Most woodworking projects call for corner joints at some point. These joints enable two pieces of wood to be fitted together to form a right angle. It is important that you choose the right type of joint for each job. Well jointed pieces of wood enhance the appearance of items. They also create stable items. This adds to the longevity of your wooden items. Below are 5 types of corner joints that come in handy for carpentry jobs.
1. Butt Joint
This is the most basic of corner joints and the easiest to make. It is widely used in carpentry especially if you prefer the edges not to show. Two pieces of wood are connected on the same plane. The butt joint is one of the weaker joint types. This is because of the minimal surface area available for the joint. However, you can strengthen it considerably if you apply glue or use nails. You can also fit a square or triangular block of wood in the corner to reinforce the joint.
2. Mitre Joint
A mitre box is used to cut corners at an angle of 45 degrees. The joint provides a large area where glue can be applied for wood attachments. It is a useful joint if you want the wood end grains not to show. Like the butt joint, the mitre joint can be strengthened further to improve stability. Slots and veneers can be glued in between the joint. You can also use nails or screws to strengthen the joint. Larger projects can use a spline in between the joints for reinforcement.
3. Housing Joint
This is one of the more difficult joints to cut accurately. However, it is a stronger type of joint than the simple butt joint. This is because one piece of timber is wedged in between 3 sides. It creates more contact area for the joint and yields a firm joint. You first cut a channel into one piece of timber into which a second piece of timber will be fitted. The channel depth should not exceed one third the thickness of the timber. You can reinforce the joint with the help of glue or nails. The housing joint is commonly used on shelves, partitions and drawers.
4. Dowel Joint
It is a more reinforced type of butt joint. Wooden pegs known as dowels are used to strengthen the joint instead of nails or screws. The dowels are inserted into the two pieces of wood once they are glued together. Dowel joints are useful if you have to make partitions. If you prefer for the dowels not to be visible, you must ensure that the holes don’t go all through the wood.
5. Dovetail Joint
This is one of the strongest joints. You can use hand or power tools to cut dovetails. However, great precision is necessary. One piece of the timber consists of tails and the other piece has pins. When accurately cut, the two pieces of timber interlock perfectly when fitted together. To cut through this joint requires a great deal of effort. It has great mechanical strength which can be enhanced with glue. The dovetail joint is frequently used for cabinets, furniture and jewelry boxes.