LumberJocks

Question for box makers when it comes to cutting splines.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 404 days ago 1003 views 2 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


404 days ago

I have my first fully mitered box fully closed and glued and is ready for the next step, I’m also still green when it comes to splines so the height of the blade is still in question for me, box walls are 3/8” thick.

The lid is still attached to the box, I’ve not cut it off yet so my question is do I cut the lid off before doing the splines or cut all splines then cut the lid off? Is it a matter of preference?

If I cut the splines with the lid on I can get the lid and the box at the same time only I won’t be able to see if I’ve breached the walls on the inside.

Thanks

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs


21 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

10804 posts in 839 days


#1 posted 404 days ago

Cut splines before cutting off the top. Helps hold everything together. I have screwed it up the other way personally.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


#2 posted 404 days ago

OK yea Monte, that’s what I was thinking and also thanks James, I followed your directions and image and it worked great, thanks just a few more cuts to go.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1009 posts in 633 days


#3 posted 404 days ago

Great question! I am about to attempt this same type project, so your answers will be of particular interest. James that is very helpful; it’s a great diagram and explains your answer so succinctly. Does one ever desire to breach the ith inside and have an off colored spline show?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View Randy63's profile

Randy63

220 posts in 1393 days


#4 posted 404 days ago

Definitely keep the box in one piece before cutting your slip feathers. I know what you’re referring too, while techinically they are not splines but slip feathers. You can do a search on this site for either spline jigs and or slip feather jigs and find a multitude of jigs to chose from.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2767 days


#5 posted 404 days ago

For those of us inclined to calculate: it is the usual A2 + B2 = C2 (squared). So (0.375×0.375) + (0.375×0.375) = the square of the diagonal side. The square root of that number will give you the maximum depth for your blade. I’m sure we all knew that- but I wanted to make sure.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


#6 posted 404 days ago

Thanks Donna, that makes everything come to light :)

Here is an image of my spline / feather jig that I’ve already built just for this task.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1015 posts in 787 days


#7 posted 404 days ago

Yep, lid on is how I did it.

-- John, BC, Canada

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

4966 posts in 1099 days


#8 posted 404 days ago

If possible try to use a flat top grind on the saw blade.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


#9 posted 404 days ago

Yea I came home today from the box stores Lowes and HD best thing that I could find close enough was a Diablo thin kerf 50T combo.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1304 posts in 768 days


#10 posted 404 days ago

Blackie, cut the splines first. Instead of doing the math, lay one of the brass set up bars the corner at a 45 degree angle. Combine two of them until you get something that looks like it will be just a little short of being as thick as the sides and then use the same bars to set up the height of the saw blade.

Forrest #2 grind for 1/8 inch blades. One of the outside dado blades will do in a pinch.

Don’t use a thin kerf. It is too hard to get the splines that thin.

I’ll add some pictures of the press and the lid technique, but basically leave the top of the box square, add glue and clamp on your top. After the glue dries, trim the edges with a band saw to get them close then bring them flush to the sides of the box with a flush trim http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=16976&site=ROCKLER. router bit. In this case the bearing runs along the side of the box and the blade trims off the overhang of the top. It is important that the trim bit blade be longer than your top is thick so you can trim it to size in one pass.

-- Big Al in IN

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9545 posts in 1191 days


#11 posted 404 days ago

That Diablo will cut too narrow of a kerf for an attractive spline (unless your box is REALLY small). It also does not have a flat top grind so won’t cut flat bottoms in the spline kerfs. I’ve used various cheap dado sets but I use my Freud Box Cutter set for all my splines now (flat bottoms, no tearout,stays sharp for a LONG time). You don’t want to widen your spline kerf by making multiple passes (Trust me I’ve screwed this one up before). You can cut the splines before cutting the top off but measure blade height carefully so you don’t go through! Been there, done that too!

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


#12 posted 404 days ago

I plan on taking the diablo back for a refund and heading up to the local woodcraft shop, Andy those box cutters they are 8” not 10? correct?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2394 days


#13 posted 404 days ago

there is nothing like practice

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

4787 posts in 1929 days


#14 posted 403 days ago

An answer to Russell’s question: Yes, there is a reason to cut deep enough to allow the feather to protrude into the interior of the box. For one set, at least. That would be to provide a rest for a tray.

-- 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 Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2949 posts in 1013 days


#15 posted 403 days ago

Ah, never thought of a feather/spline being used as a tray rest, I’d think they would have to be at least 1/4” for stability and support.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase