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A simple wood or timber can create many kinds of custom made things. Shop-

built or designs for interiors like boxes, cabinets, chairs and others were such products

that could be made from wood. But this could only happen if the wood itself undergone

the process of joinery. Two or more smooth or even surfaces must be joined or well fitted

with another piece of timber to form a shape that would customize the need to have

wooden creations.

Based on a reliable source in the Internet, wood joints are used in millwork

construction. Then what is millwork? The term millwork refers to wood components

designed for interior finish construction. These are fixtures or furniture designed for

residential or commercial projects. It needs to be built in a millwork shop.

Wood fixtures or furniture needed to be joined varies on its size; therefore the

kind of joint to be used must be well chosen so that the finished product will be

satisfying. Wood fixtures or furniture are both built in millwork shop, some are made in

an open space since a lot of cuttings was done. Some bigger wooden creations like

wooden interiors for finishing are made by parts and later transported, assembled, and

finished to the location.

A custom wood product must consider its longevity to be regarded as useful.

Therefore the strength on how pieces of timber or wood joint together need to be aware

of. The millwork products or wood fixtures or furniture can be joined in different types

depending on how it should be used.

Many classifications of wood joints are made to serve a particular purpose. Wood

joints have to give a fixed attachment or it must have done neatly, but its main purpose

was that wood joints must be durable.

The term paper aims to give valuable information regarding the different

classifications of wood joints to easily determine what kind of wood joints will be used

depending on the type of wood job a person needed to finish. The time allotted to made

the job, the durability of the wood products as wood joints are used, difficulty in making

the joints, neatness and styles are taken into consideration in wood joints and will be

discussed in the next part.


Joinery is a technique by which pieces of wood are assembled. Joinery has variety

of joints that can be divided into two general classes based on the way they are joined

composed of plain or butt joints and lap joints. These general classifications can easily

differentiate. Plain or butt joints are known as the simplest of all joints which means it is

the easiest of all to make. It is rather weak compared by lap joints unless strengthened by

using glue, nails or corner blocks. On the other hand lap joint is any of various joints

between two members, as timbers, in which an end or section of one is partly cut away to

be overlapped by an end or section of the other, often so that flush surfaces result.

Butt joints are not recommended for hardwood unless pilot holes and screws or

dowels are used to hold them together. Butt joints can be used on corners or as dividers.

When nailing or screwing but joints use corner or miter clamps to hold the two pieces in


To well illustrate butt joints, different types are divided according to the


1. Straight joint is a joint between two timbers which are laid edge to edge without a

tongue and groove, dowels, or overlap to bind them; also called a square joint.

2. Dowel joint is essentially a butt joint which is strengthened by wooden pegs

called dowels which are pushed into both pieces of wood as they are glued.

Dowel joints can also be used to make partitions. If the dowel holes are 'blind', the

dowels are completely hidden. Dowel pin is used for connecting two wooden

members, each of which has aligned dowel holes. It is preferably comprises an

elongated body having a plurality of longitudinally aligned truncated cone

sections, extending from the midsection of the body, the conical surfaces of the

cone sections being tapered toward the opposite ends of the pin body.

3. Corner joints are an L-shaped joint formed by two members positioned

perpendicular to each other.

4. Miter joints are always cut to 45° in a miter box so that they will form a 90°

corner when joined. As no end wood is ever seen these are very neat joints but

they are weak. Normally used for picture frames where they are nailed with panel

pins. When used for other purposes they must be strengthened with glue blocks,

angle braces or loose tongues. Miter joints should always be glued. When nailing

a miter joint always start the nail with one part of the miter above the other. The

nails will pull the miter into square.

5. Feather Joint is a joint between two closely fitting boards which have been

squared and butted against each other; a groove is cut along the length of each

board in which a common tongue is fitted.

6. Spline is a thin strip of plywood or wood that is glued into a special groove to

strengthen a miter joint.

The different types of butt joints were not formed in paragraph and were enumerated

to be easily noticed and understand their differences.

Straight Dowel Corner Miter

Feather Spline

Figure1. Different classifications of butt joints

Figures are given to illustrate the different types of butt joints clearly since plain

texts in explaining are not enough to give explanation.

Next is lap joint which is made by laying one piece on top of another. This can be

used either in an aspect or lengthwise joint. Lap joints can be made manually with a saw

and chisel, on a table saw or radial arm saw with a dado blade, or with a router besides a

straight bit. It is much stronger than the butt joint and has a more professional appeal.

Just like butt joints, lap joints composed of different types or classification. These


1. Dado joint which is also known as the housed joint, this type of pad is most

popularly used in forging bookcases, shelves, and drawers. This joint does not

need the benefit of any glue or screw to hold it in place. To make a dado joint, a

cut in one piece of wood receives the end of the other cut part of the wood.

2. Scarf joints are joints made by notching the ends of two pieces of timber so that

they will lock together end-to-end. It can be classified according to the nature of

stresses they are to resist such as compression, tension, bending, combination of

compression and tension, and lastly combination of tension and bending.

3. Mortise and Tenon is used to join two members perpendicularly. A rectangular

meaning from the end of one piece called the tenon fits snugly into the mortise cut

in the second piece. This strong and traditional joint pledge is made even stronger

by adding a peg. This is commonly used in antique furniture building.

4. Dove Tail is a very strong joint but is also a very difficult joint to cut. It has very

good mechanical strength which is increased if it is glued.

5. Tongue and Groove, also known as the finger joint, this joint allows for wood

shrinkage, it's great for floors and paneling. Long tapered tongues or fingers that

interlock join two pieces of medium lengthwise. A high powered router is used to

model a groove in the edge of one piece and a tongue on the particular to fit into

the kick.

Dado Scarf Mortise and Tenon

Tongue and Groove Dove Tail

Figure2. Different classifications of lap joints

Aside from butt joints and lap joints there are many wood joints which are further

subcategorized into other divisions from the general classes. Based on different

references, many wood joints were distinguished. Some will have several variations, such

as middle, lap, half lap, and end lap. A combination will fortify a connection. For

example: multiple dovetails, a dado, tongue and rabbet, a dado and rabbet, a barefaced

tongue and groove and so on. Some of those are the following:

1. Stake-leg joint - this joint uses a through tenon that is pierced by a wedge. The

wedge expands the tenon, forcing a tight joint. Typically, the wedge is made

longer than the tenon, and then cut off level with the surface after the joint is


2. Rebated joint is a groove and is cut into one piece and a shaped protrusion is cut

on the second piece. The protrusion of one fits into the groove of the other. The

groove must be cut to match the "tongue". The rabbet joint is frequently used in

cabinetwork, although finer pieces generally feature a mitered rabbet joint, which

produces a neater appearance.

3. Cross halving joint is type of wood joint is used where two pieces of a framework

cross. It is similar to the corner and tee halving joints, and can also be

strengthened with dowels or screws if necessary.

4. Tee-Halving Joint is used to make Tee's or separators in frameworks. It is quite

strong but the tee can slide apart if pulled.

5. Dovetail Halving Joint This joint is much stronger than the Tee Halving as it can

withstand pulling of the cross member. It is a difficult joint to cut accurately.


Until the process of wood fixtures and furnitures are made, many types of wood

joints will be discovered that could have been useful or better than that of the wood joints

discussed in the body of this term paper. Lap joints are much better compared to butt

joints since strength and durability mostly matter. However, if the process of making lap

joints even in what kind a person chose whether it is a dado joint or dove tail or others, if

the two timbers that are to be joined did not fit, then the strength will not be satisfied any


Butt joints like miter, dowel, feather, and the like can be made easily. On the

contrary, these are weaker. To make it durable, glue, nails and some woods are needed.

Lap joints can be use without the applying one of these materials.

In wood joinery, skills and patience must be needed. Some fittings and

connections especially in lap joints are hard to make for example are wedge like cuts and

diagonal cuts. One must be careful such that the other wood must be cut in a way that it

will fit accordingly to the other. If it has been done successfully, a smooth or perfected

surface will be the result.

Even though many joints are available for woods, some are just the same in

purpose. They just differ in the design and way of fitting. Wood joints are named

differently but based on the information gathered, others have just differ names but when

the figure was given its just the same.

It is not always that a person must choose what kind of wood joint he/she will be

using; it also depends on the size of the wood. Some wood fixtures are big enough that
could serve as frames and needs a very strong wood joint. You can’t just choose butt

joints since it’s easy to make but consider its strength.


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