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Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

Understanding the Use of Table Saw Joints

Woodworking and carpentry are a very rewarding, you get to see the results of your own hard work at the end of the day. For you to be happy with your project, and for the project to turn out successfully, you need to follow the right steps and the right techniques to use.

One of the most important aspects of building anything with wood is how you join various pieces together. This involves using various kinds of joints and knowing when to use which joints. We are here to discuss all of the different types of joints that you can make with table saws as well as what their individual uses are.

What Is A Joint

To put it in simple terms, a joint in a piece of wood is a kind of groove or cut that is used to attach one piece of wood to another. There are many different joints that can be made with a table saw.Let’s talk about all of the different types of joints that you can make with a table saw.

Dados & Rabbets

One of the most common types of joints that you can make with a table saw is a dado joint. A dado is a slot or joint that is cut into a piece of wood or other materials. When you look at a dado from the sides, it has 3 sides to the cut, the left, the right, and the bottom. The dado is one of the strongest joints that you can choose to go with.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Generally speaking, a dado cut is made against the grain of wood and perpendicular to the length of the wood. Therefore, when you make a dado, you need to use your miter gauge to make a cross cut. On a side note, dados that are made with the length of the wood, or parallel to the grain of the wood, are usually called grooves.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Dados can be a stopped or blind dado, which means that it stops part way through the wood, and they can also be through dados that go from one side of the wood to the other. When making a joint that involves dados, only one of the two pieces of wood has a dado cut, the other has a rabbet cut, which is a 90 degree square cut out of the end of a piece of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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The piece of wood that has a rabbet in it is the piece that gets inserted into the piece of wood with a dado or groove in it. The dado and rabbet combination is most often used for cabinetry and shelf making, in doors and casement window jambs, and for shiplap planking.

In the case of cabinets, there is usually no securing method so that the shelves can be removed. In cases where the jointing is supposed to be permanent, either wood glue or screws can be used to firmly attach the two pieces of wood to each other.

The Butt Joint

A butt joint is by far the easiest to make, but then again it is also the weakest type of joint. The butt joint does not require any special cutting or shaping, nor does it generally use any type of reinforcement. A butt joint is made by simply cutting the two pieces of wood to the appropriate length and placing their ends together so that they form a 90 degree angle.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Since butt joints usually do not have much reinforcement, they are inherently weak and prone to coming apart.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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There are multiple ways of attaching these butt joints to each other including with screws, nails, wood glue, dowels, knock down fasteners, and biscuit reinforcing. Of the reinforcement methods, using dowels or biscuits are of the most reliable, especially when used in combination with glue.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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The most common butt joint use is for making square boxes. Butt joints can also be used when constructing square or rectangular cabinets, boxes, panels, tabletops, and drawers. Generally speaking, things that aren’t going to bear too much weight will utilise butt joints.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Mortise & Tenon Joints

The mortise and tenon joint is perhaps one of the oldest types of joints around that carpenters and woodworkers have been using for well over 1,000 years. This is a fairly easy type of joint to make and can be done by hand or by machine. A mortise and tenon joint is most often used for connecting two pieces of wood to each other at a 90 degree angle.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Every mortise and tenon joint consists of two main components, those being the mortise holes and the tenon prongs. Generally speaking, the mortise hole will be placed on the width of a piece of wood along its length, either at the end or somewhere in the middle. The tenon prong is then cut out of the end of a piece of wood, effectively reducing the width and height at one end.

There are many different types, shapes, and variations of the mortise and tenon joint, way too many to list here, each of which have their own specific uses.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

http://www.handymantips.org/mortise-and-tenon-joint/

The Tenon prong is then inserted into the mortise hole to create a solid joint. The tenon prong will have shoulders which stop it from entering into the hole any further, but generally speaking ,the cut out for the mortise whole should be the exact same as the size of the prong to ensure a tight fit.

Both the mortise hole and the tenon prong are square in shape to stop any lateral or circular movement once they are put together. This type of joint can be strengthened with the use of glue, screws, or nails for some extra reinforcement. Ideally, the tenon prong should be one third of the thickness of the rail of the wood to be considered structurally sound.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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The mortise and tenon joint can be used for a variety of applications including building boxes, adjoining various pieces of cabinets and shelves, flooring, building walls, and much more. Mortise and tenon joints are fairly strong and are thus often used when building houses.

In fact, mortise and tenon joints can also be used for metals and stone too, thus also making it an ideal house building joint.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Dovetail Joints

Dovetail joints are usually considered to be some of the aesthetically pleasing types of joints, simply because they look fairly stylish. The dovetail joint is a fairly strong type of joint and is known for its tensile strength and their resistance to being pulled apart.

A dovetail joint involves cutting a series of pins, otherwise known as tendons, into one end of a board that are trapezoidal in shape, and cutting a series of tails that are trapezoidal in shape into another board.

The pins and tails can then be slid into each other from the side to create an interlocking joint that is very hard to pull apart. Often the dovetail joint is secured into place using wood glue.

People really like the dovetail joint as it does not require any mechanical fastening such as the use of nails, screws, biscuits, or any other type of reinforcement. This type of joint is a harder type of joint to make, requires a whole lot of measurement, and takes a lot of precision cutting. The dovetail joint can be cut manually, with a table saw, or with a router and dovetail jig.

There are various different types of dovetail joints, with one of the most common ones being the through dovetail joint. The through dovetail joint is where the end grain of both boards is exposed, and the pins and tails are cut all the way through from one end to another.

This is considered to be a very good looking joint and is therefore usually not concealed. This type of dovetail joint is often used for box and drawer construction.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Another type of dovetail joint is the half blind dovetail joint. This type of dovetail joint is used when the carpenter does not want the end grain of the wood to be visible from the front of the finished project. When it comes to half blind dovetail joints, the tails are encased in the sockets at the end of the board.

Unlike through dovetails, half blind dovetails involve cutting the tails into the height of the board instead of into the length, as is illustrated below. The half blind dovetail joint is most often used for things like fastening drawer fronts onto drawer sides and also for cabinet building.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Another type of dovetail joint is the sliding dovetail. This dovetail joint is used to join two pieces of wood perpendicularly to form a 90 degree angle. The sliding dovetail joint is most often used to cut attach the length of one piece of wood to the wider flat surface of another piece of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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This type of dovetail, instead of using several pins and tails only used one pin and one tail that are both trapezoidal in shape and thus slide into each other.

The sliding dovetail joint is quite strong because once it is slid together, it has a very high tensile strength and is virtually impossible to pull apart. A sliding dovetail joint can be reinforced by using glue, nails, or even screws if so desired and if the wood is thick enough to accommodate screws or nails.

Often the rear end of the sliding socket will be slightly tighter than the front, which makes it easy to slide in, but becomes very tight once it is fully inserted and in place, thus harder to disassemble.

The sliding dovetail joint has a number of different uses including joining cabinets to shelves, joining cabinet bottoms to sides, joining horizontal partitions to shelves, joining drawer fronts and sides, joining expandable table frames, and even joining the necks to the bodies of some guitars and violins.

Pocket Hole Joints

The pocket hole joint is a fairly common type of joint to use. This method of joining wood is generally used to attach two pieces of wood perpendicular to each other, but it can also be used to attach the widths or heights of two pieces of wood.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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Generally speaking, a pocket hole joint involves drilling one or several holes into a piece of wood at the end of one of its lengths at a 15 degree angle to penetrate through the middle of the grain of a piece of wood. This piece of wood is then put against another piece, and they are screwed together by inserting screws through the holes that have been drilled.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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This type of joint is easy to make, it doesn’t require any intense measuring or mathematical skill, and it does not take much work to make. These joints can be reinforced with some glue, but they are fairly weak.

The pocket hole joint is often used for creating things like picture frames, face frames, desk frames, small cabinets and drawers, and other items which do not have to bear much weight such as small boxes.

Miter Joints

Miter joints are fairly easy table saw joints to create and they really don’t take much time, but on the other hand, they are some of the weaker joints that you could go with. The miter joint needs to be joined together using glue wood glue, nails, or screws.

Understanding The Use Of Table Saw Joints

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You use the miter on your table saw to cut the ends of 2 pieces of wood at a 45 degree angle. This way, when you go to join the pieces of wood, both of the 45 degree angles meet up and fit together correspondingly. This type of joint is most often used in cornering, such as when making desk frames, table frames, cabinet frames, and other types of square frames, as well as in installing crown molding.

Conclusion

The secret to success to any kind of woodworking project is using the right tools, procedures, and methods, with one of the most important aspects being the type of joint that you use to attach one piece of wood to another. Using the right joint for the right job will go a long way in determining how well your project turns out.

Whether it is a dado joint, a miter joint, a pocket hole joint, or a dovetail joint, it is up to you to know which one is best in specific situations. As long as you use the right table saw joint for a certain wood connecting job, you should not have any problems with your woodworking project.

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