Plans & Ideas

Types of Timber Joints

Corner wood joints

Carpentry is one of the oldest professions and hobbies in the world. It’s making a resurgence in the modern era as people are beginning to appreciate the appeal of creating something with their own hands, away from the internet and computers.

There are a lot of reasons people take up carpentry. Some just enjoy it as a hobby to while away the hours while others enjoy creating useful pieces for the home which can save money. Others take the craft more seriously and push to become better or to eventually take it us as a profession.

Whatever your reason for taking up carpentry there is something you have to know to get you started, the different types of joints.

What is a joint?

A joint in wood is simply where two different pieces connect together. The shape and style of the joint will be determined by what it needs to do and often joints can look very different from woodwork to woodwork.

Generally joints are fixed together using glue, nails, screws or even staples as they rarely are able to stay connected on their own.

Types of Joints

There are a lot of different joints in woodwork and getting to grips with each is essential so that you can build the most sturdy pieces. Knowing the joints allows you to select the best option for your woodwork and therefore make the best product you can. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of joints:

● Tongue and Groove Joint

Named for the shape of the wood itself, tongue and groove joints are potentially the most common joints made. They work as one side of the wood has a groove notched into it, while the other has a thin piece of wood outstretched to slide into it. This lets the two pieces come together and fit perfectly, like in a puzzle. Tongue and groove joints are used in all kind of flooring and are especially common with laminate.

● Dovetail joint

Dovetail joints are some of the most solid joints around and are often to create sturdy and durable furniture. The work as notches are crafted into two ends of wood. It’s all about getting the notches precisely correct so that the two slides slot together, just like a puzzle. If they fit together perfectly it means the joint is secure, leaving no wiggle room. Dovetail joints are common in furniture and are popular because they need no other fasteners to keep them together.

● Mortise and Tenon Joint

A mortise and tenon joint is old school carpentry at it’s best. A small hole is cut into one side of the joint that allows the other side to slide right it (picture a USB stick sliding into a USB drive). Mortise and tenon joints remove the need for any glue or nails, and keep the joint on the inside of the woodwork, not showing any signs on the outside. One of the oldest and most reliable joints, it’s certainly one to remember.

Knowing the types of joints, the strengths and weaknesses and when to use them is an essential skill for any aspiring carpenter. Check out the full guide on joints here: