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36 votes

How can I join two boards at the ends?

There is also a bit for routers that can make what is called a finger joint. It makes many narrow interlocking 'fingers' to increase the gluing surface area. This was designed for joining boards end ...
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36 votes
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What is special about wood glue?

I assume you're talking about PVA glue. I think it just has a lot of desirable properties. Off the top of my head: Water-based and non-toxic (unless you eat it) - no nasty fumes or health risks. This ...
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  • 3,809
27 votes

How can I join two boards at the ends?

You can use a long lap joint here, but one of the standard ways to join two boards like this when cutting by hand is to form what's called a scarf joint. This is approved by the Federal Aviation ...
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27 votes
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How can I join two boards at the ends?

Dowels and biscuits are length-preserving, cheap and common ways of generating some long-grain glueing surface. They're not quite as strong as other solutions, but usually entirely sufficient. For ...
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  • 3,805
22 votes
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Can clamps be too tight?

Hoping to run into some more tests and calculations but this is a good start. Yes Clamps can be too tight and the joint could weaken or even warp, in a sense, if too much pressure is applied. I found ...
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21 votes
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Is glue the best permanent join?

Indeed, when done properly, the glue is stronger than the wood itself when both of the glued faces are edge-grain or face-grain. A few circumstances come to mind when glue alone is not stronger than ...
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21 votes
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How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

You can use screws, but in a slightly different manner. Instead of simply pre-drilling a hole and screwing the screw, you can use a router to create a slot with a countersink or counterbore bit. ...
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  • 2,390
20 votes

What might be stronger than a miter but still look like a miter joint?

There are many hidden reinforcements you could use - biscuits, dowels, or more complex hidden joints such as these: Mitred corner dovetail joint Mitred blind dovetail joint ... but I wouldn't ...
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20 votes
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Perfect miters every time

There's two ways that immediately pop to mind- one involves spending a significant amount of money, the other a significant amount of time. You can buy replacement miter gauges for most table saws (e....
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  • 4,382
18 votes

Joining wood at an angle

If you'd like to go the glue-only route, a lock miter might be just the thing. They are available as router bits and make a profile similar to this photo: I could not say for certain whether the ...
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18 votes
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What type of joint should I use for building a piece of furniture that will be assembled and disassembled?

What type of joint is most appropriate for portions of furniture that are likely to be screwed and unscrewed in order to move it around? There's an entire category of knock down hardware that's meant ...
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  • 7,251
18 votes

What type of joint should I use for building a piece of furniture that will be assembled and disassembled?

What type of joint is most appropriate for portions of furniture that are likely to be screwed and unscrewed in order to move it around? There are actually numerous options for this. The best choice(...
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18 votes
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Substitute for Pocket Hole Jig?

I'm glad someone finally asked a Question about alternatives to these jigs. In the US at least, and probably in other parts of the world by now, pocket holes have become synonymous with Kreg. While ...
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17 votes
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Why would someone cut a miter in a tenon?

Why would someone do this? What problem might that solve or advantage would it convey? If you have two rails joining a leg at right angles to each other, you sometimes need to miter the tenons to ...
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16 votes
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What is a good way to prevent jointed tabletops from bowing when tightening fasteners or the glue sets?

A common solution is to alternate your clamps between top and bottom: Another solution is to clamp boards down across the panel as Drew suggested, although an even better variation on this solution ...
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  • 18.6k
15 votes
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"Joint" or "Join": What is the name for the place where two pieces of wood are fastened together?

The Joiner* uses a jointer to joint ** smooth surfaces on pieces of wood, which he then joins together to make a joint. The practice of doing so is called joinery. Gotta love English! hat tips to *...
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  • 5,394
15 votes

How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

Tabletops are often attached to the frame and aprons using tabletop fasteners such as these, which allow for some wood movement: (Source) This is what they look like installed: (Source)
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15 votes
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What is a wedged through tenon and how is it used?

This is where you mortise right through the timber, and hammer wedges into the joint from the other side, in order to mechanically wedge the tenon into the joint. You still use glue as you normally ...
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  • 3,809
15 votes
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What am I doing wrong when making lap joints with my stacked dado set?

The chippers in the stack may vary in height. You can test for that by making a single pass and see if it is smooth. If the chippers are ok, then it is likely technique. Make sure you are holding ...
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  • 8,028
14 votes

What is the proper place of nails in woodworking?

Very good question. I'll tell you how I use nails, though I'm not sure this is the "correct" answer. When I don't have the patience to wait for the glue to dry. Typically, nailing is only needed to ...
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  • 4,146
14 votes
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How to make a good joint by hand planing both edges at the same time?

I've been curious about this as well. Illustrated using my mastery of MS Paint, it appears you clamp the boards together, plane to your heart's content, then un-clamp and just flatten the boards out.....
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13 votes

How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

The wood in your top will expand and contract in one direction, while the cross braces will expand and contract perpendicular to that. There are a couple of different products and techniques that ...
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  • 4,382
13 votes

What is special about wood glue?

Whenever I'm joining wood together, no matter what type of joint, I turn to wood glue. "Wood glue" isn't actually one thing. It's essentially a marketing term or selling aid more than a description ...
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13 votes
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When are pocket holes an appropriate joinery technique?

Bear in mind that that 99 lbs is for a single joint with pressure being applied in the manner of a first class lever in Mr. Wandel's experiment. You will have multiple pocket holes in a given ...
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  • 5,394
13 votes

Attaching Legs to a Table

Pocket hole joinery One of the simplest ideas I could think of to address this would be to flip up the boards vertically and use pocket holes and screws into the legs. Some good examples and picture ...
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  • 20.1k
13 votes

How do experts make dovetails by hand that fit so well?

When I first started woodworking I went out and got a router jig too. It seemed a lot easier than hand tools (of which I lacked good quality ones). Like you I was never really satisfied with machined ...
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12 votes

Joining wood at an angle

Using a plow plane, you can quickly and easily make a groove and tongue joint like this: If you want more stability, you can make that a dovetail, either starting from the groove and tongue or using ...
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  • 3,805
12 votes
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Are there advantages to using pipe clamps over parallel bar clamps?

Pipe clamps are very inexpensive compared to parallel bar clamps (also called K-body clamps), and have a virtually infinite range of clamping capacities because you can always replace your pipe with a ...
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  • 18.6k
12 votes

Strong joints to use when making custom frames

For something that large, I would want more than just a glue joint holding it together. I would want some sort of mechanical connection between the sides and top/bottom, such as slip tenons, dowels, ...
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  • 8,028
12 votes
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Glue spots under stain

The problem appears to be that glue has sealed the pores of the wood, preventing stain from penetrating. In order to fix the stain, you'll first need to get to wood that's not sealed. I can think of ...
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