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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Free Wood Joinery Guides

tenon jig

Cutting Tenons on a Table Saw

I’ve long been a fan of cutting tenons on the table saw. I’ve found it can be done quickly, with repeatable accuracy and safely. Recently, I discovered a new saw blade with a thick, 1/4″-wide tooth that’s ground flat on the top, and it’s perfect for this operation. This Infinity Tools thick-kerf, flat-top blade...

tape

Look Ma, No Clamps

A friend of mine used to claim that his favorite tool was his own spit. I’d never claim such a thing publicly, but I do admit to using some rather unorthodox tools at times: I’ve sharpened paint-can keys to scrape off glue squeeze-out, and ground threaded rod into various shapes for stamping wood. In...

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A Pause in the Hostilities

I finished yesterday fitting the three bottom drawers to the Campaign Secretary I’m building and I started in on building the gallery – it’s all dovetailed now. I’d be quite happy with my progress if I weren’t about to get into a car. For the next 10 days I’ll be on the road, taping...

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A Slightly Fancier Tool Chest

I examined lots of tool chests when researching “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” and found that their designs fell into two broad categories: 1. The plain and simple pine boxes with trays. 2. The pre-industrial monster truck chest with scantily clad tarts, parquetry, secret compartments and a bottle opener. You don’t see a lot of...

dividers

Spacing Dovetails with Dividers – a Little History

I’ve always been intrigued about the history of the way some English-trained woodworkers set out their dovetail joints using dividers. I first learned to use this method – which I love – from Rob Cosman. He learned it from legendary craftsman Alan Peters. But where did Peters learn it from? I don’t know, so...

All dovetails: The corners of this chest are all constructed using full-blind or half-blind dovetails.

The Case for Hidden Joinery

When I took my first woodworking class in 1993 I was gung-ho to learn two things: through-tenons and through-dovetails. At the time I was intoxicated by Arts & Crafts furniture and exposed joinery. For many woodworkers, I suspect that exposed joinery sends a message: This piece is made well. It’s not made using corrugated...

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The Black Knife

In 19th-century English workshops you could be sacked (fired) for wearing eyeglasses. There are even accounts of how a shop might have a certain phrase that was spoken when the master was about to walk through the workroom. When that phrase was uttered, all the eyeglasses would go into hiding. I would have been...

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Dovetails: The Strong, Silent & Shy Type

Campaign chests had to take a beating. They traveled all over the British Empire during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. And yet they bore their burden without complaint or explanation. Which is to say: When you look at most campaign chests, it’s unclear how they were constructed. Yes, the drawers were dovetailed....