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Joinery Shootout

We push 18 popular frame joints to the breaking point


When designing a piece of furniture, how do you decide on the joinery? Chances are aesthetics, efficiency, and available tools factor into the decision. But so does strength. Fine Woodworking teamed up with a group of research engineers to test 18 popular frame joints and see which is strongest. We made five sets each of 18 different types of joints in cherry, a species used often by furniture makers. The samples were placed in a servo-hydraulic materials testing machine--essentially a hydraulic ram hooked up to a computer to record force and movement--and broken. Which ones were sturdiest? The results will surprise you.

Learn more about our testing in this short video.

From Fine Woodworking #203

From Fine Woodworking #203, pp. 36

Product Finder: Related Products

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Grizzly's 8-in. jointer is a good machine at a great price.

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This jointer was discontinued and replaced by the Yorkcraft YC-8J 8-in. jointer

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The Craftsman has the longest fence of those tested, with the locking mechansim on top rather than in back where it could slip.

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