Mitring Corners

Hi,
I would like to try and make a small mitred box. I am unsure though how you clamp / hold a joint whilst glued. Also, does glue hold these joints alone? If no, how do you attach them?
Thanks
Sam
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Sam, if I recall the British system correctly, at age 15 you're nearly finished with your schooling. With your interest and enthusiasm, you need to apprentice yourself to a cabinet shop. Once you get past the "go-for" and "floor-sweep" stage, you'll start learning how to do all the things you're asking about.

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"Chuck Hoffman" wrote in message

13, IIRC.
But the results might be the same.
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Currently the official school leaving age is 16 in the UK, though there is discussion both about raising it and also lowering it if the student is enrolled to craft training.
BernardR

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"Bernard Randall" wrote in message

According to Sam, he is only 13, though. :)
When I worked in an aircraft factory in England during the 60's there were any number of "apprentices" that were as young as 13 or 14. Does that still happen?
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Now days apprenticeships are like hens teeth, they're really suffering from a shortage of time served craftsmen. From what I'm reading there's a new drive to try to revive the crafts and I understand that skilled manual workers are earning on a par with the traditional white collar professionals.
BernardR

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says...

grain. Not a lot of strength there if all you do is glue it.
What you will want to do is introduce some long grain to the equation, increase glue area, or a combination of both.
There are various methods of strengthening the joint, long splines top to bottom or short splines inserted into kerfs cut into the edges, biscuits, locking miter joint router bit all work well.
Band clamps do a good job of pulling the joints of a box together.
Hope it helps.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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Lifted from the archives/no new electrons were murdered to present the following.
UA100
From: Keith G. Bohn ( snipped-for-privacy@execpc.com) Subject: Re: Joining Hex Box Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Date: 1997/07/22 We have always joined miters using strapping (filament type) tape. Assuming that your miters are all perfect (lucky dog) place all your pieces wide side up and mitered edge touching mitered edge. A straight edge is handy for alignment. Now bridge each meeting miter with the strapping tape, putting a piece every 2" or 3". What you're left with will look similar to pre-fabricated lawn edging.
Flip the whole assembly over and run a bead of glue in the valleys created by the miters. Don't over glue or you will have squeeze out on the interior of your box. Now comes the tricky part. As you bring the open ends together you will notice some severe stiffness as the miters fold. This is normal. Join the free ends with the same strapping tape as the other joints.
The real beauty of this method is you have some time to make final alignments by nudging here and there. You may also be tempted to band clamp it. This is not required if you have used enough tape.
Try this out dry with a simple 45 degree miter. It also helps to "burnish" the meeting edges with the round shaft of a screwdriver after the pieces are taped and the glue is still wet. This will close any slight openings in your miter.
Keith Bohn
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On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 15:46:34 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"

That's because you've not made one before. I have made them, which is why I hate making them. Mitres are a pain. They rely on a finicky measurement you have to get perfectly right before you assemble it, and they're a _real_ pain to clamp up while they're gluing.
Don't do mitres - they're horrible!
Assuming you're going to do them anyway, then a lot depends on which way round they're going. How big is your box ? A "long tube", or a "short tray" ? The difference is that the first is long mitres on short timber, usually "long grain" surfaces. The second is short mitres on long bits of wood and probably "end grain" surfaces.
I'd suggest you begin by making a picture frame. This is a classic case where mitres are appropriate and commonplace. Obviously these are the "end grain" sort. Buy your picture frame moulding (Hobby World) and cut a rectangle of glass, or even have it cut to size at the glazier (or even buy a glazed frame from Ikea / Poundsaver and throw away the frame - often the cheapest way to get one-offs of glass).
Picture frames are nice and easy because you have the glass or backing board to clamp the frame onto. If you don't, cut a backing board from hardboard - it's easier to do this than it is to clamp the mitre up without it.
Saw your frame as accurately as you can. This means your favourite mitre saw and an accurate mitre box (wood is better than plastic). Don't buy a "mitre saw". Unless you get a good one (e.g. Nobex) then the saw blades are rubbish and they cut badly. Do your best to keep the lengths matching too - it's better to make pairs that match exactly, rather than pairs that are near the length you intended.
Now choose your glue. You want something with good initial "tack", not something that takes ages. Titebond is better than plain PVA or Resin W.
Finally you need a clamping tool. One of the best is easily home made. Make four "corners"; a 3/4 circle of MDF or ply, with a square internal corner. File a groove into the outer edge. Now take a loop of string the right size and a stick like a pencil. Place them round the frame, loop the string round the grooves, then use the stick as a "Spanish windlass" to twist the string tight. Use a square to judge the squareness of each corner - this is where the flat workbench top covered with plastic sheet (big carrier bag taped down) and the backing board as an internal scaffolding come in handy.
With a little experience of mitres and the vagaries (mainly their tendency to fall to pieces when you try to glue and clamp them), you'll begin to understand why I dislike them.
When your frame is finished and the glue dried, take a look at it. Because you assembled it wet, all four corners should be glued, but any inaccuracy will be distributed around them. There will be a little bit of gaping somewhere. The better you saw it, the less this will be. If you make the frame the other way; using a magic clamp to assemble each joint one-by-one, then you'll have three perfect joints and one that doesn't even meet ! On the whole the "all together" clmaping works better.
For a "tube" box, your clamping is easier (less tendency to squash inwards) but it's harder to saw it accurately. It still needs a plug in the base to give the clamps something to press down onto.
To saw long mitre joints, it's a good time to use a table saw with either a tilting blade or a sled (a sliding wedge that carries the timber at an angle). This is still awkward though, especially with small pieces. If you cut them by hand, then look at a mitre box called a "board mitre" (pics on the web). It's also a good idea to plane the mitres after sawing them, using a "shooting board" or "donkey's ear" to hold the plane at the right angle. Robert Wearing's book "Woodworking Aids and Devices" also describes a router gadget to hold timber for machining to the right angle.
For making mitred boxes, especially those awkward compound mitred boxes, then a good tool for clamping them is parcel-wrapping cling film (saran wrap), as sold by stationers rather than kitchen shops, on a roller handle.
If you have the machinery to cut it (which means a table saw), then I prefer to cut a splined mitre. This begins as a plain mitre, but then has a groove cut into the joint edges and a key of thin wood inserted. Because this holds it in place, it's much easier to clamp up.
On the whole though, I'd suggest a rebated half-lap rather than a long mitre.
I was reading James Ayres' "British Domestic Interiors" this weekend, and he has some very scathing comments to make on mitres, and their inappropriateness for good joinery.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 15:46:34 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"

web site.. it's like an education on woodworking and a trip through a museum... and I think you'll enjoy it and go back from time to time as I do.. http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65j/index.html
I use corner clamps for miters.. here are a few examples of inexpensive ones like I use: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber52
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber8661
there are also several "plan" sites on the web where you can learn to build your own..
I use biscuits on corners and miters, but the traditional way would be to use dowels or splines..
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