How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees?

If you are new to woodworking projects, after a while you will realize that joining two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle is one of the most popular and necessary types of work that you will also need to learn and put into practice.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

It is very practical to know how to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees, as this job is helpful for different things, for remodeling cabinets, and other furniture, or just for joining two simple pieces of wood.

In this article, you will find information on how to join right-angle joints to each other. One of the given ways is more pleasing to the eye, while the second is much quicker and more practical.

What is joinery?

Joinery is the most common thing in any woodworking job. As you may have already figured out, the most common technique is joining two wood scraps at a 90-degree angle.

If we talk briefly about joinery, there are many varieties of how to do this work. The most common way is to join using an end piece, which we will talk about later.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

The butt joint is superior to other joints in many ways, in addition to being the simplest to join. Because the end grain is hidden with butt joints, the joints look nice.

In any case, all of the following types of joints are strong and you can choose the one that is perfect for you. So, how to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees?

How do you attach two pieces of wood to a 90 degree angle?

There are many ways how to join two pieces of wood at accurate angles. Below you can get brief information about each type of joint.

The miter joint

The miter joint is made by joining two cut end pieces at a certain angle. This type can be seen in the upper corners of various picture frames.

How is this type of connection made? For standard 90-degree miter joints, you have to divide two parts with opposite 45-degree angles, then set them against each other. When you install the casings to the design of the miter joint, the existing parts are joined at the seam, and then nails are installed for a clearer design.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees?

To create separate beveled corners, such as for picture frames, the existing parts of the miter joint are also joined at the seam, and screws and nails are also added. For freestanding furniture or construction, all end wood joints need gluing and the use of objects for greater reliability.

The word “miter” translates to “angle,” which is why a 45-degree angle must be strictly considered in this type of joining, although many experts experiment and use other angles for miter joints.

Alternatively, to add support and strengthen the connection, you might drill dowel holes and use dowels. The components should be joined after drilling the hole and gluing the dowel. For the adhesive to set firmly, keep the components fastened for a day.

Since the end grain of both wood pieces is hidden, unlike with a butt joint, the miter connection has a more appealing appearance than a straightforward butt joint.

The instruments for miter joint:

  • A miter box
  • Wood glue
  • A saw
  • Screws or nails
  • A screwdriver or a hammer

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees by using the miter way?

Step 1: Get measurements

As you have already understood, the connection of two parts cut at 45 degrees is the miter type of joint. So you have to measure 45 degrees at the two parts. You can mark using a marker/pencil or leave a notch with a knife.

Step 2: Prepare the details

After measuring and marking the two ends at a 45 degree angle, now cut them with a miter saw, one piece from the top right to the bottom left and the other piece from the top left to the bottom right.

Step 3: Finally joining

We have two samples ready to connect, now it’s just a matter of time! You can connect using pocket holes, thereby strengthening the connection, or you can do an ordinary glue, which also copes with its task, but is not suitable for all purposes.

Depending on the purpose of the right angle and the stress it will be under, choose the method that suits you best.

If the pva glue remains on the surface and needs to be removed, see here how easy it is to do.

The butt joints

The easiest way to join two pieces of wood is by butt joint. This type is very useful for installing trim on a house or for joining any furniture in the house and garden. Two pieces of wood are joined by butt jointing, in which the square tip of one wood joints rests against the end, sometimes the side, of the second piece.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

In the butt joints, the wood is not glued to each other at the joint, because nails or screws are used for strength, and installed on the framing materials in the wall. This kind of connection of wood joints is used when fixing windows and doors because the vertical pieces of wood are butted with a slat.

In the process of joining wood, only the butt joint is considered as the most plural and practical among other wood joints, as in the future use of furniture, thanks to the cutting of the two ends of different wood pieces it is possible to achieve maximum strength.

The pieces of wood in the butt joint are cut at opposite angles with precision square cuts to make the jointing of their ends possible, to create the image of one whole piece of wood. Use a chop saw that is made to make exact square cuts for accurate butt joints. With a circular saw or a manual saw, it is challenging to obtain precise angles.

For example, in the butt joints, one end of the baseboard is cut at a 45-degree angle, and the other end is cut at the same angle, rather than using glue for combining square ends together, which can leave a noticeable seam. Compared to the square seam, the angled seam is more discrete.

Instruments for butt joint:

  • Wood glue
  • Nails or screws
  • A saw
  • Clamps
  • A hammer or a screwdriver

The mortise and tenon joints

Mortise and tenon joint is used in larger structures, and people assume that they were first used when people needed to make something stronger and more durable than smaller types of joints.

The tenon is the component that is put into the mortise, which is the cavity.

Regarding the joining wood, tenon joint mortise is often used in the manufacture of modern furniture, such as the legs of chairs and tables, or any other furniture.

Building a successful mortise or tenon joint is a unique experience for advanced professionals of wood joints, but now there are a huge number of tools and machines that can combine the wood joints instead of a man.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

For example, using a milling machine is possible to cut unnecessary wood pieces during tenon joint, while remaining only a precise cut of a square or rectangular protrusion.

The mortise and tenon joint must be inserted into the mortise hole once the wood joints have been finished being shaped. Although some types of mortise and tenon joints use pins or wedges, adhesives are typically used to secure everything in place. A rectangular tenon tongue and a mortise opening must be prepared in order to create a strong joint.

The dovetail joint

Dovetail joints are very strong and sturdy joints whose pieces are very hard to pull apart, as it is constructed in the same way as the tenon combination. This is due to the fact that when the pieces of ordinary wood are glued together, wedges or wedge-shaped fasteners are used.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

Dovetail joints are most often used in those products in which the ends of the two wood pieces meet at an accurate angle, such as in almost any furniture.

To create a wedge-shaped joint, you only need to use excess glue, which creates a strong and high-quality construction for a dovetail joint between the wood pieces.

Thanks to one or several wedge-shaped cutoffs that are created in the pieces of wood and thanks to the “tail” cutoffs on the other piece, a unified picture is created.

In a dovetail joint, the two pieces of wood are glued together with glue and you need to clamp them together briefly. Once exclusively done by hand, dovetails are now frequently cut by a router.

How to join two pieces with dovetail joint

Step 1: Prepare two planks

In preparation, it is worth deciding which bar will be the tail and which will be pin. Draw a marking, indicating also the depth of the cut.

Step 2: Cut a recess

At this stage you should use a good tool and be very attentive and concentrated. First prepare one part, then use it to take measurements for the second part.

Step 3: Enjoy the result

You can use sandpaper or a file to correct the work, and then firmly fix the two parts together.

The dowel joint

A dowel joint is very similar to other joints, because, in this type of joint, a ledge is attached to the socket for a stronger structure. The only difference is that the dowel is a new item, separate from the others, and in addition, both pieces of wood that are to be glued must have sockets.

Dowels can be used to add more reinforcement to several of the joint types we’ve already discussed.

Dowel joints are often found in wood furniture where any bolts or other details should not be visible. For example, in order to make furniture look as expensive as possible, manufacturers try to avoid visible nails and screws.

With nailheads, you can create a more homely look, because when you combine nailheads and wood, you create a more wooden look.

Join the wood pieces with glue and clamps, then wait for the glue to dry overnight before drilling holes for the dowel. By doing this, you may be confident that when the dowel is put in, the wood pieces won’t move.

Dowels used to be manufactured by hand, but they may now be bought pre-formed in cylinders, and the sockets for their installation are typically drilled using an electric drill.

The lap joint

Simple overlaps between two pieces of wood are known as lap joints. The entire lap joint and the notched lap joint are the two most popular versions.

How to join two pieces of wood at 90 degrees

The structural frame of a house is frequently built using full lap joints, which include overlapping two boards and fastening them together with screws or nails. Lapping one piece of diagonal wood over vertical pickets in a gate is one example of how lapped connections are utilized to reinforce other pieces of wood.

Widespread inquiries regarding wood joints

After reading our article you learned about several ways to join wood at a 90-degree angle, and you may have additional questions, the answers to which you can find out below.

How do you join wood at 90 degrees?

A miter joint is the fastest way to combine two pieces of wood at a right angle. The wood that you wish to attach must have both ends chopped at an angle of 45 degrees. Following cutting, you must fit the pieces together, secure them with adhesive, and then fix them with screws or nails.

What is the strongest 90-degree wood joint?

As stated in this article, there are many ways to join two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle. From all of the above methods, you can find the right one for you and your situation because all of them create a particular strength and strength for your products.

These include mortise and tenon joints, dovetail joints, mortise joints, and miter joints. These are excellent for right-angle joinery, though there may be others. Some joints may require additional tools, see above for more information.

How to join two pieces of wood end to end?

Two pieces of wood can be joined together end to end using a butt joint, dovetail joint, or mortise and tenon joint. You might also attempt the miter joint, dowel joint, lap joint, finger joint, and other joint methods.

Once more, every design has its own advantages and disadvantages in different projects, therefore there is no such point as the perfect joint for each and every job.

How do you screw together two wood pieces?

The butt joint is the only wood joint that actually needs screws to function effectively, despite the fact that you could always use screws to reinforce wood joints. Most of the other joints could function properly either on their own or with adhesive assistance.

How do you join plywood sheets at 90 degrees?

Most of the time, joining two pieces of plywood must be possible in the same manner as joining pieces of regular timber.

For this technique, adhere the plywood along the borders, chamfer the joint on both sides of the joint with a deep blade, and afterward add a layer or two of epoxy to strengthen the connection.

Read also how to cut at an angle with circular saw.


If you are planning to build any structure or assemble furniture, try to make all the joints invisible to viewers, that is, connect one edge of one wood to another as discreetly as possible, but at the same time firmly.

If your goal is a beautiful overall picture and aesthetics, then you need to choose the butt or miter combined method. Yes, it may take a lot more time and effort to glue the timber pieces, but trust us, it’s worth it.

Let us know if this article was helpful. Write a comment, and share your experience or knowledge in wood joinery, we would be very interested to read about it!

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