The Science and Art of Joinery for Beginners

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Going DIY seems a smart idea when you want to have full control over design and don’t want to spend a lot of money on your projects. The downside is it can be a lofty goal when you don’t possess the right skills.

For woodworking beginners, one of the essential skills to learn is joinery. To know more about it, here’s a list of FAQs for you:

What Is Joinery?

Joinery is a process of connecting two or more pieces of wood. You can do it through the following means:

  • Fasteners, such as nails, screws, and nuts and bolts
  • Wood glue and other types of high-tensile-strength adhesives
  • Wood (e.g., joints)

From these, you can make a variety of woodworking projects. It can range from something as simple as a picture frame to a more elaborate one like cabinets and tables.

What’s the Best Material for Joinery?

These days, you have more choices of wood. For example, you can buy a plywood cabinet joinery.

Plywood is engineered wood, which means it already has derivatives or is a composite material.

Despite being not solid wood, it provides many advantages. It is durable and more resistant to impact because of the uniformity and direction of the wood grain.

It’s also much cheaper than solid wood and more comfortable to work on. You can fashion it into different sizes more conveniently, which makes it an ideal material for cabinets. Besides cabinets, you can use plywood such as pine as moulding or interior frames.

For outdoor furniture projects, bamboo and redwood will do. Both are moisture-resistant, so rain exposure won’t be a problem, although it doesn’t mean you should not maintain them.

Should a beginner like you use hardwoods for joinery? You can, but these materials are not as versatile as the others mentioned. It may be more difficult for you to work with.

Which Should You Use: Wood Glue, Liquid Nails, or Fasteners?

Pocket screws used to join wood

While fasteners, such as nails, can secure wood products correctly, they can be visible even if you paint the furniture. They may downgrade the aesthetic appeal of your project.

Hence, you may consider using adhesives like wood glue and liquid nails. The question is, are they durable? It depends on many factors, such as:

  • Strength and weight of the wood
  • Project design
  • Where you’re planning to place the wooden component
  • Quality of the adhesives

It’s not unusual for woodworkers to combine these materials. For example, they may use the adhesives as holding agents. Then, they secure everything with fasteners. If the furniture is small or the wood is lightweight or thin, adhesives only may do.

When it comes to adhesives, two of the popular options are liquid nails and wood glue. Both have many differences, so choose wisely.

How about Wood Joints?

Using wood joints is like configuring a Lego. They may different shapes, but you can fit them all together to form the structure of the furniture.

Some of these joints may be simple, such as butt joints, or complex. Others are strong enough you may not need adhesives or fasteners anymore. One of these is mortise and tenon, which is one of the oldest joints.

Like any skill, learning joinery takes some time to master. The good news is you can now find simple plans both offline and online. So what are you waiting for? Try some of the beginners’ projects today.

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