Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Joinery 101


Hand Tool Heaven:
Joinery Intensive



This five-day class introduces you to essential joinery techniques that you will need for building projects and furniture. We will cover the fundamentals of layout, sawing, and chisel work through the production of a few common joints. Each day we will introduce a new type of joint, practice several variations, and discuss when and where to use them. The pace is brisk but you will have lots of time to practice!

This techniques class taught by one of our faculty is designed to help you within the range of joinery that is available to the hand tool woodworker.

Class Description

The Joints:



·         Through single
·         Multiple through

Mortise and tenon

·         Blind
·         Stub in groove
·         Internal divider

·         Regular corner
·         Notched edge to end
·         Mitered corner

Bridle joints

·         Corner
·         Mitered
·         Double

Rabbet and dado

·             Shelf through dado
·             Groove and panel
·             Corner fillister

You will be given ample practice stock sized for each type of joint, and you'll be encouraged to try each joint multiple times. The skills focus of the class will be on:

Learning to do precision layout. The key to good joinery is good layout and markup. Once you can trust the lines you have drawn, you can make a great fit. We show you the tricks to do precise and consistent layout so you can achieve a great fit every time. You will learn to use marking gauges, dividers, marking knives, and squares. We use simple geometric drawing techniques to layout the joints and minimize the possibility of errors. 

Precision Sawing: The closer you can cut to the line, the less time you have to spend trimming and fitting a joint. Being able to saw to a line is one of the key foci of the class. We show you the techniques and provide plenty of stock to help you develop the skills.

Precision with Chisels: Paring a joint to fit or chopping out waste - these are easily accomplished with the humble chisel. We will show you how to both clean up from a sawn line and produce joints with a chisel. 

Understanding the joints: The best joints are inherently mechanically strong and glue just locks the joint. We'll explain and demonstrate the strength and appropriate use for each joint. We'll help you wrap your head around how each joint works, allowing you to avoid the common pitfalls in joinery.   


No tools are required for this class.  


This is a beginning level course. More advanced students will learn tips for honing their technique. 

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00 am on the first day in Building 315.
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $ 750
Materials Charge: $ 55

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.