How to Make Advanced Joints

This story shows you how to create advanced joints using pocket-hole and biscuit joinery.

Advanced Joints

Traditional joinery takes a lot of time to do right. That's why woodworkers seek quicker ways to accomplish the same result. During the past decade, two new joinery techniques have grown in popularity.

Pocket-hole joinery employs a small, fairly inexpensive jig; a special bit; and auger-point screws to cut project construction time in half. The technique is easy to learn and eliminates the need for a large number of clamps.

Biscuit joinery uses a biscuit or plate joiner machine to cut oval slots in the wood pieces. Compressed wood biscuits are inserted in the slots and glued. The glue makes the biscuits expand, creating a solid joint.

Pocket-Hole Joinery: Step 1

To make a joint, clamp the pocket-hole jig in place. Set the depth stop; then drill angled screw holes in one of the pieces.

Pocket-Hole Joinery: Step 2

After drilling the holes, remove the jig. Apply glue to the mating piece and butt the two together. Drive the screws.

Pocket-Hole Joinery: Step 3

Pocket-hole joinery, best used where it won't be visible, is an easy way to attach reinforcing corner blocks to a project.

Biscuit Joinery: Step 1

Use a speed square or combination square to mark biscuit locations in both boards. The boards must be machined as for edge joining.

Biscuit Joinery: Step 2

Clamp the piece in place and center the biscuit joiner on a mark. Cut out the biscuit slot, then repeat for all slots in each board.

Biscuit Joinery: Step 3

Insert biscuits, without glue, in the edge of one board and test fit. Make any needed adjustments. When you're satisfied with the fit, apply glue evenly inside the slots on both pieces and to all mating surfaces. Clamp and let dry.


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