Wood Joining at CabinetDoorMart

Wood Joining at CabinetDoorMart

Wood joinery is one of the most basic and important parts of woodworking. Without being able to connect two pieces of wood together, every piece of furniture would be a single, solid wooden sculpture. And so over time master carpenters and other artisans have developed dozens of ways to attach pieces or boards in order for them to become functional usable objects such as tables, chairs, and desks. 


On a day-to-day basis, woodworkers use many different types of joints to create items that are strong and long-lasting. In this guide, we're going to show you how the joint techniques we use differ from one another in the ways they provide structural integrity!

Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts

There are many different cabinet door joint construction styles, and so this list should not be considered a definitive guide. If you're refacing a few doors or drawer fronts, then it's very important to match the style that already exists so your kitchen keeps everything cohesive and uniform. 

However, if you plan on remodeling your entire kitchen, there is more freedom for choosing which one of these joints best suits what type of kitchen design project you have planned. We offer cope-and-stick joints and miter joints, as well as slab-style constructions!

Cope-and-Stick Joint

One of the most common methods for cabinet door construction, cope-and-stick joins two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle. This means that rails, or horizontal components, fit between stiles, or vertical pieces. A great example is the Shaker style which uses this joint method to create beautiful cabinets.

A diagram of a butt joint.

The cope-and-stick joint is also often referred to as a butt joint, but this can be misleading. A basic butt joint requires no cutting and just needs some glue, screws, or nails in the right places. However, a cabinet door with the cope-and-stick construction method has tongue and groove joints that create an extremely stable bond between the stiles, rails, and panel. This style of door construction is great for transitionally styled rooms. 

Miter Joints

The miter joint has been around for centuries. For this construction, the stiles and rails will be joined at a 45-degree angle. This means that the stiles and rails are cut to the same size, which is preferred when you want to conceal any end grain from sticking out in your final project.

A diagram of a miter joint.

Miter joint cabinet doors are great for traditional designs, especially when finished with stain to highlight both the beauty of the material and craftsmanship. 

Slab Syle

While slab style is not a joint type, it has been used in tandem with the more traditional mitered or cope-and-stick joints. Slab-style doors and drawers will not have a frame or panel but they can be combined with any door style for a more affordable option than their 5-pieces counterparts. With solid wood slab doors, larger sizes will require back battens in order to prevent warping or twisting. 

Our slab-style cabinet doors and drawer fronts are also available in thermofoil. Thermofoil is a vinyl laminate that is heated and pressurized onto an MDF core. Large thermofoil doors do not need battens, because MDF does not warp or twist at larger sizes like solid wood. 

Drawer Boxes

Our drawer boxes are also made in two different joint construction styles. We carry both dovetail and dowelled models, which means you can find what will work best for your project! The all-important assembly of the drawers is already done by us so no need to worry about that hassle when it comes time to install.

Dowelled Joint

A diagram of a dowelled joint.

We offer drawer boxes are created using a dowelled construction. Drilling corresponding holes in the sides of our box allow us to use dowels for assembly and glue them together. This creates an easy-to-handle frame that allows movement, but is durable enough to withstand wear from frequent opening and closing of drawers.

Dovetail Joint

The beauty of these drawer boxes is that they are constructed from a dovetail joint, which makes them one of the strongest in terms of tensile strength. They're strong due to their intricate interwoven ends.

A diagram of dovetail joint.

The dovetail joint is a type of strong, immovable connection when joined to another piece. It resembles the box and finger joints in that it has pins that intersect with pieces on either side. However, the dovetail differs in one key way: The ends of the pins are wider, so there's no risk of pulling apart at an angle or twisting out.

Our drawer boxes are made using a technique that is known as a half-blind dovetail which means that the joint cannot be seen from front or back. The unique aspect of this type of woodworking is its strength without sacrificing beauty.


Dado Joints and Cabinet Boxes

The dado joint construction is one of the most practical and strong methods for assembling cabinet boxes. A dado allows two pieces to connect with a slot cut across their surface area, providing just enough space for them to slide together. 

A diagram of a dado joint

Dados are typically used in cabinetry because they make it easier - not tougher-to assemble cabinets when following instructions! When using these ready-made kits, homeowners can quickly construct sturdy wall units by simply screwing on panels without any additional fasteners needed.

Finishing Up

Woodworking projects would not be possible if it were not for all the creative ways that artisans have developed to join two pieces of wood together. Many joining techniques were designed with specific circumstances in mind, and because there's a fit for every situation you won't ever find yourself without the right tools or materials.

If you are ready to start ordering or if you need assistance, please feel free to call us at 1-844-326-6680 or email info@cabinetdoormart.com. Our team is here to help with everything from measuring to ordering.