In basic terms, joinery is the attaching together of two pieces of wood to form a joint.
Joinery is used in the construction of building frames, roof joists, stairs, doors and windows as well as creative woodwork and the making of fine furniture.
By shaping pieces of wood and putting them together in different ways, a skilled woodworker can create a variety of joints, many of which have been used for centuries.
Some joinery methods predate written history. For example, dovetail joints, commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front, have been found in furniture entombed with ancient Egyptian mummies and Chinese emperors.
Wood is anisotropic, which means it has different physical properties in different directions i.e. along the grain and across the grain. Joinery methods take these differences into account to ensure joints are as strong as possible. Joints that link end grain to end grain or long grain to parallel long grain are safest because both parts of the joint will expand in the same way.
Wooden joints can be glued, fixed with nails and bindings or made firm simply through the intricate fitting together of wooden elements. Dowels, small rods of wood, can be inserted inside for added strength.
Watch this informative video to find out how to make a dovetail joint.
This US video offers a good introduction to basic joinery tools.
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