If you are a beginner in woodworking, then you are going to want to know what the types of woodworking joints are used for woodworking. Different types of woodwork require various joints to adjoin the pieces of wood together in an efficient and usable way.
By gaining a better understanding of woodworking joints, you will be better able to figure out how to create the joints that you need for each project that you are working on. Additionally, knowledge of woodwork joints will also help you to better choose furniture and other wooden made items, because you will understand the quality that was put into the joints of the wood.
Birdsmouth Joint – You may hear this joint referred to as a bird’s beak cut. This is when there is a V-shaped piece of the rafter that is cut out. This is where the wall-plate and the rafter connects, such as for roofing.
Bridle Joint – A bridle joint is also called an open tenon, tenon, and tongue and fork joint or open mortise. This joint forms a fork shape and the mate includes a necked joint or a through tenon. If you are making the top of a rafter or a window sill, this is the type of joint you would use.
Butt Joint – One of the weakest, yet simplest joints, the butt joint usually has two points that slide into two holes, where the two pieces of wood butt together. Many dressers and desks use this joint.
Dado Joint – This joint is also known as a trench joint or a housing joint. For this joint, the woodwork would have a slot against the grain and the other piece adjoins into it. Bookshelves sometimes have this type of joint, where the shelves of the bookshelf slide into the sides of the bookshelf.
Dovetail Joint – The dovetail is made of fingers with diagonal cuts that fit together perfectly. This joint is normally used for drawers of a dresser.
Groove Joint – This joint is similar to the dado joint, but instead of cutting the slot against the grain, it runs along with the grain.
Halved Joint – This joint is made by removing wood from both pieces that are to be joined at the point where they will intersect, creating an overlap.
Miter Joint – The miter joint is similar to the butt joint. The difference between a butt joint and a miter joint is that the pieces of wood of the miter joint often have a 45 degree beveled angle.
Mortise and Tenon – The tenon is a stubby end on the wood which slides tightly into the mortise (hole). This is an extremely strong joint used for frame and panels in cabinets, windows and doors.
Splice Joint – This joint attaches two pieces of wood at the ends.
Tongue and Groove Joint – There is a groove that cuts alongside the edge of each piece of wood, and then there is a ridge, which is called the tongue) that juts out of the other edge. This joint would be called a spline joint if the tongue is not attached to the wood.
Even if you are not into woodwork as a hobby, if you are purchasing a piece of furniture that is ready-made, the quality of the furniture lies in the woodworking joints that are utilized to attach the pieces of wood together. The above list explains the different joints and you can tell how strong they will be by reading the description.
If you are purchasing a dresser or desk that is made of quality wood, but has unreliable or weak joints like butt joints, you will know that the furniture will not last as long as it would if it had mortise and tenon joints.