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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, i am still a bit of a novice and am building a desk. The design of the desk I am building will look best if I miter all for sides of the top to the skirts of the desk. The width and length are 28"x58", thus, my miter can be as much as 58" long and will miter with another piece of wood in the same direction.( Not end grain to end grain) on one side and will be end grain to end grain grain on the shorter side. What is the best way to reinforce the top of this desk to prevent the miter joints from separating. I can use brackets on the under side. I also am not sure I want to use splines as I think they would need to be close together and that could be too much detail in the design. Any thoughts are welcome
Thanks
 

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+1 with George. I cannot imagine what this looks like, particularly not end grain to end grain on the one side but end grain to end grain on the other.

It will help for you to provide some sketch of what you are planning.

It is common to reinforce mitres with splines or biscuits as stated in earlier reply.

I am not understanding why splines would be too close together, another reason we need a sketch.

You could reinforce with dowels, but this can be tricky to get the holes aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
drawing attached

Hi thanks , It is hard to picture. Attached is my drawing. I am wanting to put the miters where the face frame meets the table top and where the side of the drawer panel meets the table top.
 

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John
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Hi Danny - Thanks for the heads up. This is the first I've seen the rabbeting miter set. I've got a lock miter. Certifiable PIA to set up and cross grain is a joke. Forget plywood. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
will the joints separate

Okay the router bit looks like it can work, Do es anyone have any comments about the design. The light part of the top is maple and that dark part is walnut. I plan to use biscuits to join the maple to the walnut in all directions. I am worried that ia m running the long pieces of the top length wise and joining them with the cross cut ends of the maple, If I use the miter joint, should I be concerned that there will be seasonal changes to the wood which will cause separation?? All the wood is 10 yrs old and well seasoned

Thanks
 

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I cannot tell dark from light in the attached jpg. Sorry.

I still feel splines would be the easiest way to strengthen these long mitres.

The rabbeting mitre set is interesting. I have no idea on how time consuming it is to set up.

The lock mitre bit is so time consuming to set up, I used mine once for a test piece and it now gathers dust in my drawer.

I would use dowels over biscuits, but this is one of many personal preferences in woodworking. Both can work. I find dowels give better control of alignment top-to-bottom and side-to-side. They do take a bit longer to use.

Wood movement is something to consider, but I am struggling to understand this design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Dave, I scanned in a new image. I hope this works better. The top[ of the desk is made of maple and walnut . I was not planning using poplar with 1/8" veneer for the desk top part made of maple and then using 1 " thickness finished pieces for the walnut portion of the desk top. I am worried that the desktop if mitered to the faceframe and the skirt on the right side will begin to shrink and grow and then cause the miters to fail or the wood to split. Any design comments would be helpful. I found an image of a desk I liked that is similar and have attached it in this email as well as the new desk plans image. Unfortunately, you can only put up to 98kb of images so the drawing does not look as good as I want
 

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Thanks the picture and updated drawing help me to better understand.

Grain orientation is where you need to review.

If the side of the apron has grain running in the same direction as the piece to which it is mitred, you normally should not have a problem.

So if the grain of the walnut at the left and right is running front to back and the apron side pieces run front to back, you should not have a movement issue.

Wood moves much more in the dimension at right angles to the grain than the dimension parallel to the grain. I normally do not worry about movement parallel to the grain. You desk is not big enough where I would worry about parallel grain movement.

In the drawing, the top walnut on the left and right sides is only 5 inches wide. With a narrow piece like this, I doubt the movement will be noticeable.

I think with good joints you should be fine. You could always make the maple top to be floating panels within the walnut frame.

The stretcher on the bottom is a good idea. I put one on a computer desk for my wife. It gets a lot of foot "traffic" if you know what I mean. I would ease the edge and perhaps consider a wear strip so when the impact of foot "traffic" has scuffed this up, you can easily replace. I wish I had done this on my desk.
 

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Where are the attachments?. Hoe do i get to see them?
My iPad shows the picture of a walnut seeks but no other jpgs or other images?.
Bob
 

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where's my table saw?
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Otter, maybe it's just me..

But I think you are confusing the term miter with "bevel". A miter is a relatively shorter cut than a bevel and would occur across the length and face of the work piece. A bevel runs the entire length of the panel and which in your case, would include the top and ends. A spline in the bevel will reinforce it very well, but will be difficult to make with a table saw, since either the panel or the blade must be held at 45 degrees. My choice would be tilt the blade and run the sharp edge of the bevel along the fence. It will be a knife edge and a little hard to keep a constant feed and pressure, but very doable. :yes: bill

In that image it's hard to tell which is Maple and Walnut, so maybe I've misunderstood your question....?
 

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I think the term to use when two sections meet to form a corner...as described by the OP would be a miter joint, with both edges @ 45 degrees, and can be any length. A bevel is a profile done to one edge, and it can be any length.

A lock miter bit can produce a good fitting miter joint. It has to be set up for the thickness of the mating parts...not difficult, but takes adjustment and making passes to get it right.

There is the belief that biscuits insure alignment. IMO, they don't do that. In any assortment of biscuits they will vary in size and thickness. I've never seen one that is absolutely flat, like a spline would be if I made one to fit. If there is that much room for glue (and there is), there is that much room for misalignment. Biscuits may help keep the parts from separating at best.






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where's my table saw?
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Here's what I had in mind when I said splined bevel... middle row on the left:, where both the edges of the panel are beveled along their length as would be the case for a table top and ends which appear to be "folded" over.


In my opinion, the splined miter is on the upper right, where the face of the board is mitered, like on a face frame. It's probably splitting hairs, but I'm trying to better understand the question. I used a splined miter in these cabinet doors:
 

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Dave Paine said:
+1 with George. I cannot imagine what this looks like, particularly not end grain to end grain on the one side but end grain to end grain on the other.

It will help for you to provide some sketch of what you are planning.

It is common to reinforce mitres with splines or biscuits as stated in earlier reply.

I am not understanding why splines would be too close together, another reason we need a sketch.

You could reinforce with dowels, but this can be tricky to get the holes aligned.
There are some great doweling jigs that make alignment easy and work good for all sorts of butt joints and mitres

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What are your thoughts though about wood movement. I am changing the plan to make the bevels along the length of the wood. The expansion/contraction I feel is not going to be controllable even with an L bracket on the inner side of the desktop. I feel it will give somewhere and the joint is the least stable portion. Your thoughts?
 
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