Getting perfect miter joints - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Getting perfect miter joints

So i've attempted to make a small box roughly 10x7 for my mom 3 times over now and every time i mess it up. Are there any tips to get a seamless edge when glueing? I just watched a video on using tape which seems like a great idea. Are there any tips as for as what to do with the table saw or chop saw to make sure i get a good seam?
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post #2 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 07:31 PM
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your miters need to be perfect

Here's an example where if you line them up edge to edge the line formed should be straight. If not the bevels are off a smidge. Check them with a square.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lateralus819 View Post
So i've attempted to make a small box roughly 10x7 for my mom 3 times over now and every time i mess it up. Are there any tips to get a seamless edge when glueing? I just watched a video on using tape which seems like a great idea. Are there any tips as for as what to do with the table saw or chop saw to make sure i get a good seam?
Two things are needed to get a good miter. The opposite sides MUST BE EXACTLY equal. The miter cuts must be EXACTLY 45. Other than that, piece of cake

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #4 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Two things are needed to get a good miter. The opposite sides MUST BE EXACTLY equal. The miter cuts must be EXACTLY 45. Other than that, piece of cake
is there a trick to get them exactly equal
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post #5 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 08:16 PM
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First thing for you to do is check the saw that you are using to make sure that the 45deg point is exactly 45 degrees. Also make sure that there is no tilt toward either wide.

George
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post #6 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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First thing for you to do is check the saw that you are using to make sure that the 45deg point is exactly 45 degrees. Also make sure that there is no tilt toward either wide.

George
Any way to do that without fancy tools?
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post #7 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 09:19 PM
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is there a trick to get them exactly equal
Usually get it by using a stop block, some will cut both boards at once to make sure they are equal.
These things are surprisingly accurate for no more than they cost.
http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardw...&storeId=10051

May want to sort through several at the store though just to make sure.

John

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post #8 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 09:30 PM
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One of the handiest things for matching up opposite sides is a good disk sander which will let you tweak the dry fit.
http://benchnotes.com/DISK%20SANDER%20/Disk_Sander.html

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #9 of 53 Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 PM
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Dude just get a small machinist's square. Lay it down flat on the table of your miter saw with one leg against the fence. With the saw head down, check to be sure that when set at 0 the blade is square to the fence. If not, make it square and adjust the miter gauge to 0.
Next check that the blade is square to the table when the bevel setting is at 0. This one is usually the culprit in an out of square miter. If you're beveling the saw to 45 degrees, be sure to check it again for square (to the fence) before you cut. They're not always reliable.
I always make sure to get the surface of the square up against the side of the blade and not on the teeth, it's easier to square up that way.
If your saw's dialed in properly it makes cutting perfect miters WAY simpler.
By the way Lateralus is hands down my favorite TooL album
Good luck!
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post #10 of 53 Old 10-11-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Well i tried again and its %100 square. Problem is there are still gaps on the seams which I'm not sure how thats possible, but it could be because the oak seems as though its hard to get a nice crisp cut. I did the cuts on a table saw and then ran them on a belt sander with a miter gauge. Who knew woodworking could be so hard.

One of my co-workers thinks im nuts, but I've always been a perfectionist. I really like woodworking, it sucks im so new to it, but i want to become as good as i can. I hope to be able to pick up a nice table saw and miter saw in the near future.
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post #11 of 53 Old 10-11-2012, 08:03 PM
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The words beltsander and perfection don't belong in the same post. If you want to become proficient at woodworking get rid of the beltsander.
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post #12 of 53 Old 10-11-2012, 08:31 PM
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My experience with a miter joint:

Quote:
preparing the joint for glue
Oh! well, this looks good so far! Miters are crisp! Little overhang though, but it will work out fine after I sand
glue is applied
Still good! gaps are a little big, and everything's sliding around, but I think I can hold it in place
5 minutes after clamping and un clamping
Aw hell, everything just slides out of place as soon as I clamp it
10 minutes in and 8 bar clamps
Well! everything's secure, but the edges slipped a lot more than I wanted! maybe a diagonal clamp?
20 minutes of jostling later
finally glued! All the edges are perfect in alignment and the joints are tight!
Taking the box out of the clamps the day after
Wait what the hell, it's not even close to square!
I just ditched miters in general. It's a poor joint for gluing purposes anyways. Always put a spline in, maybe a biscuit, or do a Lock miter bit if you can swing it. Those things are nice!

The Line below is false
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post #13 of 53 Old 10-11-2012, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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My experience with a miter joint:



I just ditched miters in general. It's a poor joint for gluing purposes anyways. Always put a spline in, maybe a biscuit, or do a Lock miter bit if you can swing it. Those things are nice!
well, what would you suggest instead of a miter joint for a box? I was thinking of doing a rabbit type joint. Far easier to get nice for me.
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post #14 of 53 Old 10-11-2012, 11:41 PM
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Put splines in the box to sturdy the miter. A rabbet will work, but a miter is good for matching two corners so the grain is consistent, and almost nothing else.

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post #15 of 53 Old 10-12-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lateralus819 View Post
So i've attempted to make a small box roughly 10x7 for my mom 3 times over now and every time i mess it up. Are there any tips to get a seamless edge when glueing? I just watched a video on using tape which seems like a great idea. Are there any tips as for as what to do with the table saw or chop saw to make sure i get a good seam?
first you need a good blade. I belive mine is a 82 tooth . Cuts slick as glass, Is the space in the back of the glue up or the frount. That will tell you which is off. What you can do is glue up only 2 pieces at a time or 1/2 of the square than when you put it togother you can sand the frount of back of the 2 pieces to make them fit . one way to do it. That is what segmented bowl makers do. But you should get good 45's any way. see if any movement in the blade at all side ways and back and forth. Is is a thin blade ? 10" blade, rip or cross cut how many teeth. I have a maketa and the arbor beiring had a little wooble in it sometime's it would make good 45's and than not. so i replaced the beiring now all perfet 45's good and smooth. good luck
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post #16 of 53 Old 10-12-2012, 09:05 AM
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The words beltsander and perfection don't belong in the same post. If you want to become proficient at woodworking get rid of the beltsander.
A very nice sounding statement that does not hold up in practice. Most people that have been woodworking for long find that there is a place for the belt sander. They just do not use it as a tool that "solves all."

George
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post #17 of 53 Old 10-12-2012, 09:26 AM
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A very nice sounding statement that does not hold up in practice. Most people that have been woodworking for long find that there is a place for the belt sander. They just do not use it as a tool that "solves all."

George
Hey...I'm one of those guys. Some things need belt sanding, and others don't. You can set up a table saw, radial arm saw, or a miter saw (CMS/SCMS) with a plastic drafting template. You can get a right triangle (45/45/90) in many sizes, and they will be accurate.






.
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post #18 of 53 Old 10-12-2012, 09:31 PM
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A very nice sounding statement that does not hold up in practice. Most people that have been woodworking for long find that there is a place for the belt sander. They just do not use it as a tool that "solves all."

George
George,

While people do things in different ways I haven't used a belt sander in years and never for joinery.
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post #19 of 53 Old 10-14-2012, 12:48 PM
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I had the same trouble making miter joints for moulding. What I ended up doing was making a shooting board and finishing the miter edges with a hand plane.
It can be very difficult to get a perfect miter even if you have the best machinery, it does not take much to get a slight error in the angle of the joint, a slight movement on your part, a slightly misaligned blade, it does not take much!
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post #20 of 53 Old 10-15-2012, 04:55 PM
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After all the replays and trouble shooting, i recommend to check if your boards are straight and square. It could happen some times. 😬
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