Woodworking joinery is probably one of the oldest known concepts in woodwork. If someone did not have the technical ability to join two timber pieces together with a perfectly straight spine in a healthy manner, all wooden furniture pieces would be decorative sculptures, carved from only a single piece of timber. And since the dawn of civilized society, it has been recognized that Adelaide joinery plays an important role when manufacturing furniture because of its ability to retain its shape despite being subjected to forces of nature such as pressure and temperature changes. This explains why there are different types of wood joinery used for various purposes. However, before you get into the types of wood joinery used in the manufacture of furniture, you might want to know more about its properties to understand why some types of joinery are preferred over the others, especially when it comes to the quality of the end product.
The most commonly known types of joinery are the mortise-and-tenon or mitred, joinery; flush-set, screw-in, joinery; dovetail, or cross-pins bevelled and grooved butt joinery. All these were developed based on the physical demands placed on the furniture joints when it was made. For example, the mortise-and-tenon provides more flexibility than other joinery options because it can adapt well to shifts in weight between its two parts. The flush-set is also very popular because it can withstand extreme pressures. Lastly, the dovetail is considered the simplest of the three, but it provides the best strength and stability.
A widespread form of Adelaide joinery used in the making of wooden furniture is the lap joint. This is a type of joinery where the timber is cut in half, like a piece of a puzzle, and each half is placed next to each other with its edges lined up. The gap next to each piece then becomes the joint’s tongue; this is the space between the two elements that will later be covered by the articles’ cut ends. The term “lap joint” came about because the timber should be positioned so that each piece’s ends move towards the centre of the work.
Another common type of timber working joinery includes the dado joint. Unlike the lap joint, which allows pieces to shift around individually as they are pushed or pulled apart, the dado joinery ensures that two pieces stay together when they are joined. The term dado refers to the slot that the timber worker cuts into the timber piece to allow it to fit correctly. While not incredibly complicated, the procedure requires a lot of craftsmanship because the slot must be correctly positioned, and it needs to be straight so that the joinery looks symmetrical.
In addition to these standard Adelaide joinery techniques, there are many more unique methods of joining pieces together, depending on the piece’s nature and the joinery used. For example, one of the earliest uses for joinery was to join angled wood panels into corners. Although it appears to be an awkward and crude procedure at first glance, if one uses the proper tools and angles, it can look very smooth. Other examples include using rabbeted corners to join longboards or angled pieces of square wood into corners; using overlapping dowels to join corners and using rabbeted mitres to enter straight details into smooth, symmetrical profiles.
Butt joints are also used in various joinery applications, although they are quite rare in modern woodworking. A butt joint occurs when the two timber pieces that are to be joined are both already glued or nailed together, but only when one or both components need to be bent for some reason. Butt joints are most often used in interior or exterior joinery applications, where the pieces join together without needing to join them to the edge. Some examples of butt joints include tongue-and-groove, half-open, and half-open (receding). Butt joints are a little more difficult to join than other forms, so it is wise to practice with wooden pieces before attempting this on your own.