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craft of assembling exposed woodwork in the interiors of buildings. Where carpentrycarpentry,
trade concerned with constructing wood buildings, the wooden portions of buildings, or the temporary timberwork used during the construction of buildings. It comprises the larger and more structural aspects of woodwork, rather than the delicate assembling, which is
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 refers to the rougher, simpler, and primarily structural elements of wood assembling, joinery has to do with difficult surfaces and curvatures, such as those of spiral stairs, with complex intersections of members or moldings, and with the handling of the finer qualities and varieties of woods. The joiner's skill and art thus approach those of the cabinetmaker. One must have an extensive knowledge of geometrical relations and projections, in addition to being manually proficient. In modern woodworking, however, the hand processes of the joiner have, to a large degree, been superseded by mechanical means.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the manufacture of wood articles with more precise and finer working and finishing of the wood than in carpentry. A distinction is made between joinery in which the articles are fashioned from softwoods or the softer hardwoods and joinery in which the articles are fashioned from the harder hardwoods or in which facing or veneering operations are performed.

Manual joinery is performed on a joiner’s workbench, and joiner’s and carpenter’s tools are used in laying out the work-piece. Other processes performed include mechanical working (such as sawing and planing, cutting mortise and tongue-and-groove joints, slotting, drilling holes, scraping, and polishing), gluing, facing, assembly, and finishing. C-clamps, clips, and vises are used for gluing and assembly.

In mechanized joinery, the lumber is worked and assembly is carried out on automated production lines. Laying out is virtually eliminated by the use of woodworking machines with programmed control. The finishing of the wood is an independent production cycle separate from joinery.

The development of centralized production of ready-made joinery articles for construction has reduced joinery to the on-site assembly of prefabricated structural elements. Such assembly operations consist in the fitting, attachment, and final finishing of such elements, for example, the installation of window, balcony, and door units and the caulking of gaps, the installation of partitions, panels, vestibules, and built-in furnishings and structures (such as shelves and mezzanines), and the installation of locks, doorknobs, and such items as floorboards, wainscot, door and window frames, and railings.

In prefabricated construction from large panels and modules, practically all joinery is carried out in préfabrication factories. At small-scale construction sites, for example, in rural construction, private construction work, and all types of repair work, joinery articles are often prepared on site. As a result, manual operations account for a large share of the manufacturing and installation work.


Nesov, V. D. Plotnichnye i stoliarnye raboty na stroitel’stve, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Kreindlin, L. N. Stoliarnye raboty, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.



articles manufactured by joining parts made entirely or mostly of wood or wood materials. Such articles include structural elements and prefabricated units (for example, window and door modules, partitions, screens, and panels), prefabricated houses, dinghies, yachts, parts of automobile bodies, railroad cars, and ships, agricultural and textile machinery, and furniture.

The major elements of joinery are one-piece or laminated blocks, boards, and slabs joined to form prefabricated units, the most important of which are panels, frames, and box structures. Metals, polymers, glass, and rubber are used in the manufacture of joinery for reinforcement, finishing, heat and sound insulation, and resistance to biological agents and fire.

Joinery is classified according to design and thus to the production process used. One-piece articles are fashioned from one solid or laminated piece of wood and include window and door frames, wainscot, skis, and oars. Multipiece articles are fashioned from several blocks or planks and include window and door casings, sashes, and ladders. Frame-and-panel articles include hollow-core doors, frame partitions, automobile bodies, tables, and chairs. Panel or sheet articles are fashioned from sheets, hollow panels, laminated wood, and chipboard; they include barred doors, cabinets, partitions, and drawing boards.

The strength and durability of joinery are improved by impregnating wood with special substances, for example, antiseptics and resins. Warpage is reduced by facing or veneering the articles and by the use of plywood. The quality of joinery depends on the color and grain of the material used in facing elements and on the finishing and overall design of the article. Joinery products must be adaptable to mechanization and automation at each stage of their production.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The craft of woodworking by joining pieces of wood, esp. of the finish and trim workings of the interior of a structure, such as doors, paneling, sashes, etc., as distinguished from carpentry, which suggests framing and rough work.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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