Keyed Scarf Joint

For some odd reason, I’m a little obsessed with scarf joints. Dunno why. I notice them when I travel and see old structures. I took photos of them at Czocha castle.  Anyway, I’ve had it on my bucket list to make some and it has taken up way too much brain time. So I made one to get it out of my system.

It started out cutting down a hackberry tree in the back yard. Lopping off a straight limb and then hatcheting it to reasonable square. From there, I used my japanese plane to make it square and flat. Once I have useable dimensional stock, I then made a template of the joint and drew it on the side of the stock to guide the saw cuts.  I may have made the points a bit too sharp as it was a pain to get a chisel in there, so next time, a much lower angle of attack.

If this scarf joint was used for some serious load bearing application, I’d have used a 1:8 ratio of thickness of beam:length of scarf.  Since this was a demo I just did 1:2.

The complete keyed scarf joint. The peg would normally be sawn off flush, but I leave it proud since it is a demo joint.

The complete keyed scarf joint. The peg would normally be sawn off flush, but I leave it proud since it is a demo joint.

The two halves of the scarf, with a cedar peg.

The two halves of the scarf, with a cedar peg.

I'd made a 1x1 before from hackberry but it was not good wood nor green.

I’d made a 1×1 before from hackberry but it was not good wood nor green.

Used these plus the carpenters square and plane to make the stock dimensional.

Used these plus the carpenters square and plane to make the stock dimensional.


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