What is a Joint

Put simply, a joint is any method used to affix two pieces of a building or construction project. Modern cabinetry construction makes use of approximately 45 different types of joints, a number that can grow or shrink as the industry evolves and new types of construction are created and developed. As it stands, that many joints are necessary because each accomplishes the task of affixation in a slightly different manner. Each way lends a unique degree of durability and sense of aesthetic to the finished project, giving the master cabinet creator a great deal of flexibility in the final shape and style of his finished project.

The two most common joints are known as edge butt joints and flat butt joints. While both are widely used, neither represents the most durable or most aesthetically pleasing choice for every situation. When deciding which joints to use, the cabinet maker must keep in mind the purpose of their current project and choose joints that best fulfill that purpose. A lap dovetail joint, for example, provides the most secure hold for the sides of drawers through its ability to support the weight of the drawer's contents while holding up against the tension the drawer experiences through constant pulling and pushing.