The main aim when jointing any pieces of timber together should be to cut the joints and arrange them so as to weaken the pieces of timber as little as possible. When the connection is effected entirely by means of timbers fitted together, it is called a joint. Most commonly, however, the joint is strengthened and secured by fastenings, such as: wedges, glue, draw pins, pins, screws, nails, etc. In nearly all cases simple joints are more effective than complicated joints.
Woodworking joints can be divided into four main classifications that correspond to their functions:
joints in length for increasing the lengths of timber, joints in width for increasing the width of timber and angle joints.
Joints in length
This type of joint is used where the required length of timber is unavailable. The four main types are:
Scarf joints, Laminated joints, Heading joint and Handrail bolt.
What to join timber in length? Read more at woodworking joints – joining timber in length
Joints in width
This type of joint is used to form wider boards for say work/counter tops, cabinet work or shelving or to enable narrow boards to cover larger areas such as flooring or cladding.
If you want wider timber then read on, for more on joining timber in width
This group of joints is a broad one and covers a large variety of joints, such as mitre joint, mortice and tenon, dovetailing, housing, bridle, etc.
Read more on the various woodworking angle joints (Part 1 of 3)
Hinging and shutting joints
These types of joints are as used in windows and doors
What’s a hinging and shutting joint? Check out our guide to woodworking hinging and shutting joints