Which (Simple) Joints Should I Learn To Make First? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Which (Simple) Joints Should I Learn To Make First?

Hi everyone;

Is there such a thing as a Universal joint that I should learn first?

I have limited tools and time, but need to make some functional shelves and display tables that should look nice, too

No need to be exquisite, but it would be great to have a joint that is hidden (or at least somehwat attractive).

Here are the tools I have:

7 and 1/4 Circular saw
Electric drill / screwdriver
claw hammer
glue
a couple of wood files (don't know the gauges, but feels kind of like medium rough sand paper, but then again, what do I know?)
Hockey Tape

and that's about it.

I could probably spend about another $30 for other tools - I know that is a low budget, especially since I will have to buy angle clamps, too.

Of course, there is always Plan B: Should I just get a pocket screw jig?

Thanks in advance and if you know of any good tutorials on cutting basic joints, please pass them along.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 02:43 AM
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First joint I did at school was M&T. We just had tenon saw (name explains) and suitable chisel. These days I tend to use pocket screws. Simple set available from amazon for no more than $15. Watch videos on utube and Kreg site.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion, johnep;

I don't know if this makes a difference at all, but I forgot to mention when I first posted that I will mostly be working with 1X6 and 1X10 planks, as well as 1X3 hardwood (not sure exactly what it is since I inherited it - maybe cherry?) as well as 2X3 pine / fir studs
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 06:42 AM
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The only tool you have that could do any joinery (dowels) is a drill. But then you would need drill bits/Forstner bits/hole saws, appropriate for the size dowel holes you need to make.





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post #5 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 06:55 AM
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At a minimum you need to add a miter box and good hand saw. You will also need a square.

The two simplest joints will be a butt joint and a miter joint.

I think the first thing you need to do is browse the woodworking section of your local library and see what books they have on beginning woodworking. If you do not find a rich source there then also browse Lowes and Home Depot and /or a local Books a Million.

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post #6 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 09:36 AM
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+1 with George. Get thee to a library, or do a search for woodwork books and buy one. You will likely find it very useful.

Here is one example.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...096,46112&ap=1

As others have said, you will need an accurate square and a decent crosscut saw. If you want to do mitre joints, you should buy or build a mitre box.

You are correct that you will need some clamps. Length and type of clamp depends on what you are building.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Hi again, Everyone:

Thanks so much for the input. Because it was late at night when I typed my question (and because my computer was having problems), I forgot to mention that I do have the following:

Inexpensive miter box
really bad hand miter saw
various drill bits (up to about 3/8 inch)
One inch drill spade
6 inch plastic speed square
metal 15 inch square
a good measuring tape
several A clamps
a 48 inch long level

Quote:
The only tool you have that could do any joinery (dowels) is a drill. But then you would need drill bits/Forstner bits/hole saws, appropriate for the size dowel holes you need to make.
Thank you, cabinetman. Yes, I can budget for the dowels and a couple different size drill bits (if I don't already have the appropriate sizes - I have lots of drill bits lying around that I inherited). My drill has a couple of levels on it, and I think with decent drill bits I could drill some holes that are more than acceptable.

Is jointing with dowels pretty strong in general? How strong is it for miter cuts?

Quote:
At a minimum you need to add a miter box and good hand saw.
Thank you, George.

Will I really have to do miter cuts by hand? One of the main reasons I bought the circular saw was so that I WOULDN'T have to do miter cuts by hand!!!

Thank you, Dave:

I will get to the library and check out some books. In the meantime, trying to learn as much online as possible. So if there are any good websites someone can recommend for basic stuff, that would be great - otherwise, it seems like the only thing out there is ehow / expert village, and I am kind of suspicious about those sites.

~~~~

One other thing: Would getting a coping saw, or an inexpensive (used) router or some other tool not be a good investment for making joints?

Thanks in advance.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 01:10 PM
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A circular saw is not a good choice to make miter joints.
For dowels you should also pick up a pkg of dowel points (less then $3) these will allow you to align the dowel holes.
What type of project will you be working on 1st?
You mention a bad saw, is it dull or bent. Dull can be corrected, bent you use to make scrapers from.
Your question poses more questions.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 01:22 PM
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Dowels are normally used for butt joints, when e.g., two boards are being joined to make wider board and help with alignment, or when making a box and end grain of one side being joined to the face grain of the other.

This is an example of the inexpensive dowel markers. Drill hole on one piece, insert the markers and dry fit and the spikes will show where to drill the holes in the other piece.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...at=1,180,42288

A circular saw is not a precision tool. The bevel scale is not accurate. It is not easy to measure the bevel to overcome the scale issues.

If the bevel is not e.g., exactly 45 deg, the joint will be off and you will spend a lot of time trying to fix.

If you want to make mitre joints, you need decent tools.

Dowels are not normally used in mitre joints. If a mitre joint needs reinforcing, splines would normally be used.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your help, woodbutcher and Dave Paine:

Quote:
What type of project will you be working on 1st?
What I am trying to build is something very similar to this:





Should I just try to do lap joints instead?

Also I am trying to do something like this (no miter cuts for this project):



Quote:
A circular saw is not a good choice to make miter joints.
Yikes, NOT what i wanted to hear.

Is a circular saw good for ANYTHING for woodworking? Or should I return the circular saw and just get good quality hand tools? (A decent table saw is WAY out of my budget, even a used one.)

Quote:
If you want to make mitre joints, you need decent tools.
I am assuming that you mean a dedicated miter saw?

If I will mostly be doing the miter cuts on 2 X 3 pieces, will a simple miter saw work?

Maybe I have to give up on the idea of miter cuts altogether...
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 03:24 PM
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Seeing the pictures helps.

The first picture you show could be made with a decent mitre box, like this one.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,42884,43836

You may find it is not easy to clamp, and would likely need to reinforce the mitre with a spline.

I would recommend either
a) Use butt joint, where the horizontal member is fill width and then screw through the horizontal member into the vertical member. Use long screws since you are screwing into end grain, which is weak for this purpose.
b) Ship lap joint. See the book you have not yet read. Essentially cut half way through each piece. Easy to clamp, and should be strong enough for this purpose.

Circular saws are good for some things such as cutting sheet goods, or ripping long boards. This is when I use my circular saw. They are also easy to carry, so for deck construction or general house framing and carpentry, they are really useful.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again, Dave:

Quote:
Circular saws are good for some things such as cutting sheet goods, or ripping long boards. This is when I use my circular saw. They are also easy to carry, so for deck construction or general house framing and carpentry, they are really useful.
well, I guess I am hosed...

I won't do much (if any) cutting of sheet goods, will rarely rip long boards, and I certainly won't be doing any framing and carpentry

At this point, don't really know what to do. I really wanted to create some custom looking clothing racks, shelves and tables for our clothing stores, but it is looking less and less possible...

The miter box you linked to looks nice, but it is rather pricey... Right now it is a sad day in Muddville...
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 04:21 PM
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I would not say you are hosed, but you may need to plan a little differently.

It is the season for garage sales. One down the road from me had the types of tools you need.

Find a decent crosscut saw. With a decent saw, cutting 2x3 stock is not difficult.

You also want some decent chisels to clean up the cuts for the ship lap joints.

I also recommend getting some hand planes. Very useful for the type of projects you want to do.

With a good hand plane, you can make a shooting board, and then could clean up mitre cuts.

These tools are commonly seen in garage sales.
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Dave:
Quote:
These tools are commonly seen in garage sales.
just to be clear, the tools you mentioned that I am likely to find at garage sales are all HAND tools (as opposed to power tools), is that correct?

Thanks in advance.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
Thank you, Dave:


just to be clear, the tools you mentioned that I am likely to find at garage sales are all HAND tools (as opposed to power tools), is that correct?

Thanks in advance.
You will find both power and hand tools at garage sales.

I was focusing on hand tools for the projects due to your comments about budget.

It is possible to make many things with hand tools. People have done this for generations.

The hand tools mentioned are useful even when you are able to purchase power tools.

I have several hand planes, chisels, tenon crosscut saw, etc.

I forgot to add look for a mallet. Better for use with chisels than a hammer. If you find a plastic deadweight mallet, this will be easier to use (the head is full of lead shot so it does not bounce back).
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the tips!

Yes, budget is a concern. I will have to go and return the circular saw to sears to be able to pay for stuff I guess...

Thanks again for your help.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
Thanks so much for your help, woodbutcher and Dave Paine:



What I am trying to build is something very similar to this:





Should I just try to do lap joints instead?

Also I am trying to do something like this (no miter cuts for this project):





Yikes, NOT what i wanted to hear.

Is a circular saw good for ANYTHING for woodworking? Or should I return the circular saw and just get good quality hand tools? (A decent table saw is WAY out of my budget, even a used one.)



I am assuming that you mean a dedicated miter saw?

If I will mostly be doing the miter cuts on 2 X 3 pieces, will a simple miter saw work?

Maybe I have to give up on the idea of miter cuts altogether...

Do not we already have this picture in another thread with another name?

G
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-30-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Do not we already have this picture in another thread with another name?
Yes, we do.

oriingally I was just going to link to that thread and say something like, Please look at this thread to see what I am talking about," but I thought it would be better "netiquette" to just add the photos to this thread.

I know some people find it off-putting to be asked to go look at another thread when it would be easier for them to just see the photo and the question at the same time.

(Oh, and I hope it doesn't seem I am spamming the forum. Just that they had asked what projects I hope to do first.)

thanks again.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 01:26 PM
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Useful site for reference

Since you were asking about different types of joints, I came across this site which has some useful reference pages on the different types of joint, and how to make.

A bridle joint may be useful for the next clothes racks.

http://www.woodworkbasics.com/bridle-joint.html
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-01-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link, Dave, and also, thanks for the suggestion about the Bridle Joint. It is DEFINITELY a possibility.

I understand it doesn't have the same aesthetics as a miter joint, but I think that the way my project turned out, getting a beautiful looking miter joint is the least of my worries.

Plus, I don't think I will EVER be able to do a miter cut M/T joint - way too much math / planning / luck involved. So the Bridle joint looks like a good substitute.

Again, thanks Dave for all your patience and help on these forums.
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