Whatever woodworking project you're starting, you can bet there's a perfect corresponding joint to go with it - but which one should you go for?
With so many different options to choose from, Woodshop Direct have narrowed down the list to our top 5 most reliable, useful joints to make sure you get the job done right every time.
A simple and effective woodworking joint, the Butt Joint is an easy option that everyone should know. Named after the action of butting the wood together to join it, this may be considered the weakest options on our list but it does prove effective when applied to basic jobs where the finished article will be exposed to a limited amount of weight and stress. To reinforce your butt joint you can use nails, or better still, dowels with a wood adhesive.
Still looking to reinforce your butt joint? Biscuits are elliptical shaped pieces of dried wood that have been subtly compressed during the manufacturing process. Each biscuit is placed into a mortise - cut into your timber of choice - with added adhesive - to create a simple and extra strong joint. Biscuit joints are so effective because you don't have to be that accurate with cutting the mortises as you can slide the biscuits around until you get the perfect join. Additionally, biscuits expand when they come into contact with glue making the joint itself even more tight and secure.
The bridle joint uses timber to function just like a mortise and tenon - locking together to create a study, neat and sleek looking joint that provides good strength in compression. Commonly used for frames, legs, stiles and rails, the slotting elements can be glued easily for a super strong and sturdy construction but depending on your job, the construction can be left unglued and still remain fairly stable. You can make use of either a corner bridle or a T-bridle for benches and tables - helping to retain a strong structural base for your chosen project.
You may have noticed this joint on log cabins and other timber framing, but a dovetail can also prove essential for more scaled down woodworking projects. Offering brilliant tensile strength, the dovetail joint is commonly seen on unit drawer fronts that are subject to frequent, everyday use. The timber material is made with interlocking pins and tails cut with a trapezoidal shape, giving your project a strong, impressive and aesthetically pleasing look. Works brilliantly on many different types of furniture, from drawers to jewellery boxes, cabinets and many other box constructions.
A relative of the dovetail joint, finger joints are named as such because of their straight, as opposed to angled pins featured on the dovetail joint. Finger joints do not lock into place with the efficacy of the dovetail design and therefore do require gluing to bond effectively, however, finger joints are far simpler and quicker to cut using a table saw or router table.