I'm building a box 12"l x 4"w x 4"h out of birds eye. I wanted to use
mitred corners, glued with cocobolo splines. Now, if I cut the first
piece I am left with the next piece having the matching 45, but only if
I turn it over. Is this a bad thing? Would things look better if the
same side of the board I'm using was consistent around the outside? Am
I making ANY sense here? Too much time to think about this stuff on a
90 min commute...
Yes you are making sense and yes it would look better if you keep the same
side out. I would cut the 45's on a table saw with a sled. I find this
makes a more accurate mitre for this type of job. Make the cut and then
flip the piece end for end. Don't forget to do this when your piece is cut
to rough size and this mitre cut will be done to bring your part to finished
Have you given any thought to using cocobolo keys instead of a spline? It
would work just as well, and will add some beauty to the corners as well as
Doing it the way you describe will make perfectly square corners since
any deviation from 45d will be offset by equal error on the opposite
BUT you'll lose any hope for matching grain patterns. That might not
matter with birds eye though. The (somewhat) cool thing about mitered
boxes is that you can have the grain run all around the box. I like to
resaw a figured board and then use the inside faces on the outside of
the box to effectively give continuous grain on all four sides; last I
used this for was some spalted tulip poplar.
Having visible cocobolo splines on the birdseye will look very nice.
Well I got the box almost finished over the weekend. I am going to use
keys, I just had the terminology wrong. I'm inserting 2 to a corner,
1/8". I used my mitre saw and it is very tight. I also did "the flip"
so that the grain matches all the way 'round. I did a 1/4x3/4 rabbit
around the top for the cocobolo piece to sit in for a top, then I cut a
half circle so that you can grab it and lift it out. The glue should
be set tonight and I will cut the slots for the keys and then put a
finish in it. I'm thinking of trying ferrous sulfate...
if it's a visual thing, you have to make the choice right there
looking at the wood.
note that flipping the board saves you an inch or so of length per
cut, so if you barely have enough material it might be your only
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