Simple locking tab joints


I wanted to make a way to lock a structure together that was fairly strong and could be dissembled with no tools.

This is an early (very rough) prototype of that effort.

I refined the design to use smaller pegs and a more robust rounded center tab in a holiday gift, but the prototype pieces illustrate the concept pretty well. The whole thing was cut out of birch ply.

If you attempt something like this beware that hardwoods will break very easily across their grain. Orient and scale your tabs accordingly… but I think your best results will be with plywood.

Go forth and be inspired :slight_smile:


Yep, grain is definitely a big deal.

If the material you’re doing has some flex, you can do tabs that compress into place and then lock, but those have to be designed carefully if you’re ever going to unlock them.


LIke so?

This was during that same experimentation. I found that the locking tabs added a lot more rigidity to the joint, so I went with them.


If you are not already familiar with this check it out. 50 cnc joints, about half of them are suitable for laser, more if you are willing t laminate.


Yeah that site is really good. I posted about another similar joinery guide here:


Bookmarking this thread, looks like a good one.


Cool! :grinning: