Adding Splines To a Box
Assumptions: I assume you have looked at the tutorial on making the splines themselves. The tutorial on cutting the splines slots with the jig there gives you a box that looks like this on the corner.
The next step is to glue the splines into the slots.
I should have pictured it, but I apply Tightbond’s Carpenter’s and Trim Glue to both the spline and the slot to assure there will be a good bond. This thicker glue is easier to work with, and much less runny, but it should be stored upside down to be sure it flows out when you squeeze the bottle.
Keeping your plumber’s brushes in water will let you reuse these brushed for months. Dry them on a paper towel before you apply glue.
(below) This is a demonstration box that I use to explain to customers and students the steps involved in the spline process. All the spline slots are cut and the splines glued in place and smoothed down even with the sides of the box before the top of the box is separated and the hinge is added.
(above) This represents adding the splines in the demo box. There is a tutorial about gluing on a lid onto the box.
So now you have a rough box complete and it looks like this. (Below)
Let’s take a close look at the corners.
As you can see the top and the splines are hanging over the sides. Now make to trip to the band saw and trim away most of that overhang without cutting into the side of the box.
After bandsawing away the overhanging top and splines, It will look something like this on the corners.
With the overhang removed you can now apply a large bearing-centered flush trim bit to remove the last of the overhanging top board. The alternative is to use rough grit sandpaper to remove the last of the spline overhang and top overhang and then make the sides of the box smooth and all surfaces flush. This will give you a box that looks something like this corner does.
For rounding over the corners and the top of the box your bearing has to ride on the smooth sides of the box. There is a real possibility of kickback when you are using a large roundover bit on a router. Use a starter pin, and consider making a light pass first, then another pass. Grip the box tightly and be very wary of kickback! You may be more comfortable using a flush trim bit on the first step of this route to smooth away the overhanging top after you have used the band saw. The flush trimming bit will remove the last of the top overhang on the side of the box or you can smooth away the last of the spline and top overhang with sanding using rough grits. This is the time you want to remove all of the glue squeeze out from gluing your splines into the slots.
When all this is done you should have a box that looks something like this.
To see other boxes click here.
Making a tutorial with this many links and pictures is pretty exhausting. I hope it is of use to my fellow Lumber Jocks.
-- Big Al in IN