Joinery is one of the most important operation and basic concept carryout in wood construction. These operations are made to join two pieces of wood together to obtain a perfect and strong joints. Other items are used during the process for perfect joints including, adhesives, fasteners, bindings, glue and etc.

There are different types of joints used in wood work construction, but they are used based on the project. In this article you’ll get to know 15 types of joints and where they are perfectly used. After going through this article you’re expected to know at least 10 types of joints and where they are perfectly used.

Types of wood Joints


The butt joint is one of the easiest and simplest joint use in wood construction. It merely joins two end of a piece of wood by butting them together. This type of joint highly depends on glue to hold the piece together. Butt joint is classified as one of the weakest joints used in wood construction because the glue does not provide much strength. It is advisable to butt joints on light project. There are different types of butt joint used during construction. They are:

  • T-lap
  • Miter butt
  • End to end butt
  • T-butt
  • Edge to edge butt

Fig 1: Butt joint


The biscuit joints are made of dried and compress wood, just like beech. It is a wooden oval glued at the two crescent-shaped holes. Some people use this joiner to produce mortises. This is done by installing it in matching mortises in both pieces of the wood joint.
In biscuit joint accuracy is not crucial for the mortises and it must be design to concede flexibility in glue-up. One needs to locate the mortise correct distance from the visage of the woodworking joint in both pieces.
Biscuit joint are not in perfect alignment, but the biscuits are thin, so the alignment can be moved around.

Fig 2: Biscuit joint


The bridle joints are known with different names, such as tongue or fork joints, open tenon or open mortise and tenon joint. In this joint, a tenon is cut on the end of one piece and a mortise is design to enter the other piece, the mortise and the tenon can be cut to the full width of the tenon piece. This type of joint has Only three gluing surfaces, the corner bridles joint joins two pieces at their ends, to obtain a corner. The joint are used to house a rail vertically, such as legs. Bridle joint is the important joint in woodwork construction because it provides good strength in compression and has ability to withstand racking. Bridle joints are commonly used to join rafter tops, also used in scarf joints and sometimes sill corner joints in timber framing.
A mechanical fastener are needed in bridle joints. The joint can be dismantle without sacrificing joint integrity

Fig 3: bridle joint


Dado joints is also known as housing or trench joint. In this type of joint a slot is cut towards the grain in one piece for another piece to fit inside. Dado joint has three side, which is cut at right angle to the grain, differ from the groove that is cut parallel to the grain. Dado joint are used to attach shelves to a bookcase carcass. The rebbet are shelves to fit the dado, in order to produce rebbet and dado joint.

Fig 4: dado joint


Finger joint is one the most popular joint used in wood construction. They are also known as box joint. It is achieve by joining to pieces of wood at right angle to each other or receives pressure from each direction. The different between the finger and the dovetail joint is that, the pin of dovetail joints are square not angled but the two joints are much alike. Finger joint relies on glue to hold them together, but it does not have the mechanical strength of dovetail joint.

Fig 5: Finger Joint


Lap joint is one the most frequently used joint in wood construction. It is the next weakest and simplest joint after butt joint. In this joint, the end of a piece is laid over and joined to another piece of wood. The material is remove from each piece so that the pieces can be of the same thickness.

Fig 6: Lap joint 


Mortise and tenon joint is one of the most used joint for many year still date. It is considered as the strongest and simplest joint used in wood construction. The joints are used to join two pieces at 90%. This is a traditional method of joining frame and panel members in cabinet, doors and windows. This joint is achieved by inserting one end of piece into a hole in the other piece. The end of the first piece is called a tenon and the hole of the other piece is called mortise. Glue is also added to the joint and pin and wedges are used to look them in place. The mortise and tenon joint give perfect alignment between the two pieces. The mortise is said to be the cavity cut into a piece of wood to get the tenon. The tenon is protrude on the end of a piece to inserted into a mortise. The size of the mortise and tenon relates to the thickness of the pieces. It is advisable to make the tenon about 1/3 thickness of the piece.

Fig 7: mortise and tenon joint 


Pocket hole joint is also one of the most popular joint used in wood construction. It is slightly similar to the butt joint, but a hidden screw is perfectly driven into the joint at an angle. Pocket hole joint demand two drilling operations. The Pocket hole jig are used to drill holes at the correct angle and depth, glue is also needed to strengthen the joint.



Rabbet is another type of joint used in wood construction. It is a recess cut into the edge of a piece. It is two sided and open to the end of the surface, when viewed in cross-section. Rabbet are use in the back edge of a cabinet and it also allows the back to fit flush with sides.

Fig 9: rebbet joint


Tongue and groove joint is also one of the most popular and frequently used joint. It is edge to edge joint. In this joint each piece has groove cut all along one edge and a thin deep ridge (the tongue) on the opposite edge. The tongue is said to be spline joint if it not attached to each other.
The joint are use to make wide tabletops out of solid wood and can also be use for parquetry, wood flooring, paneling and etc.

Fig 10: tongue and groove joint


Dowel joint is obtained when a piece of wood is butted against another piece of wood. This type of joint is very common in factory-made furniture and it is quick to make with production line machinery.

Fig 11: dowel joint


Dovetail joint is in form of box joint. It is more secure than a finger joint. In this type of joint the fingers are locked together by diagonal cuts.

Fig 12: Dovetail joint 


Birdsmouth joint is also called a bird’s beak cut, this joint used in roof construction. A V-shaped cut in the rafter connects the rafter to the wall-plate.

Fig 13: Birdsmouth joint

Cross Lap joint

Cross Lap is a joint in which the two members are joined by removing material from each at the point of intersection so that they overlap.

Fig 14: cross joint