When it comes to the world of window joinery and door joinery, joints are at the heart of it all. The act of joining two simple elements together to create incredibly complex structures is both a science and an art form.
It’s no secret that the better the joint you use, the longer whatever you are making, be it windows, doors or something else, will last…
Why do joints matter in window and door joinery?
Imagine being given the tools and materials you need to build a treehouse when you were 10-years-old. You’d probably do a great job of building it and create something you can make lots of great memories in.
But after a year in the elements, you can guarantee your beloved treehouse will start to fall apart. Several years later, it’ll be so dangerous you’ll no longer be able to use it.
The same principle applies to door and window joinery. If you don’t choose a joiner with the knowledge and experience of using joints specifically for the project at hand, your windows and doors will most probably follow the same route as the treehouse, even if you maintain them.
When Todi first started out, he always used the best possible joints. Fast forward to today, and he’s invested heavily in creating even better joints that last a lot longer, but are quicker to manufacture. This means you get a better product at a highly competitive price!
Why are there so many joints?
Just like in cooking, recipes are mastered and passed down from generation-to-generation.
And as time passes, more improvements are made because of better tools, techniques and the spread of industry-wide information.
But, there is a balance to be had.
You see, you can make a beautifully strong joint, but it would take far too long to make, and it will be far too expensive in terms of all those hours spent making it.
On the other hand, if you don’t spend enough time on the joint, it’ll be weak and fall apart.
The expertise comes in crafting the highest quality joints possible as efficiently as possible.
Joints we DON’T use
The butt joint happens to be the weakest of all joints. It requires no skill, no understanding of joinery and no tools (other than a hammer and a nail).
This is the type of joint your 10-year-old self would have used to make your treehouse.
But here’s the thing, some joineries use butt joints in their window and door joinery because they are quicker and cheaper to make. It means they can also charge less for their windows and doors.
If the price of a window or door seems too good to be true, it’s probably because butt joints have been used. Dowel joints are a small improvement on butt joints, but dowels allow the two pieces that have been joined to move and, over time, allow for gaps to open up.
Joints we DO use
Sometimes, two pieces of timber are too small to use a stronger joint. Other joineries may use butt joints in this instance, but Todi doesn’t like to compromise. Instead, we always use dado joints to make sure there’s a good amount of strength and the timber doesn’t move.
Mortice and tenon joints have been used for more than 100 years, and we still use them today. When the mortice and tenon joint is joined with wedges, whatever you’ve put together can’t be taken apart.
For example, if you assemble a door leaf with these joints, you can’t take the door apart. You’d have to start all over again if something wasn’t right.
For the sake of strength and security, it’s the best joint to use on doors, and we use a double tenon joint on the bottom and the rails (for added strength).
Where we really start to stand out is with the joints we use for our wooden sash windows and timber casement windows and frames. It’s a joint Todi’s been working on for years. It’s an advanced form of finger joint that maximises surface area within the joint, which means it’s powerful and can be made efficiently.
How do we make our joints?
We’ve invested heavily in bringing in machines that enable Todi’s special finger joints to be made with machine-level precision and a tolerance of 0.1mm.
To be clear, these aren’t CNC machines (automated machinery); our best craftsman use their skills and expertise to operate these machines. They can’t just be operated by anybody.
Our machines are incredibly special. They’ve been specifically designed and made to suit our traditionally slim, profiled windows and doors.
Other joineries that have purchased machines like this now make thicker, chunkier windows because they compromised and let the machinery manufacturer dictate the profiles of their products instead of the other way around.
We’re confidently sat in the middle, with beautifully thin, elegant windows that incorporate the superior strength of our industry-leading quality joints.