183 – Advanced Joinery With Darrell Peart and William Ng

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Note: This video was recorded in 2009 and was released to Wood Whisperer Guild members. The new structure of the Guild doesn’t really allow for videos on random topics such as this so I am posting it here on the free site. I’ll be releasing numerous videos like this over the next few months. This will be deja vu for long-time Guild members but brand new to everyone else. Enjoy!

As you progress along your woodworking journey, it will become clear that joinery can mean much more than a simple mortise and tenon. When you start to dig a little deeper, you find out that various exotic and mind-boggling joints have been in use for centuries. While some are really good for nothing more than impressing your woodworking friends, some actually serve their intended purpose in amazingly clever ways.

During a trip to the William Ng School in Anaheim, CA, I had the chance to take a joinery tour with both Greene & Greene furniture expert Darrell Peart and the owner of the school William Ng himself. Darrell takes us through various Greene & Greene joints and embellishments including faux ebony splines, ebony plugs, leg indent details, the Blacker Arm Chair parallelogram legs, and bolection inlay. William shows us the Chinese Three-Way Miter, the Bird’s Beak Joint, the Gooseneck Joint, and a Locking Scarf Joint. William then shows us a plant stand he’s working on that incorporates some of these advanced joints.

Every year, William teaches a class on advanced joinery and you can sign up for that on his website: WNWoodworkingSchool.com. And you can learn more from Darrell Peart on his website, FurnitureMaker.com.

Categories: On the Road, Techniques


  1. Arnold October 5, 2012

    Bolection Inlay.. Is that how its spelled. I’m trying to sound it out.

  2. Arnold October 5, 2012

    Lol, thanks Mark, maybe next time I will read the description first. I’m Impressed I got the spelling right though from sounding it out.


  3. Bob October 5, 2012

    I want to be just like William when I grow up. ( I am 62) What a talented guy. When I met him at a woodworking show, he was very gracious and spent a lot of time explaining the joinery used on a piece that he was displaying. Very approachable and friendly. If you have not watched the video on his website about his 5 cut method for squaring the fence on a table saw sled, you owe it to yourself to watch it. His engineering background really comes out here. I was amazed and reset all of my sled fences using this method. It was really outstanding to find out that I was just “close enough” before, but now I am much more accurate.
    I built a “close enough” replica of Darryl’s G & G entertainment center that I saw on his website three years ago for my living room; and worried that I was not being true to the original because I used quarter sawn white oak and ebony, not mahogany. Thanks Darryl for easing that worry in this video. I had the time of my life on that project.
    Thanks Marc for putting this video out. I have only been a Guild member for a couple of months so I had not seen this before. Keep em coming!!

  4. Kelly White October 5, 2012

    I took one look at the first joint William showed, set my cup of coffee down and wow, talk about feeling humble. I could not imagine ever reaching that level of woodworking skills.
    Thanks much for putting that up Marc, I really enjoyed that!

  5. Jawad October 5, 2012

    Amazing, it is just a totally different level of anything i have seen before.

  6. taff October 5, 2012

    you’ll porbably get alot of this but WOW, i thought the furniture was class but the joints from william ng just blew my mind, amazing !

  7. jgreasy October 5, 2012

    great thought provoking stuff. especially like the bird beak joint… that one could come in really handy for chair rails or table aprons.

  8. Hears a link from finewoodworking on the Chinese Three-Way Miter

    Totaly mind bogling

  9. Joel October 5, 2012

    Thanks for the video, I really like the three-way-miter. Want to try it out on the next piece of furniture i make where it is fitting.

  10. Dan Gar October 5, 2012

    Thanks Marc for posting, those japanese joints are just impressive!

  11. Lone_Wolf October 6, 2012

    Thank you for posting this. It is awesome to see the work of a true master of his craft. Very humbling.

  12. I loved the joints shown by William … Awesome, clean. Thank you for this great content.

  13. daniel drabek October 6, 2012

    Thanks Marc for sharing that video. It was most enjoyable.
    I was fascinated by the Japanese joinery. I would be curious to know how it holds up over time in comparison to our more familiar western methods of mortise & tenon, and dovetail joints. Is it actually worth the extra time, effort and skill, I wonder, or is it just an academic exercise in craftsmanship. Very impressive, in any case.


  14. Alex October 7, 2012

    I would not have expected a joint like that chinese three way miter at all.
    Those are joints you believe them to be really strong even without glue, just from looking at them.
    Anyhow, those require a just awesome level of craftsmanship and precission to make them fit like this..

    • Alex October 7, 2012

      Oh and just one “downside” I forgot.
      I guess this is by far not the most time saving way for joinery.
      But in those pieces however, are we really talking about saving a day or two?

  15. very impressive joints, they look like mind puzzles trying to put the three way one together

  16. pagel October 7, 2012

    There’s something infectious about Darrell Peart’s wonder and excitement with design that I find refreshing. It’s just fun watching him describe elements of design.

  17. Arnold October 7, 2012

    I’m wondering what version of SketchUp did the ancient Chinese use to create those joints.

  18. Joe O October 8, 2012

    Not my first time to see a video with Darrell, but I always enjoy his sense and thoughts on what makes good design. William is just a quiet master, isn’t he? Love these great insights from the best. Thanks, Marc, for making them available to us and keep them coming!

  19. Bob D. October 9, 2012

    These type of joints are a challenge in itself. It’s almost art. I wonder what drove these people to make furniture with joints as strong as this for people who are not very heavy. I like it.

  20. S.Wellington October 9, 2012

    One of the reasons I love woodworking! Gotta love this stuff!
    Thanks Marc!

  21. Barry Lam October 10, 2012

    It would be nice to see a WW project completely dedicated to glueless joints. They don’t have to be gooseneck or triple-miter fancy, but keyed tenons and things like that might be just old school enough for the purist.

  22. Tom Wilson December 12, 2012

    The joints William shows in the video fasenate me. This a very interesting clip.

  23. Kurt Thompson December 13, 2012

    Wow, nice workmanship. Super impressive. Thanks for sharing Marc.

  24. Rick D December 21, 2012

    I’m impressed by this level of craftsmanship! Recently retired and getting back into woodworking as a hobby and this really fires up the imagination.

  25. Darnell April 6, 2013

    Advanced may be an understatement, that is beautiful joinery!

  26. DavidC February 25, 2014

    Ng is amazing. I’m still trying to grasp basic joinery. I think the beauty in the joinery Ng was describing is its “locking” properties.

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