Best Joint?

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Forum topic by ChrisJ posted 10-12-2012 12:57 PM 1098 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 1862 days

10-12-2012 12:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joint walnut frame gift joining tip trick

I’m going to make this frame for a Christmas gift. I’m planning on making it out of walnut with a lighter wood, I have ash and maple, for the butterfly keys. I’m an “advanced beginner” and I’ve made several frames before but not one that should turn out this nice. The lumber is 4/4 and will be about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2” wide. Overall dimensions are about 12×27.

What would be the best joints to use for the corners? And the “stiles?” I’m thinking about pegged saddle joints for the corners, maybe (they don’t have to be mitered)? I’m stumped about the middle pieces, The keys will be primarily decorative.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

9 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


13283 posts in 2049 days

#1 posted 10-12-2012 01:12 PM

I think id go with a half lap for the middle pieces but your butterflies would be more than fine to hold them together with a butt joont.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1718 days

#2 posted 10-12-2012 01:24 PM

Wood would be getting pretty thin if you use any kind of joint then put the butterflies in too. I think I would use the butterflies to jold butt joints for the center part.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2021 posts in 1412 days

#3 posted 10-12-2012 01:37 PM

Mitered half-lap joints might look nice and provide adequate strength for the corners.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2026 days

#4 posted 10-12-2012 04:51 PM

If the butterflies aren’t a must and your looking for that decorative touch. I would use the half lap joints and peg with the contrasting wood. Strength and decorative at the same time. Square peg holes look good on that type of project in my opinion.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View gfadvm's profile


13785 posts in 1733 days

#5 posted 10-13-2012 03:27 AM

I’d go for all half laps pegged with contrasting wood. (strong, easy, and self squaring)

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

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Rick M.

5675 posts in 1423 days

#6 posted 10-13-2012 04:51 AM

Half laps in the center, pegged or not. Mitered half laps in the corners.


View MrRon's profile


3453 posts in 2286 days

#7 posted 10-14-2012 04:59 PM

My choice would be doweled joints at the middle and splined joints for the miters. There should still be enough meat for the decorative inlay

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#8 posted 10-14-2012 05:02 PM

I like the half lap miters for the corners and loose tenon for the other joints.

-- Custom furniture

View ChrisJ's profile


55 posts in 1862 days

#9 posted 10-16-2012 02:04 AM

Wow, Jonathan…that’s intense. I’m not sure I’m up to that yet! I’ve gone for half-laps (next time I’ll try mitered half-laps) pegged with a contrasting color. I’m trying to figure out whether to half-lap the center stiles or not…I really think I like the butterflys but I may not go with them…

Thanks for all the input, I’ll post the frame when I’m done!

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