Sanding Doweling Joinery Techniques

Words like dado and phrases such as mortise and tenon worry people who haven't been around woodworking. These are descriptions Of popular wood joining methods, but they have a complicated ring. They make the joints they describe sound difficult when they actually arc not.

To begin with, there are only eight basic joining methods in woodworking. Through the centuries, woodworkers have tried various ways to join pieces of wood so the joints would be both durable and attractive, and only eight basic joint formations have survived. Five of these arc commonly used in furniture making because they have proven their value. As one venerable master cabinet maker told us, "These must be good, because we have been working on them for 6.0(H) years."

The basic methods for joining wood pieccs are: (I) the T-joint; (2) the L-joint; (3) the crisscross joint; (4) the lap joint: (5) the butt joint; (6) the dado; (7) the dovetail; and (8) the mortise and tenon. Any of these joints can be reinforced by means of added dowels. If you refer to the accompanying drawings as you read the following descriptions, the basic joint types should be easy to understand.

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