How to make a strong non-90 miter joint? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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How to make a strong non-90 miter joint?

I am looking for some advice on how to make a strong joint that is essentially a miter joint, but the joints are NOT at 90 degrees to each other. The overall shape is a trapezpoid box (one side longer than the other, sides same length but opposite) and the angles are about 9 or 10 degrees off of 90. This is essentially what I am thinking a dovetail would be good for, but given the application, this seems like a lot of effort to go to and the complexity the non-90 degree angles add. I've looked at some alternatives like box joints and splined joints. I do NOT want a screwed-together joint. A splined joint, either hidden or visible, seems like it might work but am not sure. So what are my options here? Thanks!
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 01:19 PM
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Other strong miter joint options are dowel pins and domino "biscuit" joinery, but be certain the cut angles are smooth & tight WITHOUT gaps to each other. Be safe.
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 03:59 PM
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A spline would probably the best way to go, as far as effort/performance is concerned. Doweling would be stronger, but drilling the holes for the dowels at the end of an angled workpiece could be tricky. Biscuits would likely work as well as a spline would, but that requires having a biscuit jointer

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post #4 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Similar to the domino joint, could this also be accomplished with a loose tenon M&T? The angle is what I am still concerned about as it just complicates things.

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post #5 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 04:38 PM
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The issue is certainly the "odd" angles

If you search segmented bowls you'll find various angles for mitered joints, however there may not be an 80 degree example.... I donno?

You can make splined miters down the bevel angle using the tilt feature on your table saw. This makes a strong joint. Splined frames are different than splined bevels which are what to look for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr402Nvfhs0

If you make your spline stock the same dimension as the kerf of your blade that will be all you need for the spline. A digital protractor would be helpful in setting the bevel angle. If the angles are all different on the corners you will have "fun" figuring out how to arrive at the proper setting....

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-16-2015 at 04:43 PM.
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 06:13 PM
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I would use my biscuit joiner. It's completely adjustable to cut at angles.
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-16-2015, 11:55 PM
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-17-2015, 07:43 AM
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when is a miter a bevel?

The question is relevant because the techniques for splining are different. A picture frame has mitered corners. A cabinet has mitered bevels, kinda of redundant...


The cabinet or box joint:




A splined mitered corner like on a picture frame:



Both slots can be made on the table saw, but the picture frame must be held vertically so the kerf is in the edge, not on it's flat face. The kerf in the cabinet pieces is made with the blade at 45 degrees. A router with a slot cutter can be used on the picture frame, but the table saw is best for the cabinet or box pieces.

When is the cut a miter? In my experience it's when the long face is flat on the table and the cut is a 45 degree crosscut, the blade set at 90 degrees. When making a bevel, the large flat surface of the stock is flat on the table and the blade is set at a 45 degree bevel angle. Some folks use the terms interchangeably, but that can add to some confusion.

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-17-2015 at 07:49 AM.
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post #9 of 38 Old 07-17-2015, 08:17 AM
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I never put two pieces of wood together with a bevel. But I do bevel the edges to make them look better.

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post #10 of 38 Old 07-17-2015, 11:10 AM
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I believe a miter joint is made by beveling each of two parts to be joined, JMHO.

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post #11 of 38 Old 07-17-2015, 12:22 PM
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You probably already know this, but I'd suggest using masking tape to apply pressure during the glue up.
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post #12 of 38 Old 07-17-2015, 11:01 PM
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I use masking tape on miter/bevel joints. If you need any more pressure something's wrong.

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post #13 of 38 Old 08-12-2015, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al B Thayer View Post
Yes, but perhaps I missed it showing how to accommodate a non-perpendicular joint. In this particular application the joint does not need to be beveled/mitered, but could be a butt joint whereby a M&T could be employed. The hurdle I am trying to overcome is the non 90-degree joint.

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post #14 of 38 Old 08-12-2015, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiknNutz View Post
Yes, but perhaps I missed it showing how to accommodate a non-perpendicular joint. In this particular application the joint does not need to be beveled/mitered, but could be a butt joint whereby a M&T could be employed. The hurdle I am trying to overcome is the non 90-degree joint.

A spline (or biscuits) would be easiest and all you really 'need' is a table saw to cut the pocket with.

Cut your angles like you normally would and once everything fits the way you want it - Cut the grooves for your spline or biscuits.

Normally I cut biscuit pockets either on the shaper or on the router table with a slot cutting bit. Ten times more accurate than the Biscuit Joiner tools that are handheld...
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post #15 of 38 Old 08-12-2015, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiknNutz View Post
Yes, but perhaps I missed it showing how to accommodate a non-perpendicular joint. In this particular application the joint does not need to be beveled/mitered, but could be a butt joint whereby a M&T could be employed. The hurdle I am trying to overcome is the non 90-degree joint.

You can cut any angle within reason with my fixture. See it's my design and it works so well I like sharing it with everyone. Which includes 30 different countries and countless copies sent out.

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post #16 of 38 Old 08-12-2015, 10:09 PM
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You can make this miter type joint stronger with a spline which has been previously suggested or put two dowels through each joint after it has been assembled. I don't know what the project is, but you could also use
two screws at each joint or use a half lap-miter which will be very strong.
What are you making?
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post #17 of 38 Old 08-13-2015, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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I already finished the project I intended this for using screws and flush plugs but plan to use this joint more in the future and would like to come up with a more traditional joint (M&T, spline, etc).

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post #18 of 38 Old 08-13-2015, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
A spline would probably the best way to go, as far as effort/performance is concerned. Doweling would be stronger, but drilling the holes for the dowels at the end of an angled workpiece could be tricky. Biscuits would likely work as well as a spline would, but that requires having a biscuit jointer
Can also be done with a router.

George
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post #19 of 38 Old 08-13-2015, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a better representation of the overall design. The pieces are essentially based on a dimensional 2x6. My plan was to use a loose M&T joint, but as I've said, the angle of the joint is what has be confused on how to actually make it other than with a Festool Domino (I am not aware of any commercial knock-offs to the Domino). I do understand that a biscuit joiner would work, but am not convinced that a biscuit joint provides the desired joint strength. A custom, purpose-built jig based on a router is what comes to mind, that incorporates an angled baseplate or fixture of some sort.
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post #20 of 38 Old 08-13-2015, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiknNutz View Post
Here is a better representation of the overall design. The pieces are essentially based on a dimensional 2x6. My plan was to use a loose M&T joint, but as I've said, the angle of the joint is what has be confused on how to actually make it other than with a Festool Domino (I am not aware of any commercial knock-offs to the Domino). I do understand that a biscuit joiner would work, but am not convinced that a biscuit joint provides the desired joint strength. A custom, purpose-built jig based on a router is what comes to mind, that incorporates an angled baseplate or fixture of some sort.
Good pictures, but what is it?
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