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Introduction - 6 Components of Strong Joinery

As any experienced woodworker knows, dowel joints are notorious for failing over time - unless they're constructed perfectly. What if you could learn techniques that virtually guarantee your dowel joints will never come apart, even under extreme stress? Jeff Lefkowitz has spent 16 years refining methods to create dowel joints so strong, a 250-pound person can lean back with zero risk of failure.


Other videos in this series:

(Coming Soon)

Straight Grain

Wood Movement and Grain Orientation

Moisture Control

Precise Fit Surface Quality

Continuous Glue Bond


We're going to talk about what makes a good joint and it's a critical component.

The importance of strong joinery

Making a good joint is really important in this chair, because the primary joint is a dowel joint. Round tenon, round mortise. The whole chair is held together with these dowel joints. The tenon on the rung and the rung mortise in the leg. The slats do not really hold the chair together. And what do we know about dowel joints in general?

They fail.

Yeah. They fail. Left and right. If they're not done correctly, which is almost always the case, they always… You know, you buy a manufactured piece of furniture anywhere that has dowel joints and they're going fail because they haven't paid attention to the details of getting that joint right.

So let's just say [the chair] weighs 10 pounds, which would be very high for a chair of this size for this construction. These joints need to be strong enough for a 250-pound person, at least, to be able to sit in this chair and lean back. [That] puts a lot of stress on these joints (side rungs into the rear legs) in particular, they're going to want to rack.

6 components for sucess

For the round tenon, there are six components of making that a strong joint. And a 250 pound person can sit in this chair with no problem and lean back. And the chair is not going to come apart

I've been making these post and rung chairs since 2006. So 16 years. And in my personal experience, I've never seen a joint fail, not a single one, using these methods. I have chairs that I've made in 2006, and they're solid as the wrong.

I'm not saying they can't fail. 😀 But more than likely, they'll last a long time using these methods.

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