Wood Joinery

      The need to produce a higher volume has brought in a new era of staples and glue. Using simple wood joinery such as butt joints still a form of  joinery. But a few out there still practice and use finer methods of wood joinery. Such as dovetails, mortise and tenon and locking miter joints that is used in finer woodworking. If you do not use the finer wood joinery. You may want to up your game and practice some of them. It can make your woodworking project look much nicer.
Below you will see some of the joinery techniques still used in woodworking today.

Half Blind Dovetail

Wood Joinery   Half blind dovetail: this is a dovetail that can only be seen from one side. And mainly used for assembling drawers and draw fronts. I like using this type of wood joint for the back of drawers.  They are a fairly strong wood joint. You will see this type of wood joinery on traditional and high end furniture. You can cut theses by hand, but will take a lot of skill to do. See how we cut this wood joint.




Wood Joinery

     Miter joints are easy to make. All you do is cut two boards at 45 degree angles to make a 90 degree. Even though this joint is easy to make it is also weak unless you use biscuit or splines. To give it some strength and in case the glue fails. They are good for picture frames, boxes and they make nice door frames for cabinets. You can cut these wood joints with a miter saw power or by hand. And you could use a table saw with a sled. Just use good glue. Tip makes sure you have a good miter gauge to check your cuts. It doesn’t take much to put your project out of squarer. When you consider you are making eight cuts to make a frame, that’s a lot of room for mistakes.  This is why some use a miter sled to make their cuts.


   Half lap joints are easy to make, you can use a table saw, router table and shaper. It’s just two pieces with half the stock removed. So when you place them together each piece will lap over each other. This gives a little more glue surface and makes a fairly strong joint. This type of joint looks good on rustic style frame work. If you use a table saw you may need to make a jig. To hold the work piece square when cutting. You can join a piece to the middle of another by cutting a half lap in one piece. And a datto in the other. Some call this type of wood joint a tee lap.


Wood Joinery

     A rabbet joint is when you cut half of one or both ends of the wood, similar to the dado joint with one side open. The rabbet joint is a weak joint not much better than the butt joint. And good for small wood projects or wood joints that don’t require a lot of strength.  Some of the tools needed to make this type of wood joint. Would be a router table or shaper, table saw with or without a dado blade.


Wood Joinery

     Box joints are similar to dovetail. But the cuts are strait unlike the dovetails which are cut in more of a V pattern. The box joints are not as strong as the dovetail and do not lock together. But relies more on the glue to provide most of its strength. The box joint still makes an attractive joint because of the end grain will turn a different shade when stained. This makes it stand out more giving the finish the two tone effect. You can also use different types of wood, giving more contrast to the finished product. These types of wood joints are easy to cut, by hand or on a table saw with a dado blade. If you are just beginning woodworking this would be a good wood joint to start on.


     Pocket screw joints are becoming more popular with every passing day. Due to the fact it’s one of the easiest wood joints you can make. And all the different ways it can be used. You will need some kind of jig to drill the holes; the most popular one is the Kreg pocket jig.
(Video on Kreg Jig ). A kit will cost around $100 and you can buy it by the piece. There is a lot you can do with this joint. For one thing you can make cabinet boxes, faces frames and assemble draws just to name a few. Take a look at the  Shop Cabinet  and the Gun Cabinet we made with pocket screws.
How to make: You first start by cutting your pieces, make sure they are cut square. Then put then in the jig and drill the holes, after drilling make sure the holes are cleaned out. Add your glue and then clamp the pieces together. Shoot the screws in, after your finished let the glue dry.  This is one wood joint you can use a lot.




  The dado wood joints for one thing is no more than a grove cut across one board so another board can fit into it. This gives more surface area for glue up and will give added strength to the project you are making. To point out this type of wood joint is widely used on fixed shelving and cabinetry just to name a few.  You can cut dados by hand. But the most common practice today is a dado blade on a table saw or with a router. The dado is a wood joint you need to learn.  We use a dado blade on the table saw to cut this type of wood joint.




 The sliding dovetail joint, this type of Wood Joinery is no more than a fancy mortise and Tenon joint. It’s when you cut a Tenon joint or tail in one end of a board. And a mortise or slot of the same shape on another. In the first place the sliding dovetail is a strong locking wood joint and can be used for dividers. As well as shelving and attaching table legs, just to name a few. When done correctly it will give a distinguished look to any woodworking project and a sign of quality. The sliding dovetail is a great wood joint. And one the beginning wood worker should learn to cut by hand or by use of a jig.


Locking miter wood joints are a very strong and helps align the work piece when gluing up. To put it another way it’s a 45 degree cut with a tongue and grove in the center. Not used often by small or beginning wood workers. In fact it’s because this type of wood joinery is very difficult in setting up. And you will need a router table or a shaper to make this cut. To emphasize this is a good joint for boxes and by using different wood. You can get a great looking contrast in any woodworking project.

To see what you can use the locking miter look at our  blanket chest plans


See      Half Blind Dovetail

 Go to  Woodworking for Beginners