LumberJocks

Getting into the "hobby" #3: Down the rabbet hole of joinery

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Blog entry by ScrapWoodAddict posted 09-26-2021 02:14 PM 596 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: So now what do I build??? Part 3 of Getting into the "hobby" series no next part

So, this is less about what I am trying to do or what I’ve learned how to do, and just more about the amazement a (very) novice “woodworker” is experiencing when viewing others work.

Simple Joinery

So, I love joinery. I always have loved the look of it and the concept that a structure is essentially supporting itself with increase surface area made to fit, I mean, can you get any more efficient AND effective?! I’ve even built a box joint jig that works pretty well. It’s for 5/8” box joints which I think is a little bit big, but I still think my reasoning is sound: the “planks” on pallets – which are a great source of free wood for someone who encounters a copious amount of errors – are about 5/8” thick, so it makes a nice square box joint.

I haven’t done anything for dovetail joints, but that’s next on my list. They’re like an advanced box joints: same amount of cuts, just a little angling of the ol’ table saw blade. I still consider dovetail joints to be “simple” but as with anything they’re less simple if you’re trying to master them.

I just learned of the term “rabbet”, I’ve always just called it a “ledge”. And I don’t even know if it counts as a “joint” because it doesn’t seem to be “joining” anything on its own (is that necessary for a “joint”?). I like these because they are a part of my (planned) box building. They allow for a smoother look and that’s what I’m going for.

Crazy Joinery

Honestly, how did anyone even come up with some of these?!!

Is this the beautiful result of what humans can do when we’re not all staring at screens? What are the principles that are used to build these? Is it as simple as ensuring symmetry exists for the cuts to fit together? Then maybe if they don’t hold, add a provision for a dowel? Whatever it is, when I look at some of the joinery that is out there, it’s just…amazing and intimidating to see what real woodworkers and craftsmen are able to do. And its a testament to what can be done when engineering and design come together, something that a lot of today’s manufacturers seem to struggle with.

Oh, and “now software” (http://https://hackaday.com/2020/10/23/complex-wood-joints-thanks-to-new-softwares-interactive-features/) is going to make even crazier joinery? Is that even fun?

Some day I hope I’m able to make something more than a dovetail joint, but for now I’m happy with focusing on doing that really well. Hopefully I’ll be able to shift focus from shop improvements to actual projects that allow me to show off the journey of learning joinery to everyone here.

Cheers!

-- - making a mess...the fun way



3 comments so far

View HowardAppel's profile

HowardAppel

114 posts in 4277 days


#1 posted 09-26-2021 09:21 PM

Some of the more complicated ones were indeed based on the scarcity and price of mechanical connectors. Many of these came from Japan and are centuries old, sometimes many centuries, during a period when Japan had limited access to metal ores.

One very good website to watch how these are done is https://www.youtube.com/c/DorianBracht/videos. He just demonstrates, he doesn’t explain.

Another is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z6o6byinzY.

Another is https://www.youtube.com/c/DylanIwakuni/videos.

Those should keep you occupied for a few months. Enjoy.

View Rich's profile

Rich

7456 posts in 1832 days


#2 posted 09-26-2021 09:50 PM


He just demonstrates, he doesn t explain.

- HowardAppel

It may not be a how-to, but he demonstrates excellent technique. The first thing the OP should get from them is his use of a marking knife and gauges. Without proper marking techniques, the rest doesn’t have a chance.

In what is a bit of a paradox, the less you use a use a ruler, the more accurate your results will be.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2890 posts in 844 days


#3 posted 09-27-2021 02:30 PM


The first thing the OP should get from them is his use of a marking knife and gauges. Without proper marking techniques, the rest doesn t have a chance.

In what is a bit of a paradox, the less you use a use a ruler, the more accurate your results will be.

- Rich


^^^^This.

I only use a ruler when rough cutting boards or maybe a symmetrical layout. After that it is all relative to that other pieces.

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