Let me first start by saying that I am by best accounts a novice woodworker
who has decided to take my ability to do DIY projects around the house
(molding, thresholds, etc) to the "next" level. I have decided that I want
to try to build the Miter Saw Stand featured in Popular Woodworking for my
Dewault 703. Here is the link to the plans:
In that plan the carcass is assembled by butting the end of a board into a
rabbit and held with glue and screws. Seems simple enough. However, I
just finished reading an article about locking Miter Joints in the February
issue of Popular Woodworking and now I'm leaning towards using that method
to assemble the cabinet carcass (top, bottom, sides and back). With that in
mind I have a few questions.
1. Is there a strength difference between the two types of joint? And if
so which is the stronger joint? It would seem to me that the miter joint
would be stronger than the butt end joint.
2. If it is feasible to substitute the Miter joint - is it possible to
miter the back in the same manner? In other words creating a "square"
cabinet seems simple enough but what about attaching the back using the same
method. Is this possible? If so is their any special considerations when
routing the panels at the intersection of the "corners" of the carcass
where, say, a top meets a side and the back? If that description makes any
sense at all.
3. If all is well with this method - is it possible to run that type of
bit effectively in a PC690 using the PC router stand and still get good
results? Or does a bit like that need a heftier router?
Thanks for any input and answers.
Joint strength is relative to the type, and proposed use, of the end
product. On a plywood shop project, I personally would go with the glued
rabbet joint and screws. It is more than strong enough in plywood, fast, and
minimum or no clamping.
I am not a fan of miter joints on most shop grade plywood projects unless
there is a real need for them ... but then I don't own a locking miter joint
router bit. As they say, when you only own a hammer, everything looks like a
BTW, if you decide to use the locking miter joint, they can also be cut on a
Thanks for the input. I do realize you can do that on a table saw (the
article also articulates joining with biscuits or a spline). I just thought
it may be good to practice this type of joinery on a piece that doesn't have
to be "perfect".
I've built several things out of plywood (of varying qualities) where the
corners are connected with lock miter joints, and I've been pleasantly
surprised with the results. I really just started doing it as an experiment;
I'd never seen anybody else doing and I figured it wouldn't work very well, but
I can't really see any downside. I haven't seen that PW article, but I'm
curious about it. I wonder where they got the idea?
I don't have any proof to back up my claim, but it seems to me that you are
right; the lock miters I've done with plywood are very strong, and my guess is
that they are stronger than a butt joint with screws. Be sure to use a good
healthy coating of Titebond II (or better yet, Titebond II Extend) on both male
and female surfaces of the joint.
Sure; all four corners can be lock mitered. I would run the longest panels
through horizontally (easier to manage), and the shorter ones vertically. It
helps to build yourself a very tall router fence for this purpose. Lots of
good clamps with square, flat faces (like Besseys) will make your life much
easier! Start clamping in the center of the panel and work your way out to the
ends so the excess glue has somewhere to go (and be ready to clean it up; it's
easy to get too much glue in the joint channels, and it will come out in globs
when the clamping commences!) Check the carcase with a good framing square as
clamping progresses, and it's a good idea to orient the clamp handles in an
alternating fashion to counter any tendency to pull the carcase out of square.
Sure, most lock miter bits aren't that big and you don't need a 3HP hog to spin
them successfully. Make multiple passes to get a clean cut. Search this group
for subject line "lock miter bit" and look at the posts from 1/15 or so; we
discussed methods for getting good results from lock miter bits in that thread.
And oh yes: Try this all out on some scrap pieces before diving right into big
project! Good luck.
To reply, change the chemical designation to its common name.
You're doing this in ply rather than solid wood?
If ply (or MDF) my gues is 3/4" right?
Assuming ply or MDF, the answer is the lock mitered joint will be
stronger than the rabbet, glued and screwed. Screws don't hold real
well into the sides of plywood.
The lock mitered joint is, if cut properly, self aligning and as noted
in the article, somewhat self supporting. It also almost doubles the
glueing (sp?) surface area - thus more strength.
The lock miter joint will accomodate your idea -but the parts have to
cut very accurately and the lock miter joint must be cut accurately on
four edges of all six pieces. The sides and the top and bottom are
As long as the sides are the same length and width and the top and
are the same length and width you'll get an open ended box without too
much trouble. It's cutting the front and back to exactly match the
opening they must fit into that's the critical part of the process.
But, if you do all the cuts on all the parts that use each fence set
or cross cut stops, you're half way there. When you cut the lock
joints on the router table you've got to use feather boards for
the stock firmly against the fence for the vertical cuts and feather
board to hold the stock down flat on the table for the horizontal
cuts. Any wandering of the stock while routing will definitely show
in the resulting edges of your box.
And there's the rub. The Baby Lock Miter bit is 2 inches in diameter.
The Lock Miter bit is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. That's a chunk
metal to spin at 22-28K rpms and remember, on half inch stock it's
eating a half inch on a side triangle in one pass. Works fine with
a 2.25 HP Dewalt 621 plunge router in my router table. The 690 might
Now you've got me curious. Have more baltic birch ply. Will think
through the cutting set ups and cutting sequence and give it a try.
Will post the hows, whys and a piciture or two to a.b.p.w. when
I've either got it or have given up.
Thanks all for your input. I was thinking of using birch ply as well. And
since this is just a piece to hold my Miter saw I though it would be a good
place to also practice this type of joinery (i.e. if I mess up it's ok if it
doesn't look perfect because it's not a presentation piece). I would be
interested in your response if you do try (especially the hows and whys).
Now another question. Are the CMT Miter bits good or should I look to some
other brand? Thanks again from a newbie.
Have posted diagrams of how a closed box with all lock
mitered edges can be done in alt.binaries.picture.wood-
working. May actually try it on some half inch baltic
birch ply since the bit is already set up for that.
Will post pics of results, if and when, to a.b.p.w.
Eric, If you would, let me know if you build the Miter Saw Station. I
love the space saving feature of this stand. I would be interested in
any problems you run into.
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 17:37:48 GMT, "Eric Scantlebury"
Will do. And when I get around to it (I'm still in the "how do I want to
build it and how might I change it stage") I'll be sure to post pictures as
well. I'm about 90% sure I'm going to try the lock miter joint. I need a
couple of more tools in order to start - the miter bit and an edge guide for
my PC. I have a feeling At least the edge guide will be purchased this
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