Joinery

Seamless joinery is one of the hallmarks of a true craftsman. Learn how to do it with these articles from Popular Woodworking Magazine and blog posts from our editors about all things relating to wood joinery, whether you work with hand tools, power tools or both. If you’re looking for expert technique instruction, have questions about the right joint (and the right tools) for the job, want to read about various woodworking joints or need plans and step-by-step instruction for a jig to help you cut your joints safely and accurately, you’ve come to the right place.

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Dovetail Joints: How Tight is Too Tight?

  Last weekend I built a dovetailed campaign-style officer’s trunk for the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association and several of the members were shocked when I drove the carcase dovetails together. What was shocking to them was how tight my fit was between the tails and pins; it required a few hard whacks with...

Breadboard ends help defeat cupping.

Breadboard Ends – Why and How

Cross-grain construction tends to freak out most beginning woodworkers, but it’s a viable construction method in many cases. Wide tables and chest lids often employ breadboard ends to keep things flat, as well as cover end grain. If it’s done right, expansion and contraction problems can be nearly eliminated. There are many methods to...

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Pros and Cons of Routers for Joinery

Although routers were originally designed to create moulded shapes, they can be excellent joinery tools. In fact, they’re better in some ways than table saws, professional quality mortisers or dado cutters when it comes to cutting joints. There are several reasons routers have an advantage: • Simplicity: Setting up hand-held or table-mounted routers is...

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For Those Who Love Books, Travel & Joinery

When I was a kid, I used books to escape from my (boring) Arkansas upbringing. Today, I use books to escape from the drudgery of air travel. Every room in our house is full of books, and there is never enough room for them all. So as a woodworker, I’m always building more bookcases...

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Defective Dovetail Diagnosis

When I teach woodworking, most of my job is diagnosing defective dovetails. Tail walls that are not 90°. Floors of pin and tail boards that have lumps aplenty. My diagnosis tools are my sensitive fingers, a small square and my eyes. But in some situations, all of those tools fail. When cutting dovetails with...

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Dovetails of 472 Flavors

If you think there are hard-and-fast rules about designing dovetails, don’t read any further. You’ll get an ulcer. North Carolina woodworker Mark Firley has collected a set of 472 photos of dovetails on antiques that he has collected in his travels all over the United States. Sift through this set, and you can find...

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Fitting Drawers One Piece at a Time

Nice fitting drawers are one of my favorite parts of making stuff out of wood. There is nothing like the appearance of even and minimal gaps and nothing like the feel of an easy sliding drawer that won’t get stuck when the seasons change. Meeting both goals at the same time is a challenge,...

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Drawboring Resurrected

Have modern glues and clamps rendered this ancient joinery technique obsolete? Absolutely not. By Christopher Schwarz Woodworking Magazine, September 2005, pages 12-15 Drawboring is one of the simple reasons that so much antique furniture survives today, some of it as sound as the day it was made. What is drawboring? It’s a technique that...