The Basics On Wood Joinery

The Basics On Wood Joinery

There are many different types of wood joints used in woodworking, each serving specific purposes based on the intended function and aesthetics.

Here are some common types of wood joints I use and reference videos of projects I used them on.

Butt Joint:

Simplest joint where two pieces of wood are joined at their ends, often using glue, screws and/or pocket holes.

Turning Scrap Wood Into Something Useful // Workshop Organization (

Butt Joint Example


Miter Joint:

Both pieces have angled ends that fit together to form a corner.

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Miter Joint Example


Dovetail Joint:

Interlocking joint known for its strength and resistance to being pulled apart due to the tail and pin design.

BEGINNER DOVETAIL PROJECT // French Cleat Side Table With Hand Cut Joinery (

Dovetail Example


Box/Finger Joint:

Similar to dovetail, but the pins are rectangular, creating a series of interlocking fingers.

HAND TOOL CHEST BUILD // Portable Tool Storage (

Box Joint Example


Mortise and Tenon Joint:

Consists of a tenon (a projecting piece) that fits into a mortise (a cavity or hole). Often seen with wooden dowels or pins used to draw bore the two pieces together.

Using Drawbored Mortise and Tenon joints for the first time! (

Mortise and Tenon Example


Dado Joint:

A slot or trench cut into the surface of a piece of wood, into which another piece fits.

Media Center Build // BUILT IN CABINETS (

Dado Joint


Rabbet Joint:

Similar to a dado, but it is cut along the edge or end of a board.

LIGHTSABER DISPLAY BUILD // Shadow Box Wall Display (

Rabbet Example


Half-Lap Joint:

Each piece has a groove cut halfway into it, and the two pieces fit together to form a flush surface.

BACKYARD WORKBENCH BUILD // Small Outdoor Woodworking Space (

Half Lap Join Example


These joints offer different levels of strength, durability, and aesthetics, and the choice of joint depends on the specific requirements of the woodworking project.

Many woodworkers have made videos about the different joints and their strength comparisons.  These are some of my favorite:

Bourbon Moth Woodworking: What's the Best Wood Joint || Insanely Strong Joinery! (

Wood By Wright: Which Joint Should You Use How To Choose The best Woodworking Joint (

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