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

Miter-cut scarf joints
Marking a triangle piece of board
Enlarge Image
 
To mark wider moldings, just
increase the size of this
4:1 angle guide.
Sanding side of board
Enlarge Image
 
Ride the edge of the router base along
the 4:1 angle guide for a smooth
glue edge.
Clamping board
Enlarge Image
 
A 4:1 angle increases this scarf
joint's gluing surface more
than 450 percent.

Miter-cut scarf joints

Try this joint for an even larger gluing surface. Begin by making a 4:1 angle guide that's more than double the width of the workpieces. (The guide shown in the photos measures 5x20" for a 2"-wide workpiece.) Identical cleats on both sides of the triangle help position it on the face of both workpieces, as shown at right. Mark angles on both workpieces, and bandsaw the pieces to within 1/32" of the lines on the waste sides.

Next, chuck a straight bit in your router. Clamp the guide and workpiece together against the top of a firm surface, such as your workbench, with the workpiece edge overhanging. Place the triangular piece of scrap removed by the bandsaw beneath the angled guide and next to the narrow tip, as shown in middle photo, to help stabilize the router base and back your cut at the tip. Then trim the remaining waste down to your marked line. Flip the guide upside down and rout the other workpiece.

To assemble the joint, glue the mitered edges and hold them loosely together so both edges form straight lines. Then clamp both pieces to a flat surface to prevent them from slipping when you clamp the joint together, as shown in bottom right photo.


Continued on page 8:  Basic half-lap joints

 



Comments (8)
9339616712
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
daoates wrote:

curiously he only mentions finger joints in passing. He provides some detail for 8 other ways to end join wood. I saw an old barn years ago on a family homestead(for real) that was hand cut in a floor beam that was a dazzler. can't describe other than it was keyed so once the key was pushed in the joint was tight and required no other fasteners. The endless variety of techniques is why this makes such a great hobby or vocation. One never runs out of things to try.

4/16/2015 12:41:52 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
chiphegel1 wrote:

this is for rruchti4390. You must have had everything handed to you on a silver platter growing up. This is for rruchti4390. You must have had everything handed to you on a silver platter growing up and have no sense of adve ture Also for your information a few hundred years ago a pinch of salt was worth more than gold

4/16/2015 12:26:11 PM Report Abuse
rtjurgens wrote:

Thank you rbtpartman. I agree with your comment. Part of what makes a good woodworker (also true of any other trade) is to be creative and resourceful. To insist that someone provide EVERYTHING every time someone writes something is rather ludicrous.

4/16/2015 10:11:18 AM 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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