Basic Wood Joinery Tips For Your Next Woodworking Project

I’m currently trying to join two small and very fresh planks of birch to make a stool top. The wood pieces are then laid on top of the glue and hammered into place using a rubber mallet and a protected 2×4 to create a level floor. But…usually this is with many smaller boards to make up the larger one, think butcher block table or bench tops out of maple for example. Perhaps I have been a bit too enthusiastic re pocket holes, but I do not have a jointer, router, table saw, or morticer. The sled can then support the back of the board and prevent and tear out as the bit exits the wood. Using carvel planks to construct a hull is when planks are fixed to frames with their edges butting up against each other.

I’ve been watching a lot of videos on how to build large wooden table tops, and most of them involve joining planks of wood together with biscuit joints. If you find yourself eager to hurry things along, take a break and remind yourself that hurrying could end up costing you more time in the long run if you have to fix a mistake — or take a trip to the emergency room.

That is, each end of the splice goes in at 90 degrees for about 1/4 the total thickness, with the remaining center 1/2 of the thickness spread across a long angle. I have not encountered the problems you have with bubbling or darkening the wood too much, though I have used it only on walnut and cherry, both of which benefit from a darker finish. Obviously, because some of the wood is being removed from each of the boards, this does result in a slightly weaker join than some other types.

But I want crown on the top and trim on the bottom, but have it be 90 degrees there. When you lay the boards that are to be joined together, you should not see a gap between them….top or bottom, meaning that I wouldn’t bevel the edges at all. Measure from the center to the starting wall, subtracting the 5/16-inch expansion gap, and mark this distance at each end of the wall.

Joints may be as simple as one end of a piece of wood placed on another, or they may be as elaborate as several interlocking slots. You now know to cut from the mark you made on the top plank to the bottom edge of the bottom plank. Make sure that you allow for the panel to expand and contract across the grain when you attach the top to whatever base you’ll be using. Any joint that butts end grain to end grain will be weak because you’re gluing wood fibers at their porous ends instead of along their sides. But you won’t with table tops, and the glossier the polish the more the furrows and depressions stand out.

Then the 2 pieces of wood that are to be joined are clamped together such that the bottom plank is aligned to the end of the table and the top plank is aligned on the mark you made on the bottom plank. If I really knew what I was doing and had the right tools and supplies, I would have ripped the edges of the boards on my table saw (which I don’t have) and joined my pieces of lumber with a biscuit joiner (which I don’t have) and planed down my boards with a planer (which I don’t have) and I would have had nicer countertops. This process involves treating the wood by boiling the log in water at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.

If your laminate flooring planks don’t come with pre-attached underlay you may want to lay a separate underlay before installing your laminate flooring. Arrange them approximately in the same places you put the clamps: one at either end and one in the middle. I use a zip as an analogy to explain what goes on. Close a zip and lock the tab at the end and the zip stays closed.


I think since I am using 7 planks for the top I will glue them together in sets of two and then run those through the planer and then add everything together. The mitered butt joint is very similar to the standard butt joint, in that it typically joints two boards at their ends, or one board at an end meeting the side of another board. If like me, you have an inexpensive table saw, or just work with boards with the ‘factory’ edge on them, they probably don’t have a clean enough edge to just glue them together and call it good.

An easy thing to do would be to edge joint the boards and use a wing cutter in your router table to run slots down much of the joint, but not to the ends of the boards. When deciding the arrangement of boards there is yet another factor to consider, and in this case its relevance centres around how wood takes polish, which then refracts and reflects the light that hits the surface. After all slots are cut, stand each board on end and coat the edge of jointed side with wood glue. They do not use rotary peeled veneer, composite wood (such as HDF), or plastic in their construction.

The trick to getting good dowel joints is to drill the holes in exactly the same location both parts; any discrepancies in location and the dowels won’t fit into both parts or the joint will be misaligned. Use at least three clamps, placing one on each end of the assembly and one in the middle. Some cross grain connections require allowances for wood movement in opposite directions to prevent joints from tearing themselves apart. Holes need to be drilled to prevent the wood from splitting, or when using hard woods. It would be very hard to scarf a joint on a saw because you must not burn the wood at all.

All of these pieces have to be flipped under the top to make up the extra thickness, and they need to line up with their original position. Never use glue and nails to assemble an end-to-edge butt-joined solid-wood frame: The wood’s porous end grain doesn’t provide any strength when glued, and any flexing or stress easily breaks the weak glue joint and pulls the nails out, which have very little withdrawal resistance. Watch out for and pull nails out of material before loading in a car or truck so reclaimed wood will stack better.

You can also use the biscuit jointing method to make a corner butt joint, as is used to make the wall-mounted shelf unit at the top of this page. Reason being if you wipe the glue off with a wet rag it may leave a spot when you try to stain the wood as the glue will not take stain the same as the wood grain. Instead of having to mortise two holes for dowels you only have to mortise one hole. You need an epoxy resin glue — a two-part glue that often expands as it cures to fill gaps in the wood.

For example, if the panel is rested directly on the top of a workbench, the face resting on the workbench is quite well protected from changes in RH whereas the exposed face is not. I don’t have one in front of me, but I’d guesstimate that about 1/3 of the thickness is more like a series of tiny end grain butt joints. Moulding should never be attached to the laminate floor because the flooring still needs to expand and contract and won’t be able to do that if there’s a big nail or wood glue holding it in place. To check this, look at the end of the board to see the orientation of the growth rings.

It worked but the router tended to tear out the very thin edge of the plywood at the very end of the bottom plank. The only reason for dowels or biscuits is to help with alignment and that may, or may not, be a concern for you. During installation, mix planks from different boxes to blend the dye lots and patterns for a more uniform appearance. This excess can end up on the finished surface of your work, making it almost impossible to stain uniformly later if you desire to do so. This method looses wood width when the planks overlap, and i’m concerned about putting the leg through the joint after.

Made of hardwood, dowels are ribbed or spirally fluted along their length, to allow glue to spread around them during assembly, resulting in a strong bond. Learning how to put together different types of wood joints is essential to any type of wood work. Next, carefully lay the top down and attach pipe clamps at roughly 1′ intervals. There are several good reasons for edge joining narrow boards to make wide slabs.

It would probably be okay just glued if you’re making a top of a table with a very sturdy frame, but if it is going to be twisted or bowed with any force it might need reinforcement. Enter the tongue into the long side of the groove, slide the plank to align the end joint, rotate downwards and lock the joint. Failure to do so will result in an uneven surface of the two pieces of joined wood. Dowels and biscuits are length-preserving, cheap and common ways of generating some long-grain glueing surface. It is probably too late, but to fill the gaps between planks you can mix sawdust, of which you apparently had plenty, with glue and fill the holes.