Which Woodworking Joint SHOULD YOU USE?

After many requests, here is my method for choosing the most suitable woodworking joint for a certain task. Keep in mind that there are many paths to achieve the same destination in woodworking, this is no exception. What is important to understand is the consequences of choosing a certain joint over another.

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My name is Matt Estlea, I’m a 22 year old Woodworker from Basingstoke in England and my aim is to make your woodworking less s***.

I come from 5 years tuition at Rycotewood Furniture Centre and 4 years experience working at Axminster Tools and Machinery where I still currently work on weekends. During the week, I film woodworking projects, tutorials, reviews and a viewer favourite ‘Tool Duel’ where I compare two cometitive manufacturers tools against one another to find out which is best.

I like to have a laugh and my videos are quite fast paced BUT you will learn a lot, I assure you.

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20 Replies to “Which Woodworking Joint SHOULD YOU USE?”

  1. I would like to point out that your conception of a lap joint is wrong on several fronts, and I wouldn't bother to mention it, but they're important. The first is, it's not the weakest joint. The stub tenon joint is the weakest joint. Even a reinforced butt joint (biscuits, dowels, etc. do not equal the strength of a lap joint. The mechanical advantage for a lap joint are the shoulders. The shoulders provide tremendous strength to the joint, particularly when racking. Also, the thing you mention as "friction" is referred to as "surface area". The greater the surface area, the greater the gluing surface hence the greater the strength. None of these are fables, there are hundreds of articles on joints and the strength of each. If you have a subscription to Fine Woodworking magazine you can find an excellent article at https://www.finewoodworking.com/2009/01/01/joinery-shootout, Wikipedia has several articles you can research and a host of others including the scientific fellows at the Woodworkers Guild of America and more. I'd post more, but I imagine I'd be infringing on copyrights and whatnot, but some bottom line results are as follows:

    HALF LAP 1,603 lb.

    BRIDLE 1,560 lb.

    SPLINED MITER 1,498 lb.

    3⁄8-IN. MORTISE & TENON 1,444 lb.

    3⁄8-IN. FLOATING M&T 1,396 lb.

    MITER 1,374 lb.

    3⁄8-IN. WEDGED M&T 1,210 lb.

    3⁄8-IN. PINNED M&T 1,162 lb.

    5⁄16-IN. M&T 988 lb.

    BEADLOCK 836 lb.

    DOWELMAX 759 lb.

    ¼ -IN. M&T 717 lb.

    POCKET SCREW 698 lb.

    DOMINO 597 lb.

    BISCUIT 545 lb.

    BUTT 473 lb.

    COPE & STICK 313 lb.

    STUB TENON 200 lb.

    If you want to find out about the tests, get a subscription or just buy the Jan 2009 issue and you can read about it in great detail (including how the tests were conducted).

  2. I was just going to make a joke that you look like jon snow, but now im going to say how insightfull this video was and thanks. And you look like jon snow.

  3. Awesome video man. Sorry, but you just have that type of face that I want to punch the shit out of…I think it's the hair man, I just want to watch it flap back and forth after socking you in the nose…

    Anyways, great tips man, I learned alot. Subscribed

  4. Do you have a video showing how you made that work bench you show in this video? Because I'm looking to build a nice looking, yet sturdy (especially sturdy) work bench soon.

  5. Holy cow! That's a lot of talking. Just that point was impressive because you clearly weren't reading a script, but pulling it all out as you went. So for that, cheers, mate. (Sorry for the American a cent there)

    I have subscribed and will be watching more of your videos because they don't just show what is done, but how and why and tips, tricks and pitfalls. Sure, watching a guy build furniture without glue, screws or nails is impressive, I actually learn from you. My only negative comment is as someone else mentioned, you talk very fast.

  6. I couldn't remember what a finger joint was called so I was describing it by lacing my fingers together haha, it's literally a finger joint. Thanks Matt.

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