Miter or butt joint for post? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Miter or butt joint for post?

I'm building some bed posts that will be 4" square and about 4 feet long. I'll be building the posts hollow out of 4/4 maple stock. I was planning on cutting 45 bevels along the side pieces and joining the pieces with glue and pin nails. I've been concerned that the corners will open up over time and am thinking that butt joints may be more robust. Can Anyone with experience with bevel miters give me some advice?
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 04:44 PM
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If it were me, I would not make the posts hollow. I'd glue them to a substrate and 45 the edges of the outer boards. But when I make beds, I attach the bed rails to the posts so in my opinion, they need to be stout.

But that's just my opinion.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks bradnailer. I definitely want them stout. I'll have the posts permanently affixed to the head/foot boards and have removable rails. I will be capping the top and bottom of the hollow posts with 6/4 material to give it extra stability along the bevel joints.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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It never fails when we make a hollow post with mitered edges, they always open. We have gone the route of even using plenty of screws, but they always open.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 06:49 PM
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I've tried mitre and butt and both have worked.


Mitre problem can be that your saw does not quite layover to 45. I would even consider going just e re so slightly over 45 so your outside edge is always closed up tight.

As for hollow legs or solid, my preference would be for solid in this application.

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post #6 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 07:28 PM
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An easy way to accomplish the look you are after is to glue boards up as a lamination and apply a veneer to cover the laminations. That solves the problem of worrying about the miters and gives a solid post with similar grain on all four faces.

Those who say it cannot be done should stay out of the way of the people doing it.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 09:20 PM
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I concur with the glue-up lamination with a veneer to cover the laminations. The core can be some pretty crappy scraps from the same wood you are going to use for the rest of the project. This is how it is possible to achieve quarter sawn white oak on all four surfaces of craftsman style furniture.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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I love this forum! I hadn't even considered the glue up lamination with a veneer. A quick question about this method - will I only use a veneer on the two sides that are showing the laminated edge grain? Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 03:49 AM
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There are a few ways to do these posts.

You could use solid stock ", and just butt the front to the sides...etc.

You could use " stock and rabbet the joints. Then you only show or less of the edge thickness.

You could use a lock miter bit.

You could make the core out of anything, and cover with " Maple plywood.

You could make the core out of anything and just use a Maple veneer as a cover.





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post #10 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
There are a few ways to do these posts.

You could use solid stock ", and just butt the front to the sides...etc.

You could use " stock and rabbet the joints. Then you only show or less of the edge thickness.

You could use a lock miter bit.

You could make the core out of anything, and cover with " Maple plywood.

You could make the core out of anything and just use a Maple veneer as a cover.





.
I like either one of these two:

"You could use " stock and rabbet the joints. Then you only show or less of the edge thickness.

You could use a lock miter bit."

My preference would be for the rabbet method just so that it was not a plain square post.

I would not worry about the post not being solid. The 3/4" thickness should be sufficient from which to hang the rails.

George
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 09:16 AM
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I have made some hollow core posts before (porch posts, mailbox post, cover for a steel support beam in the basement, box pedestals for a DR table). I didn't want end grain showing because they were made of plywood. I rip them at 45* and use glue and biscuits. I haven't had one come apart or show a gap yet.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 09:33 AM
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I recently did 4 x 4 legs for a table using a corner lock miter bit. Took me a few trial runs to get it right, but finally nailed it. I like this way better than a miter. Make sure your router fence is solid if you go this route. Mine wasn't and so the last two inches the router grabbed the piece and dug in a little more. Fortunately I never cut to finish size until I am ready to assemble. I am going to fill the center with a scrap piece for added strength.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterjer
I love this forum! I hadn't even considered the glue up lamination with a veneer. A quick question about this method - will I only use a veneer on the two sides that are showing the laminated edge grain? Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
The veneer would only be applied to the two sides showing the laminated edge grain. Others have mentioned a lock miter. Some craftsman furniture used this technique for posts with a core. If you make the posts hollow you still have to address the open top and bottom. Also, a solid construction would give better support if you want to incorporate mortise and tenon joinery for any rails.

Those who say it cannot be done should stay out of the way of the people doing it.

Last edited by Woodenhorse; 02-12-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions and sharing your experience. I really like the locking miter joint. I think I'll go that route.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 11:32 AM
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I made hollow columns for a railing installation in our house. I beveled the edges of each piece, and cut slots in the bevel faces for spline joints. They've been in place for 10+ years with no joints opening up (yet!). Clamping them all for gluing was an adventure, but it all worked out.

Here's a few pics:
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