In this final section of the Wine Cork Display Tutorials I will show you how I cut and glue in the miter keys.
Here you can see my miter key jig. Since I cut so many miter keys for the wine cork displays and the boxes I make, I decided that a nice, large, dedicated jig would save me a lot of time. It works really well, I’ve used the heck out it.
The first thing I do is figure out how far from the edge I want my keys to be. I take into account how deep the rabbit for the back and the dado for the glass is so I don’t cut into them. I also make sure the saw blade height is set accordingly and will not cut completely through the box.
Now, I’ve seen videos of people making this cut then pulling the jig back through the blade with the box still in the jig. I use to do this until the box shifted once and basically ruined that project. So, after I slide the piece through the blade, I left the box off and slide the jig back the front of the table top.
After I move the jig back to the front, I flip the box forward and place it back in the jig to make the cut on the next corner. I do this for all four corners.
Once the cuts have made on all four corners on one side of the box, I flip the box around and make the same cuts on the other side. This way all eight miter keys are evenly spaced from the outside edge.
Now, on some of the boxes that are a bit deeper, I make another set of miter key cuts at a shallower dept. This is up to you, experiment and see what you like.
Once you have your strips cut, you can cut them into smaller pieces to fit into the slots. I usually cut them by hand with a dovetail or backcut saw. I cut them so they are about a 1/4” longer than needed so I have room to slide them around.
I start by getting my glue out and putting a big helping of it on a piece of scrap wood. This way I can “dip” my pieces in the glue. This just seems quicker to me. I also use a small applicator bottle to put a little glue in each slot.
For the back, I just cut a piece of 1/4” plywood that fits snug into the rabbit in the back.
As for the finish, I usually used BLO followed by a wiping varnish on the redwood. On the oak, usually just wiping varnish or poly.
I hoped you enjoyed these tutorials. I think it was a good learning experience for me to actually document my process. If you have any questions feel free to message me. Thanks for looking!