What is the best way to join wood for DIY furniture projects?
This article is aimed at the average DIY enthusiast who want to get involved in making their own decor accessories or furniture.
I don't claim to be an expert woodworker or carpenter. I have dabbled with dovetail joints and made furniture using mortise and tenon joints, but at the end of the day I make furniture that is affordable, modern and takes the least amount of time. Traditional carpentry has it's place if you are looking to make heirloom furniture, but for most DIY enthusiasts we want to use materials that are readily available and fit in with our modern lifestyle.
Taking this into consideration this article is intended for like-minded DIY enthusiasts who want to make their own decor accessories or furniture with the least amount of effort, have a sturdy design, but not look like it was made as a do-it-yourself project. This is where joining your furniture makes a huge difference.
There used to be a time when a simple butt joint would do, but this type of joint was always considered one of the weaker methods for joining. To overcome this dowel joints were used to reinforce and add strength but getting dowel joints accurately lined up was a pain in the butt. It's only a few years back when I advocated dowel joints as one of the best ways to join boards. That is, before the introduction of simpler and stronger methods for joining.
Kreg Pockethole Jig
The Kreg Pockethole Jig is most definitely a worthwhile investment, even if you can only afford to start off with the jig and clamp. If you can afford it, buying the complete K4 kit is definitely a plus and is less work. For the more serious DIY enthusiast, or those that run a small business making furniture, the Kreg Foreman is amazing.
Pockethole are a new innovation that allow you to join boards together without any visible screws at the front of the project. You can also use a pockethole jig on awkward or small pieces.
Tork Craft Biscuit Joiner
A biscuit joiner is now my tool of choice for joining board, especially now that Tork Craft have launched and affordable biscuit joiner that is within the reach of the average DIY enthusiast. You only have to browse through the projects in our DIY section to see how easy it is to use a biscuit joiner, and how it can save you time and still offer an extremely sturdy and strong project.
One of the latest innovations to be launched is the Festool Domino joiner. This patented joining method offers accurate assembly with maximum stability of joints.
I haven't personally used the Domino Jointer but I have seen plenty of product demonstrations. It's amazing how easily the machine cuts slots for the Domino dowels. The machine is pricey but this is most definitely one of the most advanced jointing techniques on the market.
Which one should you buy? That all depends on how much you want to invest in tools for your workshop, which also depends on how many projects you want to make and how professional you want them to be. Both the Kreg Pockethole Jig and Tork Craft Biscuit Joiner are reasonably priced and a worthwhile investment for any DIY workshop, and both offer an easy way to create strong joints for your DIY decor accessories or furniture.