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Hi guys, I'm building a cross for a very important customer (aka my mother).
I'm very pleased with the results so far, but need suggestions on how should I join the 4 pieces together.
I've tried to glue them, at the intersection only, but didn't went well because I couldn't get it properly clamped in the correct position, and also, I think it would not be strong enough....
I'm considering hardware, or any other solution.....

Any inputs are welcome !!


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If you could accept a thicker cross; a half-lap joint cross of the same material behind what you have currently provided giving a full-face surface for glue.
 
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If you could accept a thicker cross; a half-lap joint cross of the same material behind what you have currently provided giving a full-face surface for glue.
Similar solution to the above, but is it thick enough that you can route out about a 3/4" deep cross in the back and then just use a 3/4" plywood backer, either half lapped or solid? Then you don't make it thicker, and you don't see the plywood from the front.
 

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Reason I suggest the spline almost the full length and width. Just route out a 1/4×1/2 groove and half lap the other direction.
 

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To elaborate on ave McCann's idea, I would use a 3 wing slot cutter in a router table to make identical slots in the ends of all 4 pieces. The width of the slot would depend on what thickness of thin hardwood plywood you have. OR you can laminate your own to match the width of the slot. Thses cutters are what I have in mind, but you can also get them at Harbor Freight:


 
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To elaborate on ave McCann's idea, I would use a 3 wing slot cutter in a router table to make identical slots in the ends of all 4 pieces. The width of the slot would depend on what thickness of thin hardwood plywood you have. OR you can laminate your own to match the width of the slot. Thses cutters are what I have in mind, but you can also get them at Harbor Freight:


You have designed a beautiful piece. At this point, just adding splines in the miter joints will not add enough strength, if you plan on having it moved around without a permanent back mounting plate. I would add a metal inlaid cross piece 4/7ths of the length (for each arm of the 4 sided metal cross) of your shortest arm of the cross (likely the top ) made of steel and be at least 3/8" thick. Getting it sized to a width of 3/4" or 1" for each of the 4 legs, you could use a like sized router bit set the thickness of the inset needed in the back of each piece. Short well set countersinked wood screws, a couple or three in each arm equally spaced apart, would fix the structure with good support. You could have the metal cross made by some local metalsmith or could possibly find it special order from a hardware jobber.
 

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You have designed a beautiful piece. At this point, just adding splines in the miter joints will not add enough strength, if you plan on having it moved around without a permanent back mounting plate. I would add a metal inlaid cross piece 4/7ths of the length (for each arm of the 4 sided metal cross) of your shortest arm of the cross (likely the top ) made of steel and be at least 3/8" thick. Getting it sized to a width of 3/4" or 1" for each of the 4 legs, you could use a like sized router bit set the thickness of the inset needed in the back of each piece. Short well set countersinked wood screws, a couple or three in each arm equally spaced apart, would fix the structure with good support. You could have the metal cross made by some local metalsmith or could possibly find it special order from a hardware jobber.
Actually, now that I give this more thought, I would use an "old woman's tooth" hand router, chisels and razor knifes to create the mortises in the back of each piece so as to prevent a power router disaster incident.
 
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