Joints

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Houndstooth Dovetails

In my opinion, the most important considerations (in order) are:
Accurate stock preparation – no planer marks and very square ends
Marking out
Accurately cutting to the line

I used some maple that a friend gave me as an offcut and some mahogany I got from the old lab benches in my lab at work.

First off, I needed to resaw the wood. After resawing, I thicknessed all pieces before hand planing to final dimensions.


The hand planing is very important on faces and edges as we need to remove all marks from the machining operations to ensure an accurate joint. Rob Cosman says that this is essential and who am I to argue with him?

When planed, look at the boards and choose and mark the outside faces with a pencil.



The ends need to be absolutely square and a shooting board is the best method to achieve this. My board is designed to clamp in the bench vice and to clamp the workpiece and thus allows me to plane using both hands which I find more accurate and much easier

Gratuitous...

Corner Bridle Joint

The Corner Bridle Joint!!

The tools you will need are:-
1. Tenon Saw
2. Mortise Gauge
3. Try Square
4. Sharp Bevel Edge Chisel
5. Pencil
6. Drill and drill bit.
7. Ruler/Tape Measure
8. Bench Vice or Workmate
9. Bench Hook

For the bridle joint, one of the pieces to be joined needs a tenon and the mating piece needs a groove.

To make this simpler to explain ‘A’ will be the piece with the groove & ‘B’ will be the tenon piece!



Take piece ‘B’ and lay it flat on your workbench/workmate. Then take piece ‘A’ and lay it on piece ‘B’ as shown in the photo to your left – making sure the side of piece ‘A’ is flush with the end of piece ‘B’. (ie at right angles to each other)

With a pencil, mark the width of the timber onto piece ‘B’ using the mating piece ‘A’ as a guide.



Using a try square and pencil, follow the line all the way around.

Do this and the step above on the mating piece (‘A’).



Using a ruler, you now want to set the mortise gauge.

When doing mortise and tenon, the...

Mortise & Tenon Joint

The mortise and tenon is a very traditional joint and is popular due to its strength. A mortise is simply a hole in the piece wood and the tenon piece slots inside. There are many different forms of mortice and tenons and also uses – but they are mostly used in tables and doors.

The key to a strong mortise and tenon is a snugly fitting joint. If the joint is too tight there will be no room for glue, and there is a chance of the mortise piece splitting. If the joint is too loose and you need to ‘pack’ the tenon, the joint will be weak. For a strong joint you should be able to push the tenon into the mortice just with hand pressure.



The tools you need are:-

Tenon Saw, Mortise Gauge, Try Square,Mortise Chisel (you could use a normal bevel edge chisel), Bevel Edge Chisel, Mallet, Bench Hook (optional), Bench Vice or Workmate, Ruler, Pencil, Marking Knife or Stanley Knife, Masking or Electrical Tape


For this guide, piece ‘A’ is going to be the tenon and piece ‘B’ is going to have...

Halflap Joint

The tools you need are:-

1. Tenon Saw
2. Try Square
3. Marking Gauge
4. Pencil

Take one of the pieces to be joined (A) and lay it down flat on your workbench, then take the mating piece(B) and lay it on top in the opposite direction, making sure the edge of piece (A) is flush with the end of piece (B) (as shown on the left <- ).

With a pencil, mark the width of the timber onto piece (A) using the mating piece (B) as a guide.



Remove the mating piece(B) and put it to one side.

With a try square follow the line you’ve just drawn, all the way round the piece of wood (A).

Repeat this with the mating piece (B).



Set your marking gauge to half the thickness of your wood.

Gouge a line on both edges from the line to the end of the wood. Also gouge a line on the top of the pieces (the end grain)



As I said before "A good tip so you don’t go passed the line is to put a small indentation just before the line using your marking gauge – so when you gouge the line, the pin on the...

Halving Joint

For a ‘halving joint’ the tools you will need are:-
1. Tenon Saw
2. Marking Gauge
3. Try Square
4. Sharp Bevel Edge Chisel
5. Pencil
6. Stanley Knife
7. Ruler/Tape Measure
8. Hammer/Wooden Mallet

This halving joint is very strong, stronger then tenons or dowels. The two pieces to be joined are the same thickness and width.



Step1:- Marking Out!

First, take your try square and pencil and mark the face and edges as shown in the picture to the right:-

The distance between the lines is the width of the mating piece.


Next you need to find out half the thickness of your timber by dividing the total thickness by 2. After you have this you need to set your marking gauge to it. (right ->)

You now need to use your marking gauge and gouge a ‘halfway’ line between the two lines on both edges. A good tip so you don’t go passed the line is to, put a small indentation just before the line using your marking gauge – so when you gouge the line, the pin on the marking gauge should fall...
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