display/shadow box joinery ideas

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Forum topic by Nate L. posted 04-16-2014 03:32 AM 1264 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nate L.

119 posts in 2010 days

04-16-2014 03:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: box joinery shadow dovetail locking miter

I made my first shadow box a few months ago. Due to time constraints and lack of skill on my part, I went with pocket holes to join the mitered corners. Does anyone have any ideas on a good method for joining the 45 degree miters? I have looked into secret mitered dovetails but I am not to sure about those since I have not had any experience with dovetails yet. The other option I was looking at was a locking miter joint. I am not sure that I like the look of that joint with it being on the face of the box. Any input would be greatly appreciated!


-- Nate, Fredericksburg, VA,

4 replies so far

View Pdub's profile


924 posts in 3176 days

#1 posted 04-16-2014 04:20 PM

I usually just use a biscuit and glue for mine. I have used splines before. You can use the same type wood or a contrasting color.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

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4727 posts in 2348 days

#2 posted 04-16-2014 05:26 PM

I like using splines on mitered corners, they add a lot of strength to a fairly weak joint and can decorative as well if you use contrasting woods.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1518 days

#3 posted 04-16-2014 05:55 PM

Some people have good luck with glue and shooting 23 ga. (or larger) pins, filling the small holes with putty. Another option could be decorative dowel pins. They wouldn’t even have to be wood. They could be brass or aluminum, for example.

If you like Paul’s and Bondo’s idea of splines but don’t want them showing at the front edges, you could cover the edges with trim.

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Nate L.

119 posts in 2010 days

#4 posted 04-17-2014 04:14 AM

Thanks for the ideas! I think I will try the splines and the pins and see what people like most. They both seem pretty simple. I guess time will tell.


-- Nate, Fredericksburg, VA,

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