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Joinery is one of the most sophisticated disciplines in woodworking - regarded as 'engineering with timber' by joinery professionals.

Therefore, as an avid woodworker, it makes sense that you have a range of different joinery types that you pull from your mental toolbox at any given moment.

So when you've got all your materials, tools and ideas at the ready, which join do you ultimately use? And which is the best for your next project?

To help you out, Woodshop Direct have carved out a list of the most useful joints you can use right now!

Butt Joint

What is a butt joint?

The easiest type of joint you have at your disposal. All you need to do is take your two pieces of Woodshop timber and simply 'butt' the ends together at a right angle with a suitable fast-grab wood glue. This joint can also be adhered using dowels, screws or nails for a stronger end result.

What is a butt joint used for?

For projects with low strength demands such as boxes, chests, cabinets, picture frames, toys etc.

Mitered Butt Joint

What is a mitered butt joint?

Similar to a butt joint, but with a more visually appealing twist! This joint requires you to 'butt' end pieces of wood together except the pieces have been sawn to an angle. The purpose of this is to hide any unsightly end grain from being seen, therefore improving the beautiful finish of your project.

What is a mitered butt joint used for?

For projects with low strength demands such as boxes, chests, cabinets, picture frames, toys etc.

Biscuit Joint

What is a biscuit joint?

Keeping with the edge joinery theme, biscuit joints take the basic principles of butt joinery and give it added strength. This join works by slotting a special disk of wood called a biscuit into a pre-made groove - this method relies on adhesion from the glue and the expansion of the biscuit reacting with the glue to create a tightly fitted join.

What is a biscuit joint used for?

For projects that require additional strength such as cabinets, chairs, tabletops, chests and heavy frames.

Biscuit joints will provide you with a strong, high-quality bond when in contact with a woodworking adhesive which causes the biscuit to expand inside its pre-cut slot for an even tighter fit.

Woodshop Direct stock both branded and unbranded beach biscuit joints in packs of 100 to use with any corresponding project.

Rabbet Joint

What is a rabbet joint?

A Rabbet is the name given to a section of wood that is cut out of the end of a piece of timber either by hand or using a machine tool. The rabbet allows two edges of wood to fit flush together giving additional strength to your project.

What is a rabbet joint used for?

Assembling cabinets and similar box-shaped frames that require a more durable construction.

Pocket Joint

What is a pocket joint?

A pocket joint starts by butting two pieces of wood together and drilling in an angled recess called a pocket hole which allows a screw to be inserted. The drilling process requires a huge level of precision and accuracy but is still a great choice for certain projects that require a super tight, reinforced joint.

What is a pocket joint used for?

Face frames, cabinets, table leg rails, curved and bevelled corner units, picture frames and more.

Dado Joint

What is a dado joint?

A dado is simply a square-shaped groove that allows a piece of wood to slot neatly inside the recess.  This means the surrounding frame can therefore support the slotted piece without the need of additional fixing methods, although an adhesive could be used if necessary.

What is a dado joint used for?

Affixing bookcases shelves to the wooden frame surround.

Dovetail Joint

What is a dovetail joint?

Dovetail joints are by far the most elaborate and decorative on our list. The join is achieved by creating a series of trapezoidal tails and pins cut into two pieces of wood which interlock for a beautiful and super strong finish, especially when combined with glue.  This joint has many different variations, from the through dovetail to the half-blind and secret mitred dovetail.

What is a dovetail joint used for?

Dovetail joints can be used on large log or timber houses, cabins and drawers, decorative boxes and other pieces of furniture where strength is a central requirement.

Finger Joint

What is a finger joint

A finger joint is the less aesthetically appealing but simpler and arguably more practical relative to the dovetail joint. The main difference is where the dovetail has angled pins, the finger joint has square pins instead - it will require glue however to give strength to this joint.

What is a finger joint used for?

Drawers, mouldings, boxes, cabinets, door construction.

Post By Ed Mason