8 Ways To Make End-to-end Joints That Hold

ny 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. woodworking tips youtube woodworking tips and techniques

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 joint shown above, routed with a finger-joint bit. Check out these eight solutions, from basic to beautiful. woodworking tips youtube woodworking tips and techniques

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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 14 ” plywood saves you money and provides a strong gluing surface. woodworking tips youtube woodworking tips and techniques

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 14 ” at 3′ from the end being jointed. Then press the pieces together as you add the mounting screws, as shown below. Lay both pieces flat and allow the glue to dry before handling the joint. woodworking tips youtube woodworking tips and techniques

Screwing board with 5th screw
Eight #8×1/2″ flathead wood screw s plus glue hold this end-to-end crown molding joint tightly together. woodworking tips youtube woodworking tips and techniques
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