Miter joints on a keepsake box - how to reinforce the joint, other than a key/spline?

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 04-17-2014 09:03 PM 1700 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HarveyDunn's profile


328 posts in 1731 days

04-17-2014 09:03 PM

I want to make a keepsake box with mitered corners. I want to reinforce the joint, but don’t want to use the external spline/key – neither straight nor butterfly – that is commonly seen on these types of boxes. The stock is 3/8” thick. I think something round – dowels, copper tacks, or even small screws hidden by a wooden plug – might look nice. But are they actually going to do the intended job of reinforcing the joint? Obviously, they will need to be v. small.

6 replies so far

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3565 days

#1 posted 04-17-2014 09:20 PM

You can do a hidden spline. This one shows it going through one end but it does not have to.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View bandit571's profile


20013 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 04-17-2014 09:42 PM

Or, if you want a little more work

Looks like a regular miter joint, right? Thenyou open it up

Shhh! They be a Secret…

(Full blind dovetails, aka mitered dovetails…)

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View parkerdude's profile


182 posts in 3451 days

#3 posted 07-10-2014 08:13 PM

I don’t have any pictures handy right now but if you don’t mind the color contrast, I’ve used thin bamboo skewers. I’d say be careful with sizing the holes with regard to hydraulic pressure from trapped glue.

Over driving the skewer might cause the thin material to burst.

I usually spin the skewer with a hand drill and pinch some sandpaper around it until I get a proper fit.

-- dust control

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 07-11-2014 12:39 PM

Perhaps a lock miter? It won’t be visually any different than your standard miter joint, but it’ll be a lot stronger. MLCS sells a bit for 3/8 stock.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2922 days

#5 posted 07-11-2014 09:18 PM

Nothing needed to re-enforce this joint. If you must …glue a gusset on the inside of each corner.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2351 days

#6 posted 07-11-2014 09:51 PM

I’ve used bamboo barbecue skewers, they are light colored and don’t show up very much on light colored woods. If you are careful about their placement they can be decorative.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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