Woodworking Plans & Tutorial

How to make spline joints? (DEFINITION & GUIDELINES)

Wood is the source of many beautiful structures we walk past in our regular everyday lives.

Your diploma or family photo frame and the table where you have dinner with your friends are made from wood. Have you ever thought about the assembly of these pieces?

Today we will be tending to a matter of assembling two pieces of wood plates with only an additional component called a joint; we will tell you all about it.

There are so many techniques and methods to stick two wood pieces into one without using a screw, but the one that is the most popular among carpenters is using joints.

In some of the previous articles, we talked about some of the joints called domino joints, and butterfly key joints that every carpenter could use, but today, we want to discuss another one for you: Spline Joints!

You will read:

  • What is a spline joint?
  • How to make a spline joint DIY?
  • What are the uses for this joint?
  • on a final note,

Ready or not, let’s start the article and see what a spine joint is and how to make it.

How to make spline joints

What is a spline joint?

There comes a time in every wood artisan’s life that they need to stick two pieces of wood into each other without damaging the wood; here is the spot where we come in and give them the solution.

There is a method called glued joints which is well known among the carpenters; this method uses a plate of wood to connect two others into one; let us lead by an example.

Imagine making a photo frame for your favorite picture that you took of yourself and your friends; you will need four pieces of wood that you have to assemble; then, some people use clippers, but we want to take another direction.

You have to make a triangle wood spline and then insert it into the slits you already made. Do you have a photo frame that will last for a long time and save your memory?

Now that you know what it is, it’s time to see how we can make a spline joint?

How to make a spline joint DIY?

If you have your workshop and want to make the joints yourself and use them in your work, follow the instructions below step by step, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have the best spline joint possible.

Let’s start:

  • Measurements

The most important part of this tutorial is to measure the pieces of wood correctly.

In this example, we will build a structure that will hold on to the wall and is storage for your items like a shelf.

You need:

  • Four plates of wood in the correct measurements based on your use.
  • Four relatively more minor scales spline joints that we are going to thin out.
  • Wood glue.

For example, all our pieces are rectangles, and the joints will be a triangle.

You will need two 20cm in 15cm plates and two 17cm in 15cm plates; in this order, you will need four 3cm in 2cm in 3cm rectangles.

  • Joints

Now that you have your spline joint base wood, it’s time to thin them out. You can use either a sandpaper drill or the sandpaper itself; the joints are small and fragile, so be careful.

You have to thin the joints according to your other plates of wood so that the splines will be kept together.

In this case, thin the joints down to 1cm thickness and then sand them one more time.

Repeat the process for the other three joints. Well done, you have four excellent joints.

Let’s move on to the next step.

  • Slits

Now it’s time to open the slits up in the four plates of wood that we prepared.

There will be two slots in every plate, which builds up to 8.

The slits have to be the exact shape as the joints with a 1mm difference for insurance; you have to open the slits up on the sides of every plate of wood where it will stick to the next one.

We might add there will be four slots in total once you put the plates together; in other words, every two slits will make one position for only one joint.

After opening up the slits, it’s time to assemble the pieces.

How to make spline joints

  • Glue up

Now you have all the required pieces to build your box or shelf:

  • First, put the plates beside each other to have the four slits ready for joint penetration.
  • Dip the joints in wood glue and carefully insert them into the slits; immediately clean up the edges of the slit so it doesn’t glue out of place.

Note: You have to let your structure rest for the next step; the duration of the glue’s drying process will differ depending on the bond that you are using.

  • Waxing

Later, after your structure and glue dry entirely, you have to apply wax on your frame to protect against humidity and the sun.

You can use oils or even shiner waxes in this case to both make your woodwork seem more beautiful and durable at the same time.

DONE!!! You have a durable and magnificent piece of wood art that you assembled using a spline joint.

Now that you understand how to make spline joints, we will observe where the places that we can use these joints are?

What are the uses for this joint?

If you go back and consider the examples that we used in the last passages, you will understand that for a spline joint to be helpful, it has to be between two pieces of plain-surface wood.

In other words, this joint would be useless in the structures that connect by the curve.

Here is a list of items that can benefit from the connection of the spline joints:

  • Tables
  • Shelves
  • Closet
  • Frames
  • Nightstands
  • Desk
  • boxes
  • wood trays

These were some of the art forms that can use the spline joints. If you get creative, you can use this technique in other structures to connect to pieces of wood.

Let’s make a comparison before wrapping the article up:

Curved edges vs. Plain edges: which one would be better?

Curved Plain
Hard to clean the edges. Easy to clean the edges
Joints will stick out and require cutting. Joints will sit in perfectly if you measure them properly.
The angle is essential to stick correctly. You have to put the plates together angle doesn’t matter that much.

Warning: after gluing the structure and letting it dry, the only way to disassemble the craft is by breaking or cutting it, so make some good decisions.

Please keep all of the instructions in mind, and let’s get to the article’s main point.How to make spline joints (2)

On a final note,

There are ways that you can stitch up two plates of wood to make what you wish, but there is one we are very fond of, and it’s the spline joints.

In this article, you learned how to make spline joints and the perfect places to use them; you have to remember some warnings and tips to get the best outcome out of your project.

The instructions in this article are specific, and you have to follow them word by word.

We hope you enjoyed this article as we did, and using these instructions, you will be making the best wood crafts.

Ask us in the comment section below if you have any additional questions.

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