How to Strengthen Wood Joints with Plates

What You'll Need
Tee Plate
Angle Plate
Corner Plate
Mending Plate

Wood joints that have been attached with glue or nails over time become loose and need reinforcement. One way to strengthen your wood joints is to use steel plates. Plates can be tee plates, angle plates, corner plates or a mending plate for your wood joint. This article will discuss the types needed to strengthen your joint in a how-to format.

Step 1: Purchase the Appropriate Plate for the Joint

You will need to purchase the type of plate that is appropriate for the type of wood joint repair that you are engaged in. Knowing which type of plate to use should be based on the following information:

  • Tee Plates - these types of plates are shaped like the letter "T"; they are for applications or joints that join three sections of pieces of wood.
  • Angle Plates - angle plates are a type of steel plate that accommodates an extreme angle in the wood joint. 
  • Corner Plates - corner plates, by their namesake, are places in wood corner joints.
  • Mending Plates - a mending plate provides a fix for a damaged wood joint.

The type of plate that you need will be determined by the type of joint that you have. The best way to determine the plate that is needed is to examine the junction or point at which the joint meets. Based on the angle, location (i.e. corner) or wear and tear on the joint, you should be able to intuitively determine which type of plate to use in order to strengthen the joint.

In addition to the plate, you will need to drill holes into the wood to bring the joint together. A good variable speed wood drill with a rechargeable battery should be sufficient for your purposes.

Step 2: Drill Holes for the Plate Installation

Once you determine the type of steel plate that you need for your wood joint, create a template on a piece of paper in order to drill the holes. You may also place the plate at the joint area in which it will be attached and mark the holes with a punch or other sharp object into the wood.

With the template holes marked, use the variable speed drill to make holes into the wood. Make the holes deep to place wood screws in to secure the plate, but not too deep that the screws are unable to hold the plate in place.    

Step 3: Place the Plate on the Joint

Place the plate against the holes that you created in Step 2 of this how-to process and take a screwdriver to secure the plate using the appropriate screws. Make sure that the screw heads are flush with the joint. This should complete the process of strengthening your wood joint with steel plates. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for all of the wood joints that you have in need of strengthening.