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

Plain, practical straps
Screwing board with 5th screw
Enlarge Image
Eight #8x1/2" flathead wood screw
s plus glue hold this end-to-end
crown molding joint tightly together.

Plain, practical straps

Use simple metal or plywood straps to reinforce butt joints where they can be hidden or where appearance isn't important, such as on the back side of a wide crown molding where you can't afford any waste. Making your own custom-sized straps from 1/4" plywood saves you money and provides a strong gluing surface.

To install a wooden strap, cut it as wide as the workpiece allows. If you're joining pieces with a profile on the opposite face, such as molding, locate the screw holes over the thickest profile points -- at the peak of a ridge or curve, for example.

To make the joint, glue and screw one side of the strap to a workpiece. After the glue dries, glue the other half of the strap, and clamp the assembly to a flat surface. For a tight joint, raise the other workpiece about 1/4" at 3' from the end being jointed. Then press the pieces together as you add the mounting screws, as shown right. Lay both pieces flat and allow the glue to dry before handling the joint.

Continued on page 3:  Pocket-hole screws


Comments (8)
Basil_Wood wrote:

This exact article appeared Jully 19, 2014. Recycling? No. Excellent for those who might have missed it earlier. We'll probably see it again in 2016 :)

4/16/2015 07:25:34 PM Report Abuse
urband9 wrote:

I have used finger joints to extend the length of a board. The problem is that the screws go into end grain and don't hold very well. Even with glue it was not a tight joint.

4/16/2015 01:34:53 PM Report Abuse
PePaw wrote:

The only way I'm aware to make them is with a router bit. Same for dowels. Dowell jigs are abundant. I have the first I used that was made by a Master Tool & Die maker for my Dad at least 65 years ago. I have several more "fool proof" ones but still avoid dowels when ever I can as I still can't seem to get satisfactory alignment. Commercial finger joints I see are usually in molding stock and finished door and frame units.

4/16/2015 12:29:19 PM Report Abuse
rbtpartsman wrote:

And you really can't just search Wood Magazine's excellent online site to find articles on Finger joints ? We are woodworkers after all. We don't have to have every little skill in a "link". Very easy to find out simple finger joint instructions online, in past magazines, from a friend.... Simply not fair to call the suggestion basically worthless because they don't put a link in the article.

4/16/2015 10:02:17 AM Report Abuse
rruchti4390 wrote:

Your information on finger joints is not worth a pinch of salt if you don't explain how to make them, or at least a link to that information

11/20/2014 10:15:58 AM Report Abuse

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