Our guide to joinery
Molly Longman

Our guide to joinery

First published date April 16 2015 Amended date April 16 2015

Bringing two things together permanently is more easily said than done – this is true in all aspects of life. In friendships, cultures, chemistry, and even in woodworking. If you think you’ve got what it takes to help create essential parts of the roofs over our heads, the chairs we rock in, the floors upon which we stamp our feet, and the doors we slam, with just your hands, a few tools, and some wood, just join one of our joinery courses?


Wood you dare to get creative?

Though you may work with boards, you’ll never be bored learning about joinery. Joiners bring two pieces of wood together to form things we use everyday like benches, door frames, tables, and knick-knacks. Some employ fasteners, bindings, or adhesives, while others use only wood elements. There are many different techniques that joiners can learn based on what they hope to build. For example the joinery used to build a home is different from the technique used to make toys, though some of the concepts used may overlap. Once they get really good, some joiners can turn their work into quite the art form, creating designs in the wood that they fit together like puzzle pieces.


What you’ll need

When you’re starting out on a course, usually all of the machinery and wood will be provided to you. However, if you’re thinking of starting out on your own, you’ll need wood, a variety of saws, sandpaper, mallets, and other more advanced tools like routers, depending on how intricate your work is going to be.


Jazzy joinery around you

Joinery is everywhere. It is part of most of the staircases you clunk up after a long day of work.  The bench you sit on whist reading in the park doesn’t fall apart under you thanks to a joiner (and, sometimes, the gym). Are you reading this article on a computer? Chances are that the table it’s sitting on is whole because of joinery. Without joinery, the world would fall apart – literally.


Breaking into the industry

The first step to becoming a joiner is, of course, taking an introductory course! Once you know the basics and ins and outs of joining, there are apprenticeships offered that allow you to learn from professionals in the field. Once you’ve learned all you can, it’s possible to get jobs doing everything from working with architects to build homes and offices, to starting your own business and building hand-crafted furniture that will make your customers forget IKEA even exists.


Famous joiners

Where did joinery originate? Some would say with the wheel in ancient Mesopotamia, others with Noah and the ark. However, there are plenty of other famous joiners. Thomas Chippendale, for one, was a London cabinet-maker and furniture designer in the 1700s whose designs are regarded as reflecting the current London fashion for furniture. More recently , John Makepeace is a furniture designer and maker who founded the Parnham Trust and the School for Craftsmen in Wood to provide integrated courses in design, making, and management for aspiring furniture-makers. 

Similar Subjects