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03.02.2014
A glued butt joint is the weakest, a half-lap joint is stronger and adding screws creates an even stronger joint. A dado joint is stronger than nailing and gluing cross members together, such as for shelving in a bookcase or cabinet. The ends, fronts and backs of boxes, as used with cabinetry construction, are joined in a variety of ways. A stronger joint for these applications, and also a very traditional joint is the dovetail.
A more modern approach to edge-gluing is the use of small wooden biscuits and a biscuit cutter. Pocket-hole joints are extremely strong, quick and easy to make using the Kreg Pocket Hole tools. Tualatin, OR — October 1, 2014 — SawStop, LLC, the world leader in table saw safety, is celebrating 10 years of designing and manufacturing the world’s safest table saws.
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The pocket screw drill bit is stepped to simultaneously drill two different diameter holes. In this article, we'll show you how to set up the jig and assemble joints using pocket screws. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. The language of the joiner is filled with words that we know well from ordinary usage but here have new and distinct meanings: Lap, edge, butt, and finger joints are technical terms to woodworkers.
If you are just making your first foray into the land of the join­ers, you’d probably do best to start with a simple joint like a dado or a rabbet.
So here they are, the basic kinds of wood joints, in some­thing approaching simplest-to-hardest order. To put it another way, a miter joint is a butt joint that con­nects the angled ends of two pieces of stock. The rabbet joint is much stronger than a simple butt joint, and is easily made either with two table or radial-arm saw cuts (one into the face, the second into the edge or end grain) or with one pass through a saw equipped with a dado head. The dado joint is perfect for setting bookshelves into uprights, and can be fastened with glue and other fasteners. Lap joints can be cut with dado heads, as well as with standard circular sawblades on radial- arm or table saws. Though precise cutting of the fingers is essential, finger joints require only relatively simple ninety-degree cuts that can be made by hand or using a router, radial-arm, or table saw.
Finger joints, like dovetail joints, are sometimes used as a decoration, adding a contrast­ing touch as well as strength to the joined pieces. The good news is that there are some jigs on the market (though they’re hardly inex­pensive) that make layout and cutting dovetails a snap.
You can purchase Mortising bits to make clean and accurate mortise cuts.  Tenons can be made with various types of router bits or saws. Tip: Only half the width of the piece being mortised should be used to make the mortise-tenon joint. There is a wide variety of dovetail router bits that can create variying sizes of the mortise and tenons needed to create strong dovetail joints.  You can find great deals on quality dovetail bits for your Incra or Leigh machines. Dado Joints are made by cutting a slot (or Dado) into one piece of wood and the joining piece of wood into the dado.  There are several different types of dado joints.
Through Dado Joints are joints where the inserted board is visible on both the outside edges of the outside board. Dado Joints are most commonly used when making shelves, bookcases, etc.  You can make a nice clean dado cut in many different sizes with a Dado Set.


Miter Joints and Rabbet joints are often combined to create a corner lock joint for drawers and box corners.  You can find qualilty Rabbeting router bits, Miter Lock Router bits and even Corner Lock Router Bits (also called drawer lock router bits) that will help make creating these joints easy. Biscuit Joints are made by creating a slot in one piece of wood and creating football-shaped plate of pressed wood to insert into the slot and join the two pieces.  Biscuit joints are great for helping to align the wood, make glue-ups, and add strength to the joint. But traditionally, the strongest wood joint has been a mortise-and-tenon, including both a blind tenon and a “through” tenon. This consists of fingers of wood interjoining and creates a fairly sturdy joint, much better than nailing and gluing. This is often a method used to create backs for cupboards, not gluing the boards together, but holding them in a frame.
This utilizes screws fitted into angled holes in the stock to create extremely sturdy joints. The pocket screw system is so easy to use that even a novice woodworker can make strong, tight joints on the first try.
We'll show you techniques for assembling a face frame and a table leg and apron and for attaching shelf nosing. Less-expensive jigs that lack built-in clamps or alignment guides aren't worth messing with. Jeff Gorton, an editor at The Family Handyman, shows you how to use a $40 pocket screw jig (Kreig jig) that makes using pocket screws to assemble woodworking projects very easy. Also check the end cuts to make sure your miter box is properly adjusted to make perfectly square cuts.
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Joinery jargon gets still more compli­cated when you add in some other kinds of joints, like mortise-and-tenon, tongue-and-groove, dovetail, dowel, dado, spline, and rabbet. With the introduction of the biscuit or plate joiner, any number of these joints are strengthened or varied thanks to the presence of the little, football-shaped wafers.
When you join two squared-off pieces of wood, you’ve made a butt joint, whether the workpieces are joined edge to edge, face to face, edge to face, or at a cor­ner. The classic ex­ample is a picture frame, with its four butt joints, one at each corner, with the ends of all the pieces cut at a forty-five-degree angle, typically in a miter box. Mi­ter joints may also be fastened with nails, screws, dowels, or other mechanical fasteners.
A rabbet (or re­bate, as it is also known) is a lip or channel cut from the edge of a workpiece. A router or any one of several tradi­tional hand planes, including a plow plane, will also cut a rab­bet. A lap joint is formed when two pieces have recesses cut into them, one recess in the top surface of one piece, the second in the lower surface of the other.
Dovetail shaped laps are sometimes used to join the ends of pieces to the midsection of others (dovetail half-laps). Gluing is usual, though other fasteners, including dowels or wooden pins, are also common with lap joints. A spline is a thin strip, usually of wood, that fits snugly into grooves on surfaces to be joined. Flooring, bead-board, and a variety of other milled, off-the-shelf stock are sold with ready-made tongues and grooves on opposite edges.
For rougher work, as with certain kinds of novelty siding and subroof or sheathing boards, the stock is face-nailed. The mortise is the hole or slot (or mouth) into which a project­ing tenon (or tongue) is in­serted. It’s also one of the most challeng­ing to make, requiring careful layout and the investment of considerable cutting and fit­ting time.
These joints may be used to create frames for frame-and-panel doors, for dust webs, or drawer supports, and even in basic furniture framing, such as legs and rails for tables and chairs.
Dovetails may also be “through,” which means you can see both ends of the stock, or stopped.


A doweling jig, drill and bits are used to bore precisely located holes to align the stock.
Inset panels between legs such as on nightstands, desks and others can be joined with this tactic.
It works like this: You clamp the pocket hole jig onto your workpiece and drill angled holes with the special stepped drill bit. Not to men­tion such combination joints as cross laps, dado rabbets, dove­tail laps, and keyed miters. Pretty soon you will find that it’s fun to figure out which will work best for a given project or a particular application. A butt joint is the simplest to make, requiring little shap­ing beyond cuts made to trim the workpiece to size. A typical rabbet joint is one in which a second piece is joined to the first by setting its end grain into the rabbet. Some cabinetmakers differentiate between groove and dado joints, insisting that grooves are cut with the grain, dadoes across.
The waste material removed is usually half the thickness of the stock, so that when the shaped areas lap, the top and bottom of the joint arc flush. The edges can also be shaped with table or ra­dial-arm saws; in the past, matching hand planes did the job. Glue is used only infrequently, as one of the chief advantages of a tongue-and-groove joint is that it al­lows for expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and moisture content.
Most often, the mortise and tenon are both rectilinear in shape, but round tenons and matching mortises are to be found.
As early as the sixteenth century, this joint was identified by its resemblance to bird anatomy.
Its shape is a re­versed wedge, cut into the end grain of one piece, that fits into a corresponding mortise on a second workpiece.
The latter is often used on drawers where a more economical wood is used on the sides with a finer wood for the front. Then you simply align the two pieces to be joined and drive a pocket screw at an angle into the pocket to connect your pieces.
The kit includes everything you'll need to get started: a pocket hole jig, a special stepped drill bit and stop collar, a 6-in.
Rabbet joints are frequently used to recess cabinet backs into the sides, or to reduce the amount of end grain visible at a corner. Whatever you want to call them, grooves or dadoes are cut easily with a dado head on a radial arm or table saw. Once the surfaces to be joined have been cut to fit, a table saw can be used to cut matching kerfs. The mortise-and-tenon joint is harder to shape than other, simpler joints (both pieces require considerable shaping), but the result is also a great deal stronger.
Dove­tails are traditionally used to join drawer sides and ends and, in the past, for many kinds of casework furniture. Following are some basic super-strong wood joints, both traditional and modern, and instructions on how to make them. The result is a tight joint that's as strong as a doweled or mortise-and-tenon joint but takes a fraction of the time to assemble. Buy Kreg jigs at woodworking stores or on-line, or shop for a high-quality pocket hole jig with similar features. Mortises can be cut using a mortising machine, a mortising accessory in a drill press, or by drilling a series of holes with a drill press and cleaning up the cuts with a chisel. Adding a peg to the mortise and tenon joint creates an even stronger joint—one that is used to join timbers in timber-frame construction.



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