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Mitred corner splines - Why?

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Forum topic by KnickKnack posted 613 days ago 879 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KnickKnack

962 posts in 2065 days


613 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: splines question

I’m building my very first “thing” (it’s not a box, but if you think box you’ll be fine) using pure 45° joints. And, of course, I’m thinking of deploying splines like this…

(this image nothing to do with me, just copied from here)

I understand the need for, and the potential beauty of, the splines – this isn’t my question.

Every video I’ve ever seen, every book I’ve ever read, every blog I’ve ever digested, every jig I’ve seen about adding these splines consists of …
  1. Glue box together
  2. Holding your piece at 45° with some form of jig, cut the slots for the splines
  3. Add splines

I don’t have a table saw, and, even if I did, us Europeans aren’t supposed to make that kid of cut, so I’m going to be doing it with my 45° jig on the router table – basically a similar idea as with a table saw.

I can, and have, loaded the two pieces that will go together into my jig, before I’ve glued the thing together. Applying only brain cells and zero actual experience to this problem, I can’t see what might be wrong with cutting the slots first. If anything, it seems this will help me when I glue the things together – at least the joints won’t be able to slide sideways.

However, it’s late so “work” is suspended for today, and I thought I’d ask – any reasons not to cut the spline slots first?

Thanks in advance.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."


7 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

4960 posts in 1097 days


#1 posted 613 days ago

I have only done it on a TS with the joint(s) already glued, I have seen it done with a hand saw as well. Never tried it before gluing, but I guess if you keep everything perfectly aligned, you would be ok, but it would have to be dead on.

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

628 posts in 2591 days


#2 posted 613 days ago

Cutting the slots first can be done, just need to be very precise. You also risk a greater chance for tear-out of the end grain fibers.

Cutting slots after the miter is glued gives you a better chance at a perfect fit for your splines and less of a chance for tear-out.

I’ve installed the splines with nothing more then a small handsaw.

-- Nicky

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3465 posts in 2074 days


#3 posted 613 days ago

Shane & Nicky have both hit the high points.
(Plus, I think it’s just easier doing it after the glue up.)

-- Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

View NormG's profile

NormG

3611 posts in 1502 days


#4 posted 613 days ago

They may not line up and then you have additional choices to make

-- Norman

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

4785 posts in 1927 days


#5 posted 613 days ago

KnickKnack,
Why not use a dovetail bit to cut your slots?
As to cutting them first, I see no advantage.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109219 posts in 2076 days


#6 posted 613 days ago

We all do things in our own way so get it a try and see what you think. My guess is it’s easier once the boxes are put
together. That’s the way I have done it, but what ever floats your boat.:)) You are great at making very unique projects so I anxious to see what you come up with.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dustmite97's profile

Dustmite97

430 posts in 1719 days


#7 posted 613 days ago

I have had my nightmares with splines. I have tried cutting them first but wasn’t careful enough and wrecked the wood. I have only ever completed one box with splines. I cut them with the miter joints already made. They can be done first but I agree with Nicky, you have to be very careful. Good luck and I’m looking forward to see how it all turns out :)

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