Handcrafted Furniture Joinery Techniques

We like handcrafted furniture joinery. Jesse is our main furniture maker and he’s a big fan of using traditional cabinet making joinery techniques in our workshop. Its one of the best parts of our job and an area we have a lot of passion for. It’s why we got into this business. A lot of furniture is made with different kinds of metal fixings or brackets. These are tacky we think, and prefer our timber furniture to be made from timber only. All of our joinery is cut and shaped by hand.

We use mainly these handcrafted furniture joins:

The good ol butt join.

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery -Butt Joins
It’s not the most interesting of the joins, but when used with dowels or a floating tenon, it definitely does the job.

Mitred join.

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery - Mitre JoinWe give this guy a go fairly often. Its made by cutting two pieces of timber at 45 degrees which are then joined at a right angled and strengthened with joining biscuits. We use this a fair bit because it keeps boxes looking neat and symmetrical, and is much nicer than a butt join. You can see this join in action on these bedside tables

Half Housing join.

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery - Half Housing JoinThis joint is made by cutting out half of each piece of timber and fitting them together. We use it a fair bit on the underside of tabletops or seats. It makes for quite a strong piece of furniture if the joins are cut well (which they always are).

Mortise and Tenon.

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery - Mortise and Tenon This is a strong and cool looking join. It’s made by cutting out a hole (the mortise), and then shaping another piece of wood into a prong (the tenon) which fits nicely in there.

Tongue and Groove Join.

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery - Tongue and Groove Join We use this for joining panels together edge to edge, like in the bottom of a drawer or the back panel of a cabinet. We don’t always cut these joins ourselves, we sometimes use pre-cut floorboards.

This Join

Handcrafted Furniture Joinery - Zig Zag Join We couldn’t figure out what this join actually is called so we’re calling it a zigzag join. We mainly use this join when we wanted a mitre join but the timber was too big to cut with our saw.

So there you have it – handcrafted furniture joinery 101. Just in case you were wondering. Thanks for reading.

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