chair construction**strong text**

I removed the seats from dining chairs I just bought but have never seen this type of construction. What is it called?

  • 1
    I'd call it awesome! I haven't seen it before either, and I've read joinery books. Still looking! – bowlturner Apr 29 '15 at 15:59
  • I have been searching cut can't find anything about it. – Kat Apr 29 '15 at 16:00
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    I told you this was a good place to ask the question :D Thanks for coming over! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 29 '15 at 18:44
  • Is this really a joint, when this piece serves the direct purpose of supporting the weight of the seat? – Random832 Apr 29 '15 at 23:49

I agree with the other answers that it's best called a finger joint or maybe a finger jointed corner brace. You could also call it a box joint if you want to distinguish it from the tapered finger joints that are sometimes used to join boards end-to-end in stock made up of shorter pieces.

The point of a corner brace is to add support to the corner joint. Usually, the brace is connected to each rail with glue and screws. Using a finger joint here adds a lot of glue area in a shearing direction, so the connection between brace and rails should be very strong even without mechanical fasteners. Forming that joint in a production setting would be fast and cheap, and it would save the cost of maybe 16 screws per chair and the time needed to drive them.

I found another example at dutchcrafters.com, which describes these braces as "grooved":

finger jointed corner brace

  • Doesn't this piece (and its counterparts at the other corners) also provide a stable surface for the seat to rest on? – Random832 Apr 30 '15 at 3:51
  • Yes, that is what it is for, I had just never seen ones like these with the "finger" joint. – Kat Apr 30 '15 at 12:25

While the corner brace is pretty common in chairs I've never seen what appears to be a 'finger' joint incorporated with it. But that is the best I can guess, a finger joint for the brace.

  • Also, how do I tell what kind of wood it is? – Kat Apr 29 '15 at 16:18
  • @Kat that is harder. You need to see some of the wood without a finish, and the more one knows about provenience of the chair would help narrow it down. – bowlturner Apr 29 '15 at 16:20
  • @Kat though my first guess might be maple – bowlturner Apr 29 '15 at 16:21
  • I bought the set of four reg and 2 with the arms from a storage unit that was left so I don't know any of the history of them. – Kat Apr 29 '15 at 16:27
  • @Kat are you in the US? Different countries would likely have different possible woods. are they fairly new? or antiques? – bowlturner Apr 29 '15 at 16:28

This looks to be some sort of Finger joint, probably used as an Assembly joint to make it easier to assemble. You could apply glue to the corner brace, then run a screw through it, and not have to worry about clamping it while the glue dries.


There is no official name for many more complex types of joints, and once you get to combining different types of joint techniques you can only really do your best to describe them succinctly.

There's a really great woodworking glossary website here: http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/_g_A.htm which describes lots of types of joint, but even he gets to the point where he's calling things something like an "angled keyed dovetail half lap joint". It is probably the most accurate way to describe the particular joint he's talking about (roughly half way down the page) but there's not a single person who, if asked to joint two pieces of timber using an angled keyed dovetail half lap joint, wouldn't ask you to explain with a drawing.

"Interlocking corner brace", "finger jointed corner brace", "box jointed angle brace" and "grooved corner brace" all seem like reasonable names for the joint to me.


Interlocking corner brace. I only found one company that uses it.

  • 3
    Can you elaborate on that with a reference for the name of the joint and the company you found? – Daniel B. May 1 '15 at 5:07
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    Yes, telling us what company uses it would be an excellent addition. – bowlturner May 1 '15 at 12:41
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    I would also like to know what company. I know nothing about these chairs since I just bought them and I found the constuction interesting since I had never seen it before. – Kat May 1 '15 at 19:43

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