DIY Network

How to Make a Reinforced Butt Joint

Learn how to make a bookcase more attractive while adding strength to the corner joints by adding a few pieces of molding to the joints.

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making a reinforced butt joint
  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Construct the Bookcase

Build the outer panels of the bookcase then mark the location for the center shelf.

Use a speed square to align the first piece of molding along the mark.

Glue the molding into place and nail in position to secure as glue dries.

use speed square to align first piece of molding

Step 2: Secure the Shelves and Molding

Place shelf atop molding. Glue another piece of molding on the other side of the shelf.

Nail through the molding and into the shelf to hold all the pieces together (Image 1).

Put the entire shelf together in the same way, using molding to reinforce the butt joints (Image 2).

Step 3: Hide the Joints

As an extra detail, nail Masonite strips over the joints to hide them (Image 1). Once the entire front of the unit is covered with Masonite strips, use some wood putty to fill in any cracks, spaces or nail holes.

Use a router with a bearing bit (Image 2) to cut excess material from the Masonite. Set the depth of the bit to just clear the Masonite. The bearing will ride along the material to make a clean cut.

Step 4: Finish the Project

Sand any uneven areas. Paint the bookcase.

finish the bookcase