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45 Degree Locking Miter Bit

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Forum topic by fred posted 03-09-2007 06:18 PM 9574 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fred

256 posts in 4181 days


03-09-2007 06:18 PM

I need some help on this subject.

My current project is making a cherry blanket chest for my daughter. Since I have experience in cabinet making I was going to make it with rails and stiles. Maybe some raised panels as well.

My daughter is an Interior Architect and knows her furniture. She wanted something minimal (whatever that means) and just a basic box. Of course she wanted cherry. That leaves me with how to make the corners. A butt joint or dado joint was not the look I wanted. Neither were mitered corners since for a 40” x 16” chest I just know it would really be a nightmare during glue up. I didn’t want to use biscuits either.

I bought a 45 degree locking miter bit and made some practice cuts on some scrap. It really looks good and appears it would be a strong joint. It will be interesting in setting up rollers and everything to support the cutting of the miters on the router table. I did build a high fence for the router table so that part will be OK. Oh, I glued up all the panels last weekend and used biscuits.

I would probably use some cleats on the inside corners for strength. Does anyone have any experience with this or could anyone give be any suggestions?

Thanks.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.


10 replies so far

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Bill

2579 posts in 4244 days


#1 posted 03-09-2007 06:23 PM

I think Dick had some recent experience with the lock miter bit. Maybe he can provide some guidance on this. It sounds like you are taking all the right steps so far though.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4382 days


#2 posted 03-10-2007 02:41 PM

Hi Fred, Welcome aboard Lumberjocks
I recently bought an lock miter bit, but like you I’ve only tested it on some scraps. My feeling are that it should make agood strong joint. Idon’t think it would even need reinforcement cleats, which would make a cleaner looking cabinet.

I found this PDF on Fine Woodworking. Tell me if it opens for you, sometimes they won’t open unless you’re a member, or you may have to register as a guest. Tell me if it works , or not.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

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Obi

2213 posts in 4320 days


#3 posted 03-10-2007 03:00 PM

I”ve the same problem. Im making a coffee table with raised panels for the ends and raised panel drawers. These are my legs. They we 2 1/2 inch square legs made of 3/4” hickory cut aat 45 degrees and made to look like a sing 2 1/2” square leg. I had a split so I cut the corners at 45 degrees and then mortise and tenon’d them.

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fred

256 posts in 4181 days


#4 posted 03-10-2007 06:13 PM

Hi Dick – the PDF did not open probably since I am not a member.

Obi – thanks for the pictures. Definitely look strong to me.

This weekend I will square up the panels for the chest. I’ll make a small 45 cut on the ends so the 45 degree locking miter bit doesn’t have to work too hard and give it a try.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4382 days


#5 posted 03-10-2007 06:38 PM

Fred
I’m sorry it didn’t open for you. FWW has so many things that I can see, & can’t share them.
I think that’s a good idea on sawing the angles first, but I wouldn’t cut them to sharp, I’d leave about a 1/16” blunt end. That article also had one good idea about protecting the finished corner. He routed about 1/4” rabbet, & glued a strip of wood into it. A person could use a contrasting colored wood if he wanted to.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

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fred

256 posts in 4181 days


#6 posted 03-13-2007 04:53 PM

Dick -

After glue up of the panels I used the 45 degree locking miter bit in my router table. It was quite an experience. It initially looked OK. The test fit looked OK too. I was not totally pleased with the corner joints after glue up. Even though I used cauls to assist in the assembly it did not meet my expectations. There are several small gaps. Tonight I will use a roundover bit for the corners to see if that will improve the appearance of the corners. If that doesn’t improve it, I will try a 1/4” rabbet and perhaps use some walnut to contrast with the cherry. Thanks for the tip.

Nothing like a little design modification half-way through a project. That’s what makes woodworking interesting and challenging to me.

It seems that the 45 degree locking bit should only be used on drawers and small boxes and not on a large chest.

-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

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BassBully

261 posts in 4180 days


#7 posted 03-13-2007 05:26 PM

One technique that is helpful for gluing 45 degree corners is to lay out the box flat as if you unfolded it. Turn the pieces over so the “corners” are touching each other. Tape the edges together so that when you fold it back up with glue, the seems will not slide on you.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4257 days


#8 posted 03-13-2007 05:34 PM

That works great on standard miters, but would be impossible to do on locking miters because of the way they come together.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

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BassBully

261 posts in 4180 days


#9 posted 03-13-2007 05:59 PM

Ethan,

I think this will still work for locking miters. If you look at the top of the joint, I’m pretty sure that they will hinge together. However, if they don’t, you can still apply glue to the joint, put them together and apply the tape afterwards.

Ultimately, I was referring to Fred’s concern that, “Gluing 45 degree corners would be a nightmare”.

There’s also another joint that works well with miters if you’re using a chamfer bit. After using the chamfer for the 45 degree angle, you can create a spline by using the table saw to cut into the 45 degree miters of the wood to be joined. Then, put a piece of wood into the splines and glue the miters together.

See example (diagram C ): http://www.woodworkingjointery.com/page11.htm

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

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Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4257 days


#10 posted 03-13-2007 08:18 PM

Eh… you might be right there, BB.

When doing the spline method, I was taught you should use plywood if it won’t show. If it is going to show, you should try to cut the splines across the grain and not with the grain…

And I just checked your link and they go in to all of those details there, so nevermind… Go to BB’s link and read up on splines.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

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