skip to main page content :: Town & Regional Planning Home > Glossary Home > S >

Scarf joint

- 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.