joinery, craft of assembling exposed woodwork in the interiors of buildings. Where carpentry refers to the rougher, simpler, and primarily structural elements of wood assembling, joinery has to do with difficult surfaces and curvatures, such as those of spiral stairs, with complex intersections of members or moldings, and with the handling of the finer qualities and varieties of woods. The joiner's skill and art thus approach those of the cabinetmaker. One must have an extensive knowledge of geometrical relations and projections, in addition to being manually proficient. In modern woodworking, however, the hand processes of the joiner have, to a large degree, been superseded by mechanical means.

Some common woodworking joints. The dado joint is made by inserting the end of one piece into a elipsis

In architecture, the connection of construction materials. All joints are carefully detailed by the architect with concern for strength, movement, penetration by the elements, and incompatibilities. The term joinery refers especially to carpentry. Common types of joints include the dovetail, used for interlocking two flat members at right angles, as in the sides of a drawer; the doweled joint, in which doweling is employed for mechanical strength; and the mortise and tenon, in which a projecting piece fits into a groove, used to join a horizontal member with the vertical member of a frame.

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Joinery can refer to either:

  • Woodworking joints or other types of mechanical joints (mainly in North American English)
  • The work of the joiner, the fabrication and installation of wooden fittings in buildings (mainly in British English).
  • In Australia, a joinery is also the generic term for a business which undertakes the tasks of a joiner - usually it is the name given to the premises from which such work is undertaken.
  • Articulation - a joint or the action of making joints

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