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8 ways to make end-to-end joints that hold

Finger joints
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Finger joints provide face- or
edge-grain gluing surfaces to
end-to-end joints for a stronger
glue bond.

Any joint that butts end grain to end grain will be weak because you're gluing wood fibers at their porous ends instead of along their sides. (Picture trying to glue two drinking straws together at their ends instead of along their sides.) Fortunately, you can strengthen end-to-end joints for those rare occasions when they're necessary, such as connecting two pieces of crown molding on a long wall, or making the most of pieces that are too short for your project but too long to scrap.

Boiled down to basics, you must either add reinforcements, such as plates, dowels, or screws, or cut the joint in a way that creates mechanical strength and exposes more face or edge grain for a stronger bond, such as the finger joint, shown at right. Check out these eight solutions, from basic to beautiful.


Continued on page 2:  Plain, practical straps

 

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