Types Of Wood Joinery You Should Know

In this issue, we'll cover the different types of wood joinery you might find in a house. The choices you make here will have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your home. In addition, these choices can save you money on maintenance and repair bills.

Butt Joint

A butt joint is a square cut in one piece of wood that is joined to a square cut in another piece of wood. It is the most common type of woodworking joint. 

They provide a place to store things like dishes, cups, silverware and other kitchen utensils. They also provide a place to store food and drink items.

And finally, they provide a place to display ornaments, pictures, trophies and other things of value. All of these uses require the cabinet to be sturdy and of good quality. Sturdy means the cabinet can with stand the abuse which it will receive from being used every day for many years. Abuse could include moisture, heat, dust, dirt, food particles, grease, oils, moisture, temperature extremes, impacts,...

Mitered Butt Joint 

A mitered butt joint is a method of joining two pieces of wood at an angle other than 90°. This joint can be used to form corners, inside and outside corners, and even mitered boxes. The joint itself consists of a 45° angled cut made with a 45° angle cutting tool or saw.

This cut allows the flat sides of the two pieces of wood to abut each other. Then, a third cut (called a “mitered cut”) is made at a 45° angle from the outside corner of one piece of wood, across the joint and down into the other piece of wood.

Half-Lap Joint

The half-lap joint is identical to the miter joint, but the joint is half as wide. The half-lap joint is commonly used on drawer sides.

Drawer sides are constructed by cutting a piece of stock to length, and then folding it over on itself so the two halves lap together. A single screw or a couple of small nails are driven through the faces of the two halves, and into the bottom face of the underlying stock.

This construction makes the joint very strong. It also makes the joint very easy to construct. Simply cut the pieces to length, lay them on top of each other with their faces overlapping, and fasten the pieces together with a screw or a couple of nails. That's all there is to it. But, there is a slight disadvantage to this joint. You see, when two pieces of wood lap together, they create a very tight seal.

Pocket-hole Joint

Pocket-hole joints are much better than lapped joints because they create a lot more surface area. That allows it to absorb a lot more pressure. Pocket-hole joints are also stronger because they have more wood in them.

They are also much faster to dry and much harder to warp or crack. Lapped joints have almost no surface area so they can't absorb nearly as much pressure. Also, a lap joint is actually two pieces of wood glued together with a piece of wood in between.

That creates a very weak area where the wood can split or warp. Lapped joints dry out much slower than pocket-hole joints. This is especially true if you use an exterior glue like epoxy. And since they are weaker, lapped joints will warp and split much more easily than a pocket-hole joint. You see, when you drill a pocket-hole joint, you are actually creating two channels. One channel is for the wood fibers to move into and the other channel is for the glue to move into. This makes your joint stronger because the glue has something else to move into.

Tongue and Groove Joint

A tongue and groove joint is when two pieces of wood are joined together to create a continuous surface. It is used often when building a deck or other outdoor structures. It is very strong and durable and is water resistant.

The joint is also known as a “wavy” or “picket” joint. There are many different kinds of tongue and groove joints but there are three main types: butt joint, scarf joint and quarter round joint. Butt Joint The butt joint is the most common type of tongue and groove joint.

It is also known as a plain lap joint or just a lap joint. It is so named because it is formed by having the edges of the boards meet at right angles. This joint is very strong but it has a number of drawbacks. One big drawback is that it allows for very little movement between the boards which makes the structure weak in areas where movement is needed most like doors and windows. Also, when you have a butt joint the surface of the deck or other structure is not smooth and continuous. This makes it more vulnerable to water damage.

Dado Joint

A dado joint is made by cutting a groove in one piece of wood with the same width as that of another piece. When the pieces are glued together the groove will be hidden by the other piece. This type of joint is often used in cabinets and furniture.

It is also commonly used in construction when laying out a subfloor and then installing wall-to-wall carpet over the flooring. The groove in which the dado joints are cut must be wide enough for the thickness of the wood plus a little extra to allow for glue squeeze-out.

If it's not wide enough, the floor covering will be pulled up slightly around the edges of the joints during installation. This creates an unsightly and very difficult-to-remove bump. Dado Joints: A dado joint is made by cutting a groove in one piece of wood with the same width as that of another piece. When the pieces are glued together the groove will be hidden by the other piece. This type of joint is often used in cabinets and furniture. It is also commonly used in construction when laying out a subfloor and then installing wall-to-wall carpet over the flooring.

Biscuit Joint

The biscuit joint is a technique used mostly in furniture and cabinetry. It is a way to create a sturdy glue joint without the need for clamps.

There are two basic types of biscuit joints: Through and double. The difference is simple: Through means the biscuit goes through the surface of the wood; double means it goes both sides. Which one you use depends on how the pieces of wood are going to be joined together. If they're going to be joined at right angles, like when you're making a box, you almost always want a double biscuit joint.

Through is slightly stronger than double, but only if the glue has set up properly. That's why it's important to use biscuits whenever possible. They make your life easier! After you clamp everything in place, let everything sit for 24-hours and then remove the clamps. The joint should be loose enough to slide out with no resistance. 

Mortise and Tenon Joint

The mortise and tenon joint is probably the most common joint when building furniture. The two pieces fit together like puzzle pieces, with the tenon fitting snugly into the mortise. The mortise is on the top piece of wood and the tenon on the bottom piece.

Mortise and tenon joints are very strong and can be used for just about any type of joinery. They are also fairly easy to make. 

What you need: Two identical pieces of wood, one slightly larger than the other.

You want the pieces to be as similar in size as possible. If not, one of the pieces will end up being a little “weak” and break when the joint is stressed. Next, mark out a 1/4 inch deep X where the tenon will go on the bottom piece of wood. Next, use a router and a straight bit to create the mortise in the top piece of wood. Then, cut the tenon so it fits into the mortise. Apply some glue to the joint and clamp the pieces together. Sand the joint to smooth out any rough edges and let the glue dry. Now, you need to make sure these joints are as strong as possible.

Later, when you remove the clamps, the joint should be loose enough to slide out without any resistance. Let the joint sit for 24-hours and then remove the clamps. The joint should be totally tight. If it's not, your glue is not set properly and you should start over.

Rabbet Joint

A rabbet joint is simply a groove that runs along the edge of one piece of wood that is filled with another piece of wood. This is a great way to connect plywood, particle board, or any other edge-glued piece of wood.

Later, you can fill in the groove with wood filler and finish the project. What you need: One piece of wood that has an edge that needs to be glued or nailed to something. (The piece with the rabbet should be slightly larger than the piece that will have the rabbet.

Lastly, cut a second piece of wood to match the size of the piece with the rabbet. Apply some glue or nail the pieces together and let them dry. Now, run a router with a round-over bit (1/4 inch) over the entire length of the joint. Sand the joint and fill any gaps with wood filler.

Dovetail Joint

The dovetail joint is used to join the ends of two boards, or to make boxes. The angle of the joint varies, depending on the kind of box you are making. Lap Joint: The lap joint is used to join two boards.

It is important that the boards being joined be at a right angle. The joint is made by cutting both boards so they fit together like a puzzle piece, and then nailing or stapling them together.

When using this joint, cut the boards so their ends overlap by about 1/2". You can either have the narrowest part of the joint (the "trail") on the outside of the box, or the widest part (the "head") on the inside of the box. The choice is yours. Closest Part: This joint is used to join two boards that are parallel to each other.

First, cut one board so it is slightly longer than the other. Mark the long board and cut it at the marks. Then cut the other board the same length as the first board. Finally, lay the two boards side-by-side and nail or staple them together with the ends overlapping.

Half-Blind Dovetail

The half-blind dovetail is a reduced form of the through dovetail. It is used to join two boards that are parallel to each other, but whose edges are not aligned. It is the only joint used to join boards that are not exactly the same thickness.

The joint is made by cutting both pieces at a 45 degree angle to their long dimension. Then, one of the boards is beveled (angled) to fit against the other board which has not been beveled. This joint is strong because it has three wood-to-wood contact surfaces for every two surfaces in the other joints.

The joint should be about 1/8” to 3/16” wide and as long as necessary to span the distance between the two boards. If the joint is too short, it will be weak; if it is too long, it will be very weak. The joint is tightened by driving a wooden wedge between the boards with a hammer. The wedge should be driven until the boards are snugly fitted together with no space between them. When the boards are tight against each other, they should be clamped or screwed together so they cannot move. This joint can be used to join any thickness of material and can be used on both faces of the material.

Sliding Dovetail Joint

A sliding dovetail joint is simply a through dovetail joint with the top and bottom boards removed. This is usually done when the piece is assembled and clamped. It is a very strong joint and allows for movement in any direction it is designed to move.

On the other hand, this joint type has one distinct disadvantage; it is quite difficult to make dovetails look good. In fact, it is almost impossible to get the tails of adjacent boards to match up exactly. This makes the joint look sloppy and unfinished.

To help solve this problem, you can glue the joint or, if you are really serious about making it perfect, you can "file" the tails of the mating boards to a razor-edge. The disadvantage of the sliding dovetail joint is that it allows for movement in all directions. Therefore, it is used primarily where strength is more important than beauty.

Box Joint

A box joint is like a rabbet joint but, it has a much more pronounced shoulder. It is always made on the end of the board. There are different types of box joints depending on the arrangement of the fingers on the pieces.

It is often used as an expansion joint to allow boards to expand and contract without causing the finger joints to become loose. 

A box joint is also used to make a strong joint that will not split or crack. When a finger joint is made with a box joint, it is very important to keep the wood together as much as possible. Make sure all the parts of the finger joint are tight against each other. Also, you must use a lot of glue when making a box joint. If you do this, your joint will be much stronger than one made with a rabbet joint.

Bridle Joint

A bridle joint is one in which a piece of wood is used to reinforce a mortise and tenon joint. The bridle piece is wedged into the mortise, and the tenon is then glued into the mortise, keeping the joint very strong.

A bridle joint is especially useful when you are constructing a joint that will be subject to heavy stress, such as the top of a table or a shelf unit.Although a bridle joint adds extra strength to a joint, it does not eliminate the need for glue. 

Therefore, it is still important to keep the parts of the joint tightly pressed together.  If they are not, the joint may come apart. Half-Dovetail Joint This joint is also known as an undercut dovetail joint. It is used mainly for decorative purposes. It has the appearance of a half-moon cut into the end of a board.

Finger Joints

Finger joints are the most common type of joint used in woodworking and are often used in the construction of picture frames. There are many types of finger joints, but a finger joint is a dovetail joint that has been cut at an angle. Finger joints are commonly used in the construction of boxes.

Meanwhile, here is a description of the most common type of finger joint: A single dovetail joint has two tails that project from the sides of the joint. These tails interlock with each other when the joint is assembled. The joint is held together by four screws driven through the tails and into the sides of the box.


How to identify wood joint?

The wood joint can be identified by the appearance of it. Usually, the wood joint is inside the joint.

How to attach wood boards together?

You can make wood boards together by bolting or screwing, but should be pay attention to the position of bolt. 

How are wood joints held together?

A variety of different joints are used to hold wood objects together. Each joint is made up of two or more components that are fastened together in a specific manner. The joint creates a mechanical connection between the components that can withstand the forces that tend to pull the components apart.


There are different kinds of wood joinery that you can use to create various types of furniture. These types of joints are used to create different types of furniture such as desks, tables, beds and wardrobes. You can learn more about these types of joints by reading the full article above.

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