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Sunday, March 16, 2014

5 Common Woodworking Joints

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Dang you trivia games! They were the cause of much frustration for me this past Sunday. Let me set the story up for you. The hubby and I went out Saturday with some from friends and I had a LITTLE too much fun. Come Sunday we went out to brunch with friends for some much needed Mimosas and Bloody Mary's {hair of the dog anyone?}. Afterwards we headed back to our place and played Battle of the Sexes.

Keep in mind my brain is doing well to concentrate on things like breathing and not drooling on myself. So needless to say having to think through ridiculous questions, like which one does not belong: The Rock, The Fast and the Furious, Con Air or Gone in 60 Seconds, didn't seem necessary. {The answer's The Fast and the Furious. Nicolas Cage is in the other 3.} But when we came up on a DIY question I thought for sure I would be of some help....

The question: Name this type of joint.

I seriously made everyone sit there for almost 5 minutes while I racked my brain trying to come up with the answer. The hubby gave me a jig for this very joint and it was sitting right below me in our basement. Yet the name never came to me. The word "bird" came into my head a few times so at least I was on the right track. Dovetail. I'll never forget it now. But I thought I'd give a quick tutorial on some of the common joints.

Butt: Probably the simplest (and weakest) of the joints. It's obviously called a butt because you butt one piece of wood up to the other. The strength can be improved but using dowels. Also for those of you looking to build the Rustic TV Console this is what I used.

Miter: A "simple" joint made by cutting a 45° angle on each board to make a 90° angle. I put "simple" in quotes because for me getting the perfect 90° isn't so simple. These can be reinforced with a biscuit.

Dado: Similar to a tongue and groove joint, this joint is a square shaped slot in one board where another board will fit. Typically used in cabinetry work.

Dovetail: A strong joint, due to the fact that it can't be pulled apart. Typically used on dresser drawers.

Mortise and Tenon: Also a strong joint and can be done so the joint is invisible (blind mortise) or used as a decorative feature if the mortise passes through.

A few additional joints are rabbet (or rebate), lap joint, cross halving, tongue and grove, bridle and spline.

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