Scarf Joint

Discover the definitions for construction terms, phrases, and acronyms in this comprehensive glossary created for the construction industry.

What is a scarf joint?

A scarf joint is when two members are joined end to end in woodworking or metalworking using a tapered joint that makes two members appear as though they’re one continuous piece.

More in depth definition of a scarf joint

Scarf joints are incredibly common in finish work (anything that will be visible after construction) because unlike butt joints and splice joints scarf joints make it appear as though the wood or metal is one continuous piece. The joint is formed by cutting opposing tapered ends at an angle generally between 10-45 degrees and then fitting the two ends together.

Example of a scarf joint Being Used

The most common use of the scarf joint is when installing molding in a building. Molding generally comes in 14 to 16 feet increments and often times you will have long stretches of molding that can’t be covered by a single piece of molding. When this happens carpenters will add a scarf joint to the molding so they can combine several pieces of molding while making it appear as one continuous piece.

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