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Vertical Grain Carcass

2124 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  redisette
My project involves a vertically grained carcass 8.5" square and 5" tall. The bottom half will be walnut. The top half may be soft maple.
The top half angles inward at about 45 degrees. All joinery will be mitered with floating stubs. One entire side hinges outward, similar to a mailbox.

Stock is 1/2" for the top portion and 5/8" for the bottom (to closer match the mitered face thicknesses on the 1/2" pieces).

My concern is expansion. Soft maple seems to have similar expansion properties, but any contrasting domestic stock would be OK. I live in Florida, but the piece will typically be inside.

Does anyone see a problem with bowing at the very bottom or joint stress in the transition from walnut to soft maple?

This is the base for a larger box.
I have a full SketchUp model (Version 8), if that would help.

Thank you for any suggestions.


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As long as the wood was finished on the inside as well as the outside you shouldn't experience any deflection in the joint. If it were me I would probably make both woods the same thickness and put a 22 1/2 degree angle on each piece to make the 45 and spline the joint. Your biggest problem will be the end grain joints and the spline would help.
Thanks for your reply.
Hidden splines seem to be my best choice. I usually use corner keys for mitered joints, but uniformity demands a different approach. This is because the upper section of this box contains 10 "sides" that intersect at angles other than 90 degrees (some negative angles). This results in keys of varying lengths... Not pretty.
I modified my old green cast iron tenon jig to tilt 45 degrees (originally it only tilted to 75 degrees) for use on my router table to accomplish the "hidden" part. It seems to be very stable so far. A proper fence that'll allow me to lift and lower the workpiece is next. I don't expect any real problems here.
Info on modifying one of these jigs is available, if anyone is interested.
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