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A few times, I have seen partially-overlapping horizontal boards, creating a larger panel. For example, I've seen this done on the walls of some wooden houses. I would like to know if there is a joint between these boards, or they are just nailed / glued together. I didn't get the impression a tongue and groove were involved.

Alas, I've been unable to find a picture online. Anyone can answer this?

7

It sounds to me like you are describing bevel or clapboard siding. For a long time it was the "go to" siding for wooden houses in the US. Bevel siding was usually made of clear red cedar and came in various widths from as narrow as 4" with about 3" exposed, to 8" or 10" with 7" or 9"exposed.

However, it could be one of the others depicted in this diagram from

How to Buy Wood Board Siding

by Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997-2015

enter image description here

(by the way when you pronounce clapboard the p is normally silent.)

  • Thanks, clapboard and / or bevel was what I was looking for. Because of its rustic look, I'm considering using it in a DIY beehive. – Rogier van het Schip Dec 3 '15 at 8:17
  • The "p" is silent? I always thought the "b" was...like CLAP-ord... – grfrazee Dec 3 '15 at 14:53
  • @grfrazee The p is usually omitted, the b is never omitted – Ast Pace Dec 3 '15 at 23:12
  • For what it's worth, the Home Depot stores in my area (Texas) stock the "Rustic Vee" profile, so other home stores probably do too. Haven't seen anything other than the plywood option at stores lately. – JPhi1618 Dec 7 '15 at 16:13
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A few times, I have seen partially-overlapping horizontal boards, creating a larger panel. For example, I've seen this done on the walls of some wooden houses. I would like to know if there is a joint between these boards, or they are just nailed / glued together. I didn't get the impression a tongue and groove were involved.

Without having a picture to go on, I'm going to take a guess as to what kind of joint you're describing.


Shiplap Joint

shiplap
source

This type of joint has two boards with matching rabbets on opposing faces and was commonly used in (you guessed it) ship hulls. In ship construction, these were normally pegged with trunnels. In furniture, they may or may not be glued, depending on how the ends are fixed to the piece.

Often times the "show" side of the joint will have a decorative bead, which helps to hide the joint. I couldn't find a suitable picture of this, but the one below (shaped in a solid piece, so not actually a shiplap) shows the effect.

bead
source


Splined Joint

splined
source

These joints use a long spline to reinforce the butt joint and keep the boards aligned. Usually these are glued in place, so it may not be what you're seeing. Also, I doubt a house framer would go to the trouble of splining all the boards for a wall, but you never know.

  • Thanks for the thorough answer! It wasn't the joint I was looking for, though. Sorry I couldn't find a picture, yesterday. – Rogier van het Schip Dec 3 '15 at 8:19
  • @rogiervanhetschip, no problem, someone else might find my post useful in the future regardless :) – grfrazee Dec 3 '15 at 14:51
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There was an old house where I used to work, built of lap joined boards- vertical boards overlapped at the edges and nailed. The structure was built without framing, and stood for nearly forty years before being torn down.

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Sounds like you're talking about shiplapped boards. This is done mostly to allow for the fact that boards will expand and shrink across the grain as they gain and lose moisture. If you fastened the boards together, this change in size could add enough to significantly change the size of the panel; if you just put them next to each other then when they shrink there may be visible gaps between them. Shiplapping and fastening the boards only at the center of their long ends permits them to move while never opening a gap. Some styles of shiplapping are decorative as well, and those may further hide the motion by having it occur within a "shadow line".

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