Understanding Timber Joinery

For you to use timber to build timber products, planks of different sizes and shapes have to be cut from hardwood or softwood trees. Additionally, to achieve the different designs that timber products have, to secure timber and to transfer loads and stresses, two or more pieces of timber/wood need to be joined together; this is what is known as timber joinery.

It is an art that is carried out by specialists known as joiners, who based on the timber product being constructed, can utilise different timber joining methods.

Examples of Timber Joinery Methods

  • The Traditional Method: Different pieces of wood are cut to have mortises and tenons (mortises are holes that are cut into a piece of wood in a design that receives a matching projection on another piece of wood to join the two pieces together; the matching projection is what is referred to as a tenon). Hardwood pegs are also used to ensure the tenons don't pop out of the mortises. 
  • The Use of Steel Connectors: Instead of having mortises and tenons, pieces of timber can be joined using strong and durable steel connectors that are bolted onto each piece of wood. The steel connector is shaped and designed in a way that accommodates all the pieces of wood that need to be joined. These steel connectors can also be used to reinforce the traditional method above if a joiner feels that extra support is required. Some steel connectors may not only be used to offer support but to achieve a function like opening and closing of a wooden door. An example of a connector used for such a case is a hinge.
  • Post Bases: This is when a piece of timber needs to be attached to your floor for extra support. A steel rod cemented on your floor or foundation is attached/bolted to a timber beam, which then connects to other pieces of wood.

Interior Design and Timber Design

Depending on the design of your interior space, you might require any or all of the above timber joinery options, especially for your timber trusses (these may require the traditional method or the use of steel connectors).

Whether hinges are used depends on whether you want cabinets, cupboards, swinging doors, or swinging windows.

Post bases are mostly used when you have a timber theme for your premise, which you might not want to alter with stone walls or pillars.