I am trying to build this at home. I was just wondering what the best approach would be to join at these angles?

I was thinking about using pegs/dowels and glue, any suggestions would be much appreciated!


  • What about a rabbet? That would be strong and easy to make. Clamping would be a lot easier too. Oct 20, 2018 at 23:42
  • @StephenMeschke how would I achieve that on an angle?
    – joepour
    Oct 21, 2018 at 4:37
  • What material is your box made from by the way?
    – Graphus
    Oct 21, 2018 at 8:48
  • 1
    As usual, the answer from @Graphus is better (more thorough, technically impeccable) than mine... I wouldn't feel any remorse if you switched the 'accepted answer' to his. Oct 21, 2018 at 16:39
  • 2
    @AloysiusDefenestrate, thanks for the kind words!
    – Graphus
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


Depending on the use this will see it's possible the top doesn't need any reinforcing. Just plain glued joints could be sufficient because glued end grain | long grain butt joints are stronger than commonly supposed, see What are the different grain directions, and how do they affect joint strength? for a bit more. However because it'll take very little to add strength here I would recommend it.

The bottom of this does need reinforcement to be on the safe side. In addition to glue you could just use screws which seems the easiest option but it may not be because you should drill both pilot and clearance holes, plus a countersink or counterbore to hide the screw head. So unless you have a purpose-made combination bit that does this in one shot each screw will require three different drilling operations. Now this isn't a huge project so that's not too much work but there's an easier way.

I was thinking about using pegs/dowels and glue

I think this is the best option here as all the joints can be secured using dowels, but it's not immediately obvious how you'd use them.

Normally dowel joints need very precise drilling both in terms of angle and position. This can be tricky even with 90° joints, it's much more challenging once you introduce an angle. But here there are two simple workarounds that'll make this a snap.

Top first since you need to do some work prior to assembly.

In one piece (I'd suggest the sides) you drill conventional fitting holes for the dowels and glue them in so that just a short nub projects. Then you drill oversize holes in the other piece for these to locate in. The oversize hole makes exact fit a non-issue, and by using a gap-filling adhesive* you can still ensure the joint is very strong.

Now the bottom, here you assemble first and then simply drill right through both pieces so alignment is automatically guaranteed. Make sure your holes are slightly deeper than the length of your cut dowels and you'll be able to tap them home without needing to saw/pare/sand/plane them flush after the glue has dried which saves some work.

Many people don't like to see exposed dowel ends but here they're hidden on the underside so it becomes a non-issue.

*I'd suggest the easiest is filled epoxy.

  • 1
    Dowels can also be drilled through the top surface of the horizontals and left exposed flush on the top. The dowels can be contrasting colors or match the wood. Once set up youcan also drill down 1/4" from the top and place matching grain wood plugs in the recess to help the dowel locations disappear. Another alternative is to create a box joint end so that the horizontal and vertical pieces are toothed together .
    – Ashlar
    Oct 22, 2018 at 23:42
  • Thank you for your detailed response - I really appreciate this.
    – joepour
    Oct 25, 2018 at 7:54

Dowels (and plenty of glue) would work for the top joints, though it'd be hard to get them exactly right. So would biscuits, if you had access to a biscuit joiner. If your standards were low, you could even screw them together. (But that would look a little terrible on top...) You could also go nuts and do dovetails.

I would, however, just screw on an angle (with glue) for the bottom joints.


I would not just glue any of these joints as it is an end grain glue up. Several biscuits (3 or so)on each joint would definitely make a much stronger joint, although biscuits do not normally add strength to a joint. Dowels or Dominoes would be a better choice, dowels would be hard to drill and the Domino machine is expensive. Contrasting dowels through the top might look good by calling attention to the joinery. Screws in the bottom is a definite.


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