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Butt Joint - The Most Fundamental Joints For Woodwork






     Everything progresses from the basics to the complex. In DIY project, butt joint is the most basic form of wood joints. As its name shows, it is basically connecting two pieces of wood together to arrange a joint. To construct a butt joint, all you have to do is to saw two pieces of wood to the desired length and connect them together. There are different versions of butt joints, designed based on the way of reinforcing the joint. The simplest type of butt joint employs glue to connect the two pieces of wood together at the juncture. Gluing does not really reinforce the joint and the resulting joint is still weak, because you are only sticking the end portion of one piece to the long grain of the other piece. As a result, woodworkers design other ways of reinforcing the joint.
Another form of butt joint is known as biscuit reinforced butt joint. The biscuit reinforced butt joint basically employs an piece of wood known as biscuit. Beech wood is normally the choice of wood for the biscuit. It is specially dried and compressed. Beech wood is flexible in characteristics and will swell up when used in a butt joint. To make a biscuit reinforced butt joint, you first need to make a mortise in each of the two pieces of wood you are joining. To build a mortise, you must have the correct tool such as biscuit joiner or slot cutter bit in a router. The mortises in both pieces of wood should be matching. Once the mortise is built, the biscuit is affixed to one of the mortises with some glue. The other mortise on the other piece of wood is then brought to the one with the biscuit, aligned and clamped. Moisture from the glue will be absorbed by the biscuit and that will make the biscuit swells up in the mortise. This will give a good fitting joint. The biscuit comes in different sizes for different purposes. To join two pieces of thick wood together, it is common practise to use two biscuits or more together side by side. The biscuit reinforced butt joint is commonly used in frames, cabinet carcase construction, and panel assembly alignment.
There is another form of butt joint known as dowel joint. Here, a butt joint is reinforced using dowels, which are hard cylindrical shaped rods made of wood. There are also dowels made of plastic and metal. There are different diameters for dowels, such as ? inch. ? inch, and others, for different application s. To make a dowel joint, you need to drill holes in both pieces of wood. The holes in one piece must lined up with the corresponding hole in the other piece. That is the secret to making good dowel joint. To drill holes for thw dowel joint, you must use a dowelling jig which gives you accurate holes alignment. When the holes are ready, a dowel is inserted into the hole of one piece while fitting the hole of the other piece to the dowel. Glue may or may not be used depending on your application. The dowel joint is more superior and stronger than a normal butt joint. Dowel joints are commonly found in carcase construction, frames, chairs, cabinets and panels. Over time, you will find that the furniture with dowel joints may start to creak and wobble as the dowels shrink and become loose. Because of that dowel joints are not a good choice for high quality furniture.
The mitered butt joint is a modified version of butt joint. It is basically gluing two pieces of wood at an angle, such that end grain is glued to end grain. A mitered joint does not strengthen the butt joint but it does look nicer and cleaner. To make a mitered joint, the angles of the two pieces of wood must be cut precisely. Cutting the wood at an angle for the mitered joint requires a compound miter saw. Once the woods are cut and ready, you simply glue the ends together. To make the mitered joint strong, you can hold the joint using nails or screws.
Screwed butt joint is another modification of butt joint. As the name implies, screws are used to hold the butt joint together. The screw should goes from the long grain to the end grain. For making good screwed butt joint, you must use screws long enough so that a good portion of the screw is in the wood with the end grain. A rough guideline would be the screw should be 3 times the wood thickness. It is common to pre-drill the wood with the long grain to hide the heaed of the screw. Sometimes, plastic or dowel plugs are used to cover the hole.




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Lee J Anderson is the chief editor of Woodwork Plans And Projects. Anderson is a woodworking hobbyist and writes about woodworking on his site. Anderson also offers FREE 10-Part Woodworking Tips and Information to his subscribers.


Posted on 2011-01-30, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,


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