In woodworking, there are lots of different joints that can be used to connect two pieces of wood together. Among the most popular is the finger joint, which gets its name because it looks like a series of fingers connecting the two pieces of wood. Finger joints are strong and look great, making them perfect for projects where appearance is important. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make finger joints on a table saw.
To make finger joints you will need:
A table saw, a hand or circular saw if possible, or an electric jigsaw would be good at cutting out the fingers precisely and quickly. – A chisel for cutting out any little bits of wood that have been leftover from when you were cutting the fingers with your handsaw/jigsaw/table saw. – Hammer, screwdriver, or nail set for pushing in any dowels. – A clamp, or a hand if it is strong enough to hold the wood tightly together while you screw in the dowels.
How To Make Finger Joints On A Table Saw?
First mark out on both pieces of wood 1/4″ from each end, 1/2″ from the edge, and again 3/8″ up from the top which will be level with each other when they are placed flush against each other. Then use your chisel to cut along this line that you have marked off running perpendicular from where your fingers will be coming from.
Take your jigsaw and carefully cut around one end of the board, then across underneath making sure you aren’t cutting through any of the wood underneath, and then cut out a square or rectangle around the other end.
You can now use your table saw to cut off the corners of the first board which have been left but ensure that you don’t cut down onto any of those fingers because they are what will connect the two pieces together.
Now line up these boards as if they were already joined together and place them against a fence on your table saw so that half of each board is sticking out past it. Make sure that when doing this you keep both pieces in exactly the same position with respect to each other so that each piece is flipped over at an identical angle before cutting into both of them.
Turn on your saw then very slowly push it through both pieces of wood ensuring that they stay against the fence at all times. Make sure that both pieces of wood are lined up as closely as possible together along the top or, if you have already cut off those corners, along the bottom edge to give a nice flush finish when they’re glued back together later.
Once you have passed through both boards at once check that it has created an even depth across both pieces of wood and that there aren’t any bits sticking out overhanging from either piece.
Now turn off your saw and take your screwdriver and hammer to tap these little bits down so they don’t hang over the edge of the adjoining board which could potentially snag on something else in your project.
Once done you can now grab a dowel by hand or with the clamp and insert it into each of the holes you have created which will give your dowels a good bit of guidance to make sure they stay straight. Leave them for 24 hours before taking them out again so that the glue has time to dry. If you are looking for an easy way to make these without having any clamps or anything readily available.
Advanced techniques for making finger joints
If you want to be able to achieve a more professional finish, or you’re just making something with an awful lot of finger joints in it, glueing the dowels in with glue rather than hammering them in with nails will give the joint much better structural integrity so that when you go to use your piece it won’t fall apart. This can also help give your piece extra strength when attaching it together which means fewer nails holding pieces together and makes for easier disassembly later on too.
Also if you are planning on doing some routing/carving into this joint then having these holes drilled all the way through can make this process a great deal easier by giving your router bit somewhere to pass straight through without having to cut around any pieces and risk causing them to break off. This also means that there is less chance of the router bit catching on any pieces and making this process a great deal safer too.
Using dowels doesn’t just have to be used for joining pieces of wood together, it can also be used in place of mortising or biscuit joints when attaching table tops onto the legs of your furniture.
Why not try applying these techniques to something you’re working on right now? Take a look around your house and find something made with finger joints which would benefit from having some dowelling in it and see how much better off you’d be by doing so! You might even come up with some other unique ways to use dowels when building things yourself.
The benefits of using finger joints in woodworking projects
- The joint will be stronger and more durable because it’s made with a much thicker piece of wood.
- It’ll make the project look a lot better as you won’t have any visible or unsightly joints in your work.
- Your customers will be delighted to see that their furniture is well put together and not falling apart at the seams.
- You’ll feel a lot more accomplished and satisfied with your work when you see that you’ve spent time using your skills to put together a really nice and professional-looking piece of furniture.
- Of course, the benefits of using finger joints in woodworking projects go beyond just making it look good or adding strength to the constructions because there are many other ways in which you can benefit.
Finger joints are an excellent way to make your work look more professional and give it a sense of durability. They can also be used for tabletops or anywhere else you might want to attach two pieces together without the need for any clamps, tools, or nails!
If finger joints are something that has interested you before but you’ve never had much luck with them yourself, consider taking some time this weekend to practice making one by hand using nothing but a dowel and hammer.
You’ll have fun experimenting with this technique while gaining valuable skills in woodworking that will serve as invaluable knowledge later on down the line when building projects from scratch which require these types of structures.