Whether you are crafting a jewelry box, picture frame, table or chair, you need to know how to join the pieces in a strong and durable way. This three-day workshop will teach you how to hand-cut mortises, tenons, dovetails, miters, and more. We will use both hand tools and power tools and will discuss the merits of each. Focus will be on accurate layout and careful cutting to achieve a nice fit. Please bring any chisels, saws, and layout tools that you have. We have lengthened this popular workshop to three days in order to provide more time for hands-on learning and a more in-depth overview of joinery techniques.

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Monday, 5pm

  • Competency Level: Intermediate

Course Objective

  • Provide a solid foundation of joinery techniques and applications.

Class Schedule

The course will begin at 9:00 am and go until 5:00 pm each day, with a one hour lunch break.

Course Outline

Day One

  • Overview of joints and move onto
  • Layout tools and the importance of accuracy
  • Hand tools for joinery
  • Sharpening review
  • Hand-cut mortise and tenons
  • Hand-cut dovetails
  • Lots of practice time

Day two 

  • "industrial revolution" - power tool cutting of joinery.
  • We will learn how to use the table saw to cut a wide variety of joints and then spend considerable time using routers and router tables. Plenty of practice time will enable students to fabricate examples of joints of their choice. A wide variety of jigs will be utilized to achieve predictable, repeatable results.

Day three

  • Practice more
  • Discuss how to choose and size joinery when designing furniture or other woodworking projects
  • Discuss classic joint failures and how to avoid them
  • If time allows, we will move onto some more complicated joints such as compound angle joinery and glueless joints.

Tools to Bring

  • Pencil, notebook
  • Combination square (Starret is best)
  • Chisels and Mallet
  • Backsaw
  • Dovetail Saw
  • Marking gauge (Veritas wheel gauge is nice)
  • Layout knife

* You are welcome to bring these tools if you have them already, but if you don't, wait until after the class- you'll be better able to determine which tools are "right" for you. (over)

Recommended Readings

Gary Rogowski. Joinery

R.J. DeCristoforo. The Complete Book of Joinery

Yeung Chan. Classic Joints with Power Tools

Jackson & Day. Good Wood Joints