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How to Make Finger Joints

A finger joint resembles interlaced fingers. A sturdy joint often used for making boxes, it also features a lot of glue surface and a lot of shoulder to prevent racking or twisting.

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finger joint resembles interlaced fingers
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Make and Cut a Plywood Fence

Create a plywood fence using a piece of board big enough to support the boards you will be cutting.

Set up a dado stack on the table saw and cut into the fence. Cut somewhere near the middle of the fence. The spot is arbitrary, but it will be the basis for setting up the rest of the cuts.

Make the next cut a dado stack's width away from the first cut. For example, if the dado stack is 3/4", there should be 3/4" of material left between the cuts.

Step 2: Put a Peg Into the First Cut

Make a peg to fit into the first cut and screw it in place. The peg should be the same width as the dado stack.

Step 3: Slide the Fence Into the Table Saw

Mount the fence to the miter gauge, then slide the fence into the miter slot of the table saw.

The first board will have the notch cut out at the top, so orient the board so that the first cut removes the same amount of material as the cuts on the fence. For example, if the dado stack is 3/4" and the fingers on the fence are 3/4", the notch at the top of the first board should also measure 3/4".

To orient the board for the second cut, place the notch that was just cut over the peg in the fence. On the third cut, place the next over notch over the finger, and so on until you reach the end of the board.

slide the fence into table saw

Step 4: Cut the Second Board

For the second board, orient the board so that it rests next to the peg in the fence and make your first cut. Then, place that notch over the peg and continue on to the end of the board.

The ends of the boards are cut to fit together. You may need to do a little sanding to get a perfect fit.

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