The best builders in the world know how to work with wood. Used in making buildings, houses, furniture, and many other structures and objects, wood is an essential part of building.
To become an expert wood builder, you must master the fine art of joinery, or the method used to connect two pieces of wood together. Learning this art is necessary because most wood projects need more than one piece of wood, unless the object will be carved from a single solid piece of wood. Usually, joinery employs a variety of methods for connection, such as nails, wood glue, or screws. In some cases, the wooden object is held together without any of these materials and through the fit of the joints only.
Mastering the art of joinery can take years of practice. If you are just starting out, you should begin with the simplest of joints or joining techniques, and work your way towards more difficult or more intricate methods of joinery. If the project is important and you only have so much wood to use, you may be best off getting a Mansfield joiner to do the project.
Listed below are five types of joints as well as description of how they’re done.
1. The Box Joint
A box joint is similar to a dovetail joint, but much simpler in terms of execution. Box joints have rectangular “fingers” that interlock with each other along the edge of an object. Its a basic strong method of joinery, and is often used for hardwoods or thicker types of wood.
2. The Butt Joint
This is the most basic joint in the world of woodworking. It basically connects two pieces of wood by sticking the butt of one piece against the edge of another piece. These pieces are often held in place by mechanical fasteners. The only problem with a butt joint is that the wood grain of the piece with the exposed “butt” is usually seen, and this is not aesthetically pleasing. Most joiners use a mitered butt joint, which is similar to the but joint, except the ends of the butts are carved diagonally so that when joined together, the two pieces make a right angle.
3. The Dado Joint
Commonly used when building cabinets and shelves, or when working with plywood, this type of joint involves creating a slot in one piece of wood, and having another piece of wood fill in that slot. For example, the sides of a book case may have grooves into which the sides of the shelves will fit into, being joined together by a dado joint. In this manner, you’ve connected both pieces.
4. The Dovetail Joint
Perhaps the most famous joint of them all, the dovetail joint is said to be the most beautiful and at the same time the strongest joint in the world of joinery. These days, most dovetail joints are made with dovetailing jigs. It is seldom that you find wood joiners who still create their dovetail joints by hand. There are several types of dovetail joints: the classic dovetail, the mitered dovetail, rabbeted dovetails, half blind dovetails, and sliding dovetails.
5. The Half-lap Joint
When two boards need to be joined, using a half-lap joint is an option. Basically, half of each board so that when the two boards are joined together, they interlock or flush with each other. Half-lap joints are often used in dressers, desks, and (on occasion) floorboards. It is often recommended that rather thick pieces of wood are used for half-lap joints, so as to make sure that the wood doesn’t lose too much strength in being cut in half.