First, here’s the outcome:
Not perfect, but better than I expected on my first try.
I hand cut it with a Stanley miter saw that I found for $5 a few weeks ago. Not the best saw for this, I know, but I want to make a picture frame and don’t have a band clamp or anything, so I figured I would practice this type of joint, which I recently saw in a book, since it would give a better glue bond with the long-grain to long-grain surface area.
I’m showing my mistakes as well so that in the future I can look back and see how naive I was and how far I’ve progressed.
I started by cutting a 45 degree piece on the miter saw then made lines with a pencil on both pieces, clamped it down and started sawing.
After cutting them I realized there was a problem.
Oops, so first lesson I learned is that you have to cut on opposite sides. Silly me, I thought, and tried again.
Oops again. That didn’t work either. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. It’s probably obvious to you. I realized that one end needed to be square, so I tried again and finally ended up with the right orientation. Of course, it is not really square since I had to hand-cut the 45 degree piece off.
Also obvious is that the pieces do not go together well. I cut on the waste side on both pieces so I was left with a very uneven joint. I have not been able to sharpen the new chisels I bought because I don’t have all the sandpaper I need yet, but I figured I would give them a try anyway. I pared away to the lines as much as I could with dull edges. It was also the first time in my life I ever used chisels.
The chisels have some coating on them to keep them from rusting or something. You can see it coming off. I read somewhere that I should get some lacquer thinner and clean the coating off before I sharpen them or it would gum up the sandpaper.
Again, not perfect by any means whatsoever, but I got an awesome feeling of accomplishment out of this, which is what I started woodworking for anyway. I have a bunch of old scrap like this that I will probably practice on again and again until I get better. Sharp chisels will help also.
I’m thinking about starting the cuts with the miter saw, then finishing with the backsaw so that I can be sure the lines are straight. I really need a tenon saw or gent’s saw or something to get finer cuts.
Here’s the finished product again: