Three Ways to Make Edge Joints


By hand or power? With a spring joint or not?
By Robert W. Lang, Glen D. Huey & Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 40-43

From the April 2009 issue #175
Buy this issue now

One of the most important joints in woodworking is the edge joint. Without it, our projects would look like they have been built from narrow popsicle sticks.

The joint bewilders many amateur woodworkers — perhaps because there are so many ways to go about it. Which method is best? Which tools are best?

The senior staff of Popular Woodworking rarely agrees on anything (except the pizza place that we sometimes eat lunch.) And making edge joints is no exception. We do, however, agree on one principle when it comes to edge joints: You aren’t going to get consistent results by making your edge joints with a table saw blade.

During the last decade or so we have tested a dozen table saw blades that claim to give you rips that are clean enough for an edge joint. Perhaps that is true if your work is on a job site, if you are working in easy-to-compress softwoods, or if you are a fanatic about keeping your saw exquisitely tuned. But we have not found these saw blades to give us results that are 100 percent satisfactory.

And so we look to other tools and machines to create edge joints that results in seamless seams and maximum glue adhesion.

Online Extras

For a complimentary story on using curved plane irons, click here to read “Learning Curves” by David Charlesworth.

For a video of senior editor Glen Huey’s method of setting jointer knives to create a spring joint, click here.


From the April 2009 issue #175
Buy this issue now