In response to Woodworkinaspirations’ forum entry about making miter corners – I thought I’d take a stab at explaining how I make my corners. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/4967
The caveat on this is that my saw blade really, really needs cleaned and sharpened and my sled needs a new fence—- all this to admit that I have some tear out on the corners. But with that said, this should help aspirations to see ONE method to do box corners.
So for me I start by cuting my pieces a hair long (1/64 or less) of the final length. To do this – I make sure my blade is set at 90 degrees. I have an electronic gauge – but prefer my Incra square.
Be sure to set the square between the teeth of the blade. It should be sitting against the body of the blade. If it sets on the teeth you will not get a good set up.
Next I set up my table saw sled. This is a good basic sled and has served me well. But it is time to make a new fence for it.
Next I square one end of my work piece. You can see here it is not even close to square.
I set my saw blade so that the gullet of the blade is above my work piece. There is argument for having the blade all the way up, having it set just a tiny bit above the board and every where in between. I prefer to have just the gullet above the board.
I cut off just enough of the end to make it square.
I skipped taking a picture here – but I set my stop block to the length of my first side and made a cut. Then i used a second block to cut the short side. This second block simply makes it so I do not have to move my stop block once I remove it I can then cut my second long side without having to remeasure.
I put a black mark on the block to make it easier to see.
I use this method as an easy way to to keep the grain flowing. So I cut one long, one short, one long and then one short side. This makes the grain wrap around the three of the four corners.
It is also a good idea to mark the pieces as you cut them. You are a better man than me if you never get your pieces mixed up. Marking them simply saves time and frustrations.
Now that I have two sides and two ends the same lengths I move onto the miter cuts. I set my blade to 45 degrees – for this I do use my electronic gauge.
The next few pictures are from the back of the saw for clarity. You can see that my sled has both a 90 and 45 degree saw kerf.
You’ll have to move your stop block over so that the very edge of the work piece is setting at the inside edge of the miter kerf. Once run through your cut should be exactly 45. Remember that your inside face goes onto the table. You should be able to see the outside face. You can see my little bit of tear out on the corner.
Cut the rest of your corners and this is what you should come up with. I’m holding the box closed with rubber bands.
I like to use the tape as a clamp system to gluing up my boxes, but for very small boxes you can’t beat rubber bands.
to use the tape method – line up your pieces (outside face up) in the order they should be in. I use a small piece of tape at each joint to keep the pieces together without having to worry that my pieces will move during the next step. I put a squiggly mark on the “joint” tape to show it’s position. The trick is to get the pieces to be solidly together.
I next run a piece of tape the length of the four combined pieces. I also leave about 1-3 inches at the end (the length depends on the size of the box I’m making).You can see the little tab at the end—- I made a big black mark to make it easier to see.
Next, flip the taped up four pieces over. Now lets pretend that I took the time to make my bottom dado, which I did not. I placed a piece of tape at the bottom and drew a line where the bottom dado would go if I were so inclined.
Next I just roll up the sides into a box.
Use the tab that hung over the end of the pieces to lock the box together.
And there you have it. A box without a top or bottom. But all the corners are nice and neat.
Hope that helps. As always any comments, suggestions or ideas are welcomed.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine