Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Are 23" miters possible????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    155

    Are 23" miters possible????

    I'm in desperate need of some help. I'm in the very beginning stages of building a dresser(a very simple mid-century modern style,) and my wife's decided she wants the top and sides to meet with a miter joint. Is this even possible? I just can't imagine how I'd be able to cut 23" miters with hand tools. Of course, the seam would need to be absolutely perfect -- I'd want no gaps whatsoever, and will not be able to rely on filler. Does anyone have any advice? All I can think of is to create a 45 degree jig for the fence of a rabbet plane(which I'll have to buy.) Is there a better method or tool for this job?

    Also, what kind of strength would this joint possess? Wouldn't I have to augment it in some way? Would I use a block on the inside of the corner? Or dowels?

    I can't believe I'm even considering this kind of joint, and am kind of freaking out. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best,

    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    3,660
    I would not use a miter for such a major joint. Yes, it would need to be reenforced somehow.

    If you did decide to do it I don't think you'd need a fenced rabbet plane for it (though it e a nice excuse to get one). Maybe you could get a jointer fence and but a 45 degree block on it. Probably work better than the rabbet plane for this and it would be cheaper. Or you could make this style of miter shooter, and just make it REALLY long.

    Dare I mention full blind miter dovetails.... I certainly don't have the skill to pull them off in 23" wide jointer.

    My advice, use whatever joint you would normally use cover it with moldings and convince the wife that moldings make the case look better anyway.
    Woodworking is terrific for keeping in shape, but it's also a deadly serious killing system...

  3. #3
    You might be able to pull off the look using veneer.

    Another option would be to just miter the shoulder of the joint, a la the Schwarz's monticello book boxes. Here's a link to a video:

    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/wo...ulder-dovetail

  4. #4
    I assume you are thinking of a miter joint because you want a square case. Offer her a top that overhangs the sides and front a bit and see if she likes it. I find that having some overhang "terminates" the top better and is visually more pleasing than a square box. If you do put a top on that overhangs a bit, you can put two boards across the top (under the final top) and dovetail them into the sides with half blind dovetails so the end grain doesn't show. Then put your top on and use screws to attach it from underneath. Just elongate the holes at the back of the top for the screws so you allow for wood movement.

    If you (or she) are dead set on a square box, I'd use half blind dovetails as a tradeoff - they're strong, easy to make and only show end grain on one surface. You can choose to show the end grain on the top or on the side. When I've done that, I show the end grain on the top.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    10,039
    All I can think of is to create a 45 degree jig for the fence of a rabbet plane(which I'll have to buy.)
    Why would this require a rabbet plane?

    This can be accomplished with a miter jack or an angled shooting board. It can also be done by holding a plane stationary with a feed ramp to guide the work across the sole of the plane.

    Cut One Side.jpg

    There is a slight angle on the guide piece in this picture.


    First Shavings.jpg

    This one for making 22-1/2 miters has the ramp set into dados in the base. This allows for using paper shims to adjust the angle if needed. With all that wood and a little change in the weather it will likely be needed.

    This one has worked out so well my plans are to build a bigger and better one in the future.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chevy Chase, Maryland
    Posts
    2,127
    A full blind dovetail joint. Like this (not mine):

    http://rabbitwoodworks.com/images/Jo...-dovetails.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,850
    There's a basic problem with joining a case side with a top in this manner that has little to do with actually making it. In use, the edge will get uglied up in absolutely no time. That's one reason why the old-school method is to use half-blind dovetail joints and cover the visible part of the joint on the sides with molding. Not only does the molding hide the end-grain, it also serves to protect the joint.

    Ditto with a top that overhangs the sides mounted with sliding dovetails.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    505
    I made a small piece of shop furniture with long dovetailed miters, mostly just to see if I could do it. Its pretty simple.
    I documented it in this thread.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ers&highlight=

  9. #9
    Mitre glue up.jpg

    I have made modern furniture for a client who insisted on this joint. It is critical to have flat stock, I say critical, not necessarily easy!

    Once you have flat stock you need only cut a square 45 degree bevel and that's simple with a good TS set up.

    Now of course you have to be able to glue this joint up perfectly. For this reason you can use a single or double row row of biscuits - super fast and strong or make a spline if you prefer.

    The final trick is to come up with a clamping scheme that applies the necessary pressure perdendicularly across the mitre joint. To do this I make up pine cauls that are cut at 45 degrees and I blue them to each side of the joint. Dry run, then go for it. Remove the cauls after glueing up the joint -saw and plane.

    While this may sound like a bit of work it is quite simple and easy to do if you committ to the program. In the end you can have a strong solid wood mitre joint that is 23" long. Certainly there are easier and perhaps better paths to take but what you have described is by no means tricky and if the design calls for this joint then you have no excuse not to make your "client's" dreams come true.

    I just added the rough drawing of what I am talking about. The guide lines show the nice clamping force across the joint. Of course you can do better and use one continuous caul and use a paper joint to ease removal etc.
    Last edited by Chris Fournier; 02-02-2013 at 5:23 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Puget Sound, USA
    Posts
    595
    If you insist on a mitered corner, consider a folded miter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    155
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I do have a LV BU jointer with a fence that I could use. Adding a 45 degree block to this might be the best method from what I can understand. Even if I am able to get this joint put together cleanly, though, I'm afraid of what David Keller pointed out -- that the corner would get bent and dinged out of shape in no time. Do others feel like this is probable? Would that corner be likely to get smashed up?

    Chris F., thanks for the photo of the cauls you recommended -- a brilliant idea. Before I saw this, I was thinking of using a few web clamps. What do you think?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, MI
    Posts
    1,304
    You could do a secret dovetail if you wanted. I just did a tutorial on the PWM site.

    But, honestly, I would probably just cut a normal miter, then attach glue blocks on the inside to help hold it together. With a little forethought, you can use them as the kickers for your top drawer.

    Glue blocks are an excellent, easy way to accomplish this kind of thing, but they seem to have fallen out of favor with modern furniture makers for some reason.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    155
    Thanks, Zach. I spent a bit of time checking out your tutorial earlier, and was amazed at your skill. I'm happy to use use blocks, and will probably go this route if I end up sticking with this joint? What do you think... How will a mitered joint on a dresser top like this fare durability-wise? I wouldn't be able to round over the corner without exposing end grain. Is the sharpness and points of the bevels asking for trouble?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, MI
    Posts
    1,304
    David, depending on the style you are planning to build the dresser in (i.e. Shaker, A and C, W and M, Chippendale), it wouldn't be out of place to have a textile covering on the top of the piece. Early pieces often had fabric covering the tops. Such a covering will protect those corners quite a bit.

    If you don't want to cover the top, I think the corners will be ok. Of course, I'm all about furniture wearing in and looking old. A few dings in the corners wouldn't bother me.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    155

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •