How would you secure small miter corners and a question about biscuits

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Forum topic by Angela posted 09-23-2011 10:23 PM 5556 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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205 posts in 2893 days

09-23-2011 10:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter corners door frame tv stand biscuits question project

I’m making the doors to my TV stand. Since the doors are rather small, 16” X 7-1/4”, I used a 1-1/2” frame. The panel is wood so if won’t be glued in place. Do you think the miter corners will be secured enough on their own with only glue? I was planning on using biscuits but two problems with this. First the biscuits have to be cut down so small they’re basically useless and second my understanding of biscuits is they are used to align the two pieces of wood and they don’t provide any type of support. Is this correct? I thought of splines but didn’t want them to show.

Since I’m the only one that will be using the doors, no kids to destroy it, I thought I’d just glue the corners together and let it go at that. Is there something I’m not considering?

The slot takes up at of the space on the frame.


-- - Helping other woodworker's

37 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 09-23-2011 10:30 PM

The is a possibility use could use a spline. I think you may be able to get by with just glue, but you would always want to be careful with it. There is also a mechanical fastner available. I dont recall the name, but is essentially a staple like device that will span both sides of the miter, on the back of the door.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2920 days

#2 posted 09-23-2011 10:33 PM

I had an issue like this once and I ended up using a small(5/64) drill across the joint then inserting…a round toothpick with glue. Cut it off and it was almost invisible. I don’t think I would trust the glue alone.

-- Life is good.

View Angela's profile


205 posts in 2893 days

#3 posted 09-23-2011 10:44 PM

I had an issue like this once and I ended up using a small(5/64) drill across the joint then inserting…a round toothpick with glue.
This seems like a great idea. Didn’t think of that.

ShaneA – I’m not sure what fastners you’re talking about. I searched the web but couldn’t locate anything. Unless you’re talking about a crown staple.

-- - Helping other woodworker's

View Viktor's profile


464 posts in 3416 days

#4 posted 09-23-2011 10:45 PM

For a picture frame just gluing is fine, but for a door I would use dovels if not splines. I second mechanical fastener if you are OK with them showing on the back. You can drill for dovel after gluing. It will be visible, but much less than spline, just a small circle.
”my understanding of biscuits is they are used to align the two pieces of wood and they don’t provide any type of support”
That is true for laminating long grain. In this situation they would be beneficial.

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2596 days

#5 posted 09-23-2011 11:02 PM

V Nails, rockler has them, although that isnt what I recalled them to look like. I was thinking thry were shaped like a W.

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12056 posts in 3753 days

#6 posted 09-23-2011 11:15 PM

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Bill White

4929 posts in 3958 days

#7 posted 09-23-2011 11:43 PM

What’s wrong with using the small biscuits?


View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 09-24-2011 12:37 AM

Use the “FF” setting on your biscuit cutter. Then install a smaller face frame blade and use FF biscuits.

If you are not dead set on a mitered look, just make the doors with stub tenon and groove construction on your tablesaw.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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939 posts in 2790 days

#9 posted 09-24-2011 01:02 AM

I think you could use a hidden spline, and install a spline with the long grain running perpendicular to the miter. You could use you biscuit cutter to cut the slot and mill your spline to slip fit prior to glue up. I don’t know if I would trust an end grain butt joint for a door without some kind reinforcement.

Just an amateurs perspective,

-- Mel,

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1807 posts in 3271 days

#10 posted 09-24-2011 01:23 AM

brad nailer?

-- M.K.

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1593 posts in 3524 days

#11 posted 09-24-2011 02:10 AM

Hi Angela. shaneA may be referring to a corrugated fastener. You can find them with a Google search. Years ago they were a popular item for picture framing and other miter joints. You hammer them in across the joint (perhaps two per joint?). The ins and outs of the curves prevent the joint from separating.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3066 days

#12 posted 09-24-2011 02:19 AM

A small biscuit will add a bit of strength to your miters, but I don’t think that I would trust that for doors.

What kind of hinges are you using for the doors? If you’re using 35mm cup gunges, with 1.5” stiles, the cups are going to cut into the door panels.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2687 days

#13 posted 09-24-2011 03:49 AM

Half lap or bridle joints would be MUCH stronger than miters but I suspect you have already cut your miters. There is a simple technique where you remove about 1/4” of material across the back of your corners and then glue 1/4” thick triangles where you removed material. Damn, this is really simple but I’m making it sound difficult. One of you Sketch Up guys needs to chime in with a picture. Basically it looks like a spline across the back of the corner where its not visable.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2657 days

#14 posted 09-24-2011 06:17 PM

The Biscuit goes aid in alignment but is also swells from the moisture in the glue giving the joint allot of strength. I prefer to build raised panel doors with a miter joint as I think traditional cope and stick is just plain ugly. I have found that even cutting down the biscuit on a small frame you still have the slot the biscuit cutter made that is sometimes too wide. I would suggest a 1/8” or 1/4” dowel. Dowels are extremely strong and will help align the joint during glue up.

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View Vicki's profile


1099 posts in 3342 days

#15 posted 09-24-2011 07:06 PM

I made raised panel door for a small bathroom cabinet. They a just a bit bigger than yours. I used glue and pin nails. My situation is also a bit like yours in that it’s a 2 adult house hold and we aren’t hard on things. It’s been in use for a year and is plenty sturdy.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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