Routing a locking miter on large panels - Router Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Default Routing a locking miter on large panels

I need some advice on how to rout a locking miter joint on the 24” side of an 83” long 3/4” plywood panel for a built in oven cabinet. I have a router table, but also have a Freud plunge router and could make a jig for off table use. Any wisdom appreciated.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 11:48 AM
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Marc the setup on those bits is pretty tricky. If you download some bit catalogs some of them will have the setup instructions in them. I can't remember if Amana or CMT or both had them in theirs. I remember one of them had a section with instructions for about a half dozen of their trickiest bits to use. One side of the joint gets run past the bit on the flat. The other side gets run through vertically. Even with small pieces that can be tricky but with panels that long it will be much trickier. The flat one you should be okay with but if you wobble up and down even a tiny bit of the vertical one you will probably ruin the mating surface. I've never heard of doing it free hand but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Once again, the one that gets routed vertically would be the most problematic side.

You don't say what tools you have in your bio but with 50 plus years experience I'm assuming you have a table saw so I would be more inclined to go with grooves and a spline that I would be to try the lock miter on something that big.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:03 PM
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I agree with Charles. That's a pretty big chunk of ply for that type of joint. Keeping it vertical will be particularly tricky. And, I hope you're using BB ply, the cheap stuff is unlikely to make a usable, strong lock miter joint. I think a simple rabbit is a better choice, with a face frame to hide the evidence. Also consider pocket screws with glue. Panels that size kind of limit options.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:46 PM
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What was said above. I tried a lock miter on a 36" solid wood for a pedestal once and gave up and went to a rebated edge instead. Lock miters work good for drawer fronts and boxes. I never could get the set up quite right until I bought the setting gauge from Infinity Tool Co.

If you insist on using it, you will have to make a high fence for your table and make sure you don't tilt your board as it passes the cutter. Also be sure to use a perfectly flat straight plywood,otherwise you will be tearing out your hair.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 02:34 PM
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The rear panel (you are incorporating a rear panel aren't you?) gives all the strength you need when used in conjunction with rabbeted top and bottom panel joints. The major concern with a tall, heavily loaded cabinet, is wracking; the back panel makes that virtually impossible, even if it's only 1/8" or 1/4" thick. Glue and nail or staple the back.
The fancy joint is difficult to make and impossible to see/appreciate after assembly.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 03:50 PM
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a rebated rabbet would be a lot easier...
if he's looking for the mitered look...
miter and spline the edge...

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 07:44 PM
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 08:09 AM
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Use pocket hole screws and call it a day. You could build the entire cabinet in the time it takes you to set up the locking bit.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 08:16 AM
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You can't beat a tall fence!.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 07:53 PM
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The mitered/splined joint Stick posted by stick is pretty easy to make using a table saw. It is probably a little stronger than a locking miter joint too. I can, unhappily, imagine trying to keep a 24 x 83 vertical or properly aligned on a router table. I can see a simple sled on a table saw producing a strong, attractive splined miter joint.

This string makes the point there are always several ways to accomplish anything.

The INfinity jig is really great, but tiny and has a flair for disappearing in you shop. Been trying to find my set (for different sized bits) for a couple of months now.

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