Jardines Joinery Cheshire- Woodworking basics

Woodworking basics – Joinery

As a novice woodworker, there are some basic terms you may already have heard of before, but do not have a great deal of knowledge about. Whether you are going to undertake a joinery project yourself, or would like to know more about what the joiner you have hired is going to be doing, this article will help you gain a greater understanding of joinery. The term ‘joinery’ refers to the usage of various types of joints that connect to other pieces of wood, in turn creating a stronger, more complex wood structure that can be used for furniture, flooring or anything at all made of wood.

Depending on what is being put together, a range or combination of woodworking joints will be used. Some of the joints that a joiner may use include; butt, miter, lap and dovetail. The selection of a joint will depend on the purpose they are going to be serving. A joint will be chosen depending on the level of strength, flexibility, simplicity and type of purpose. These joints differ in the connection, for example, some use nails, screws or dowels, whilst others simply use glue.

A ‘butt joint’ is the most simple to put together, which is simply the connection of one piece of wood to another at a right angle. It is a very simple type of joint and is usually held together with screws or nails.  If dowels are used, the joint will then become a ‘dowel reinforced butt joint’. This means instead of using screws or nails, dowels and glue is used.

A ‘miter joint’ is similar to the butt joint, but instead of being put together at a right angle, it connects at a ’45 degree’ angle. This is also a very easy to construct joint, but can be weak if left at this simple stage. To reinforce the joint, a ‘spline’ can be inserted into a matching groove, making the joint become a ‘spline miter joint’.

The lap joint consists of two pieces of wood connecting using an overlapping connection at the two ends. These joints are still relatively weak, but have more strength that the ‘miter’ and ‘butt’ joints. The ‘dovetail joint’ is a more complex joint that is often used in joinery and is much more stronger than others due to fingers being used to interconnect pieces of wood. This joint uses glue and fingers cut at angles to give it a boost to its durability. These joints are often used for chest of drawers, where the sides of the drawer connect to the front.

Above are just a few explanations to some simple joints used in joinery. Depending on the projects will depend on the type of joints you may want to use. Each joint differs in purpose, durability, strength and flexibility, so decide what the purpose is before creating your masterpiece.

If you require a specialist joiner to carry out a bespoke joinery Cheshire or Wirral project don’t hesitate to contact Jardines Joinery on 0151 327 4168