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

Cut Rabbets by Hand

Even if I have an entire shop filled with power equipment, I like to cut my rabbets by hand. Why? It’s fast and fun. Once you master a rabbet plane or a moving fillister plane, your router table and table saw will get a lot less use. To push you along this path, I...

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...

Look Ma, No Clamps

I started using stringed packing tape to glue up mitered joints on small jewelry boxes years ago. To glue up mitered boxes you just tape the points of the miters tight and add glue to the joint. Because you tape up all four joints and then roll up the box, it’s a tight assembly....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...