I am looking at joining two sections of 1 1/2 inch deep butcher block
counter at right angles to form an L-shaped breakfast bar. The sections
are different widths: 19 inches and 13 inches wide. There is no wall on
either side of these sections.
What is the best cut to join the two sections:
1) one straight mitre from corner to corner approx 30 (& 60 degrees)
2) a 45 degree mitre from the inside corner with a right angle portion
on the wider board exposing end grain that would then be flush with
outside of the narrow board
3) a 45 degree mitre from the outside corner with a right angle portion
to the inside corner
4) a butt joint exposing end grain for the full width of either the
wider or narrower section.
Are there differences on the stability of the joint. My own impression
is that the most attractive and possibly stable joint would be choice 1,
a straight mitre.
I have all the machines but cannot cut the full mitre with my sliding
compound mitre saw and am concerned that it will be difficult to do it
with my table saw (General with a 12" blade and wide table) as the
material is very heavy and the angle quite acute. Can this be cut
accurately with a portable saw? Any other suggestions.
Also, are there any suggestions for strengthening the joint?
Any thoughts are appreciated and thanks in advance.
Do a good layout of your chosen miter scheme, rough off the waste with a
skilsaw to about 3/32" out side the line. Finish with a heavy router and a
2" bit against a guide board. Ease off the trailing end cut first with the
router so you don't chip the edge. I mitered 2 -22" wide Beech BB tops this
way and got great results. I used a bolt similar to the Rockler zip bolts
the fasten the tops together, I didn't have a plate jointer at the time and
used 2 -3/8" dowels for alignment.
It's an interesting question that I don't really see any obvious solution
If you miter corner to corner: first you waste a lot off both boards, 2, the
odd angles 55.6 and 34.38 mean that the individual strips don't align and
will give a visual discontinuity from the plan view.
45 degree miters will align the individual strips but there will be
dis-continuity in both the plan and one end view.
As it sounds as if you have pre manufactured boards, there is presumably an
edge treatment to take off the sharp edges and this will prevent a clean
butt joint unless you locally machine to give flush edges.
In the event, each of the 3 options given, none can give a really strong
glue joint as each will have at least one end grain element, so you will
have to rely on either under counter bolts or a rebate with a ply joining
None of the above, really.
The following website shows the SOP for jointing worktops (counters) in the
UK. The site shows the joint, the router templates and the special bolts to
draw the joint tight.
The templates aren't cheap, but are easy to hire in the UK. However, from a
thread on the "Wreck" a couple of weeks ago, they don't seem to be so common
in the US. Perhaps a business opportunity for one of you entrepeneurs?
Having said that, the joint is fairly easy to make with hand tools, or
alternatively, you could make up your own template.
It isn't necessary to use biscuits or dowels to reinforce the joint,
although they may help alignment - the bolts used are very strong.
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