rabbet joints, dado joints, bridle joints, miter joints, dovetail joints, edge to face butt joints, end to edge butt joints, end to face butt joints)
Woodworking joints are usually divided into the following categories:


1. BRIDLE WOODWORKING JOINTS – A bridle joint is similar to a mortise and tenon woodworking joint, thought in most circumstances it would not be as strong. It is open ended mortise and tenon joint. A bridle joint is quick and easy to make, since most of the waste wood is removed with a saw.


2. BUTT WOODWORKING JOINTS – A butt joint is made by placing the end of one piece of wood against the side of another and fastening them firmly to each other. A butt joint is not very strong joint, but it can be reinforced in a number of ways.

- Types of reinforced butt joints

3. DADO WOODWORKING JOINTS – A dado joint is made by cutting a rectangular groove entirely across one member into which the end of another member fits. Dadoes are cut across the grain of the wood.

4. BUTTERFLY WOODWORKING JOINTS - A Butterfly joint is a type of woodworking joint used either to hold two or more pieces of wood together or to keep two halves of a board that have already started to split from splitting further. A butterfly joint resembles two dovetails connected at the narrow part.

5. DOVETAIL WOODWORKING JOINTS – Dovetail joints are so named from the shape of the piece which make the joint. This is propably the strongest method for joining two pieces of wood. The strength of the dovetail joint comes from the interlocking of the parts. There is a great variety of forms of dovetail joints.

6. FINGER WOODWORKING JOINTS - A finger joint or box joint is used to join two pieces of wood at a corner. It is similar to a dovetail joint except that the pins are square and not angled.

7. HALF LAP WOODWORKING JOINTS – A half lap joint consist of two members notched to half thickness and lapped on each other with the face flush.

8. MITERED WOODWORKING JOINTS – A miter joint is one formed by the meeting of two pieces at a corner, on a line bisecting the right angle. The same class of joint maz be used on angles greater or less than 90 degrees.

9. MORTISE AND TENON WOODWORKING JOINTS – A mortise and tenon joint is the method of joining by forming a solid rectangular projection in the one piece and cutting a corresponding cavity to receive it in the adjoining piece. The cavity is called mortise and the solid projection is called the tenon. There are a great manz modifications of this joint.

10. RABBET WOODWORKING JOINTS – A rabbet is a recess cut out of the end or edge of a board. When a piece is butted into a rabbet, it is called a rabbet joint.

11. SCARF WOODWORKING JOINTS – A scarf joint is formed where two pieces lap each other in the direction of the grain, with flush surfaces. This joint is so constructed as to resist tension and compression.

12. TONGUE AND GROOVE WOODWORKING JOINTS – A tongue and groove joint provide a mechanical means of joining the edges of narrow boards when forming a wider panel.






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