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I have been watching another thread and it got me to thinking about woodworking and the different types of joinery used. I thought this might make for some interesting discussion on how we view our woodworking.

Since this is about how we see our woodworking and the joinery we choose to use. There is no right or wrong answers or need for debate over what joints are use.

What got me to thinking about this was by own assessment of my woodworking and Cabinet Mans view of pocket hole joinery. In my woodworking journey I have limited myself by what I call my all around general use joinery.

Up to this point in my journey my projects have been mainly built using a series of Dado's and Grooves, Rabbets and short tenons. This allowed me to build a project in a short amount of time and only needing to use some glue and brads. There have been the occasional Mortise and Tenon joints along with some Half Lap Joints and Box joints and limited Dove Tail joints. There has also been a time or two I've thought about Pocket Hole Joinery. Up to now I've been satisfied with the fruits of my labor and the projects I have created in a relatively short amount of time.

I've come to a point in this journey to slow down in my need finish a project, and look at how I view joinery, and incorporating different joinery instead of relying on what I have come to call my utility joinery. It no longer is about using joinery to quickly assemble a project or about using machines or hand tools to accomplish a type of joint. But what joint to use in the journey of the project and what detail will it add to the projects character.

Where are you in your woodworking journey and the joinery that you use, or would like to use. Whether its hand tools or machine tools used doesn't matter. Its about the journey your on.
 

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Geeeez. I don't have an all around joint. I base my joinery on design and aesthetics. I stick to the more traditional methods. I enjoy cutting dovetails by hand, and will use them for boxes and drawers. I'll use stub tennons on a panel door, but never on a table leg/apron where I like a full M/T. Half laps and bridle joints for more utilitarian pieces, or where I feel strength is needed.

If I have a day with nothing to do. I like to practice on new joints, kind of a "skill builder" day. I don't use pocket screws, only because I just don't use them. I have a biscuit jointer, I think it's under my dovetail jig, which is hidden behind the exercise machine. I edge join boards only after I prep them with my hand plane.

Guess I'm unproductive and weird. :) but I have fun
 

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Old School
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I have been watching another thread and it got me to thinking about woodworking and the different types of joinery used. I thought this might make for some interesting discussion on how we view our woodworking.

Where are you in your woodworking journey and the joinery that you use, or would like to use. Whether its hand tools or machine tools used doesn't matter. Its about the journey your on.
Anyone can walk into a Woodcraft store or order woodworking machinery online and have it delivered. They can set up a shop, and feel pretty good about what they have. Are they woodworkers yet?

It takes doing the work. It takes experimenting, and developing skills. I've never been a hobbyist in woodworking, as my start was to earn a living. So, I view my work as a craft. My clients expect "custom" craftsmanship. That's why they aren't buying big box store cabinets. They visit my shop during fabrication, and I have nothing to hide.

My attitude is that I know what methods are predictable. I enjoy using traditional joinery. It's like solving a puzzle. If I used pocket holes would I be practicing "craftsmanship"? I guess it takes a certain amount of skill to set up the jig, drill the hole, and insert a screw.

Would I have the same attitude for my work if I used "quickie" assembly methods? Does my joinery stand up to constant moving about the shop during fabrication and finishing? Does the casework stay together being loaded on a truck, unloaded on site and installed? No doubt in my mind.








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I am just now getting into joinery, almost every project I have made so far has been with screws and glue using butt joints.
Its not easy teaching myself but youtube and trial and error have taught alot so far.
 

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It's funny, every time a post comes up about pocket screws Cman gets all worked up and says they are no good. But you know what that is his opinion and I can appreciate that.

Personally on kitchen cabinets with face frames, and I like face frames, I use pocket hole screws and you won't be able to convince me otherwise.
With the screws on the back of the face frame and they are not seen. Even though it is a butt joint, it is screwed and glued. I have been using them for over 25 years and have never had one pull apart. Are they the best joint? No! But they are very sufficient and fast for many applications that do not require traditional joinery.

Cabinet face frames are not a high stress joint area. If they were no good, cabinet companies would not use them.
Like I have said before its like gluing a piece together and leaving the clamps on. In fact I have had to take some apart and have ruined the joint because the glue pulled some of the wood apart.
I do however dado the back of the face frames for box part of the cabinet to fit into and I do not nail through the face frames to attach them to the box.

On the other hand, if I am building a piece of furniture or something that requires real strength I do not use pocket screws. I will use the strongest and most plausible joinery for that particular application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brink, it sounds like your view of woodworking and joinery is where I'm heading in my journey.

Cabinet man, I meant your view of Pocket Hole joinery in a positive way. Granted I failed to mention also your view on traditional joinery. Which was why I mentioned you in this thread. The fact that your view is production and yet maintaining traditional joinery is interesting and is what makes your custom cabinets desirable.

I mentioned Pocket Hole Joinery as a type of joinery, because like any other joint I believe it has its place. Granted its a glorified Butt joint with some teeth to it. I can see the application of Pocket Hole joinery in face frames where the pocket holes are hidden from view, over lets say using Biscuit Joinery for face frames.

I've tried Biscuit Joinery a few times, and found like Pocket Hole joinery it to has its place in joinery. I find a good glue joint will serve to make a better joint in most cases.

Has anyone here tried Draw Bore Joinery and where do you find its best application in joinery? This is another type of joinery that has drawn my attention and its strength in counter boring the hole in the tenon.

Look forward to hearing others views.
 

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Has anyone here tried Draw Bore Joinery and where do you find its best application in joinery? This is another type of joinery that has drawn my attention and its strength in counter boring the hole in the tenon.

I have pinned a few MT joints in my day. By slightly offsetting the holes, it does draw the joint together nicely.

There is another technique called "blind draw bore", where the pins are only drilled through the backside and the tenon, and are not seen from the front. :smile:
 

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Mdntrdr,

This "joinery" question you have postulated can be a very complex and convoluted subject.

I have used and use many different types of woodworking joints and fastening systems from simply nailing things together to cutting curved or angle dovetail joints by hand. Each method merits discussion and each has it's pros and cons.

I have conducted my own non-scientific comparisons of various joinery strengths and the results are not always what you would expect. For instance the first sketch shows a solid hardwood drawer front with a 3/8" deep dado cut in it to receive a 1/2" drawer side. When glued and then toe stapled with 1/4 x 1-1/4 narrow crown staples, this joint far exceeds the strength of a similar drawer using half blind dovetails. My test compared how many blows from a 22 oz. framing hammer it took to separate the drawer fronts from the sides. That being said, I would not use the stapled drawer front on fine furniture because it is aesthetically inferior to the commonly expected dovetail.

Many makers (myself included) have built a nice dovetailed drawer box then screw a drawer front onto that with four screws. I find this somewhat disingenuous and have gotten away from this method.

For face frames, I've used butt joints with glue-blocks, dowels, mortise and tenon, biscuits, corrugated fasteners, pocket screws. The simplest of these joints can be plenty strong if used in conjunction with rail stiffeners shown behind the face frame in the second drawing. In fact to demonstrate the strength of the stiffener system I have laid base cabinets on their backs and walked around on the face frames without any joint failure. I would not dare try that without stiffeners.

For fine furniture, the hand cut dovetails is the hallmark of fine craftsmanship, however, Sam Maloof's double lapped flanged sculpted chair leg joinery is a masterpiece of strength and artistry and he backed it up by adding large screws and plugging them. When I build chairs i use double lap joints or M & T with large screws. If nothing else, the screws eliminates much of the clamping that would be necessary without them.

Some of the more complex joinery I've done was in timber framing. One has to allow for green timbers to shrink and still have the joinery look good. It must also lock together solidly without glue using wedged tenons or draw bores with dowels or some such.

Bret
 

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While I don't consider myself new to woodworking, I know that I have a GREAT DEAL to learn. When I started, I was always looking for the easiest way to put things together, so that started with edge gluing and screws. I was always looking for the fast way to do joinery with power tools. I am learning that though I can put together a nice project farily quickly, that there is a "craft" to this, and am starting do more difficult joints, like splines, M&T, half laps, and dovetails. There is no better satisfaction that when you make a joint by hand though, and I am learning that more and more.

I am far from a proficient woodworker, but really enjoy my hobby, and am looking forward to future projects that test my abilities to try new types of joinery.

Fabian
 

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Anyone can walk into a Woodcraft store or order woodworking machinery online and have it delivered. They can set up a shop, and feel pretty good about what they have. Are they woodworkers yet?

It takes doing the work. It takes experimenting, and developing skills. I've never been a hobbyist in woodworking, as my start was to earn a living. So, I view my work as a craft. My clients expect "custom" craftsmanship. That's why they aren't buying big box store cabinets. They visit my shop during fabrication, and I have nothing to hide.

My attitude is that I know what methods are predictable. I enjoy using traditional joinery. It's like solving a puzzle. If I used pocket holes would I be practicing "craftsmanship"? I guess it takes a certain amount of skill to set up the jig, drill the hole, and insert a screw.

Would I have the same attitude for my work if I used "quickie" assembly methods? Does my joinery stand up to constant moving about the shop during fabrication and finishing? Does the casework stay together being loaded on a truck, unloaded on site and installed? No doubt in my mind.








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Geez, you sound like every SF guy I've ever known. ;-)
 

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"It's funny, every time a post comes up about pocket screws Cman gets all worked up and says they are no good. But you know what that is his opinion and I can appreciate that."

I have never seen this reaction. He states that he does not use this joinery method. Different strokes for different folks. I certainly do not see his comments as negative.

Joinery is a means to an end. Depending upon your goal on any given project you use the joint that will best fit that goal if it is within your experience or ability.

George
 

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Every joint/fastening system has negatives.........they also have positives.The job,in my pea brain is to understand and impliment them in ways that excercise their "pro's".....and minimise the "cons"

Did a buttload of shouldered,double,pinned(dowels through face),through mortises on some rather large shutters on an early 19th century Hist/pres. house.Original,hand wrought strap hinges.Disassembling,cleaning up,replacing only those parts that needed it.Guess thats where I get the appreciation for a "repairable" joint.Old furniture frequently falls into this category.........just sayin.BW


Edit to add,was working on a 300 yo old door yesterday.It had/has some issues but they're deffinately "fixable".
 
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