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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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...


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...


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...


Drawboring Demystified

This ancient mortise-and-tenon joinery technique needs no glue, no clamps. by Jennie Alexander & Peter Follansbee Excerpted from “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree,” by Jennie Alexander & Peter Follansbee Simply put, drawboring is an intentional misalignment of the holes bored in the mortises and tenons. These holes are bored through each component...

I Want to Give You ‘Go Fever’

In some high technology circles there is an expression they use when engineers move too quickly to launch a project. They have “go fever” and are willing to overlook horrible mistakes in order to launch a product. When teaching woodworking – especially casework – I find that most students need to take down their protective...


How To Glue Miter Joints-Wait a Minute

Miter joints can be a real source of frustration. The pieces need to be the exact length and the cut surfaces need to be as close to perfect as you can get them. If they don’t look great right off the saw, use a shooting board and a plane, or rub the surfaces on...


Dovetails with Help from the Drill Press

When I make a lot of half-blind dovetails, I’ll use a drill press to help bore out the waste between the pins. The video below shows how I do. Some caveats to consider before you try to cram your boot between my buttocks via a comment below: 1. Ya, I use machines at times...

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Secret Dovetails for the Rest of Us

I hate end grain. In my work, I take great pains to hide every square inch of it. This often means cutting joinery that is more involved. For example, on my spice chest, I could simply have used through-dovetails to join the top to the sides of the case. Like the original maker, I...