How Should I Join Miter Cuts So It Looks Like This? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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How Should I Join Miter Cuts So It Looks Like This?

Hi everyone;

Please pardon my ignorance.

What is the best way (in terms of strength and appearance) to join miter cuts together similar to this:





I tried making something like this and it, of course, looks like krap: There were gaps where the miter cuts were supposed to align, and I tried fastening with screws and even though I predrilled pilot holes for the screws, they didn't go in all the way and I ended up stripping the head (so now I have a couple of screws that stick out about an eighth to a quarter of an inch from the wood - Doh!)

Also, it is quite flimsy, so I used some corner braces on the interior angle - and it is still flimsy.

Any suggestions on how to join cuts together evenly and making it less flimsy is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

(Note: These are NOT photos of how my racks turned out. These are photos of someone elses clothing racks. Mine turned out MUCH uglier).
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 01:57 PM
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Hi, you don't say what tools you have available so will just give it a shot.
Probably the strongest miter, and for a free standing unit like that, I would recommend is the half-lap miter
http://www.woodsmith.com/magazine/ex...lf-lap-joints/

Problem with it is the miter only shows on one side. Another alternative would be to spline it. Cut a slot through the center of the joint and glue in a spline. The spline will show on the edges of the joint.
Keys are also an option. They are similar to splines but run from the face back.
Biscuits and dowels are other options.

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 #3 of 15 Old 07-25-2012, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply and the link, John:

As for tools, I have only the bare minimum;

An electric variable speed drill
some drill bits
a claw hammer
a hack saw
various screwdrivers
a 3/8 socket set (metric and inches)
gorilla glue
cheap plastic miter box and equally cheap miter saw from home depot

And that's about it.

thanks again.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 11:03 AM
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I've worked with similar tools and here what I've learned. First and for most the joining edges absolutely HAVE to be parallel for a clean no gap joint. If ur material is wide enough my favorite joining method is a biscuit joint but u don't have those tools. A cheaper alternative would be pocket screw system like the kreg system.

If the edges are perfectly parallel you can get an awesome looking and strong miter join with pocket holes and screws.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, Andrew.

Do you have any tips at all on how to ensure that the edges are parallel? I tried sanding the edges as well, and they still didn't turn out that well.

I guess next time I will have to try and take the wood to a local woodworker and ask him to cut the miter joints for me?

Thanks for pointing out the possibility of pocket screws. Have you used them on miter cuts? For some reason, all the demos seem to be using them with butt joints instead of miter joints.

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 12:39 PM
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I have used them on liters and they work as long as u do a test piece to make sure ur screws aren't going to go thru. U said u have a miter saw, you could stack the two pieces of lumber and cut them at the same time if possible, that SHOULD make them flat and parallel
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. I hadn't thought about stacking the two pieces in the miter box to ensure they are parallel (did I mention that it is just a cheap plastic miter box and a hand saw and not any kind of an electric saw)?

Thanks again for all the help.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 01:20 PM
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O I see what ur saying, ummm it may turn out Better when stacked but using a hand saw it will probably be hard to get a perfect cut but give it a shot and see what happens
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Will try it out.

the other option is to buy a cheap electric miter saw on craigs list, use it for the project, then try and sell it.

I just don't know how big of a blade I will need to miter cut 2 X 3 posts - especially if I will be stacking them together to try and keep them parallel. Will a 10 inch blade work?
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 02:48 PM
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All miter saw cut depths vary
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 02:54 PM
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I think you can probably achieve what you want with a little practise. A cheap miter box is not a great tool, but it will usially do the job. Practise on some scrap material and you will soon be making an acceptable joint.

George
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-26-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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@ George:

thanks for the tip. It is just so tiring to saw through 2 X 3s by hand that I am reluctant to practice...

I do have some clamps so I can keep the pieces in place. I just have to figure out exactly how many more I will need and whether it will be cost effective to rent an electric one or buy and then sell one.

Thanks again.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
@ George:

thanks for the tip. It is just so tiring to saw through 2 X 3s by hand that I am reluctant to practice...

I do have some clamps so I can keep the pieces in place. I just have to figure out exactly how many more I will need and whether it will be cost effective to rent an electric one or buy and then sell one.

Thanks again.
If it is that tiring to saw a 2x3 then you need a better saw!

Or you need to see a doctor.

George
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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I do need a better saw.

I am thinking of getting a used ryobi (yeah, home depot, I know) table saw for $70 on craigslist (usually sells for $130 new). They put a better blade on it.

and yeah, I do need to see the doctor - but as my wife will tell you, I need a brain transplant
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-27-2012, 08:32 PM
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the two main tools you need is a miter saw ( you have a miter box ) and clamps. add the gorilla glue you have and your set. you might find someone locally to cut the pcs for you then you can assemble them, thats a thought.

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