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- a joint in which two pieces of timber are united to form a continuous length, with
no increase in dimension at the joint, usually achieved by a simple lap, but can take many
sophisticated forms, such as the bridle scarf and the more complex half-scarfs. The
lightening scarf where, as the name suggests, a vertical check in a diagonal cut produces
a shape reminiscent of a streak of lightening, is particularly effective, because the
vertical face of the check will usually be in the centre of the heartwood which ensures
that the two hardest parts of the timbers abut each other.