Router Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use boxes as an opportunity to experiment with various types of joinery. From an appearance perspective, my favorite joint is the miter. The overall construction of the box may be viewed as trivial. However, getting a near perfect 45 degree cut followed by a glue up that has all the corners at 90 degrees can be a challenge. It is good to experiment with relatively small boxes before tackling a significant piece of furniture with the same joinery. The boxes shown in the photo are the last four (out of probably ten over the last five years) Tissue Boxes that I have made for family and friends. The wood is cherry. The miters were cut using modifications of a jig by Steve Latta as described in Fine Woodworking #129, 1998. While the last four boxes do not have any reinforcement at the corners, I
Brown Furniture Drawer Product Rectangle
have used splines, both of rectangular and dovetail cross section. I think the splines are more ornamental as the un-reinforced miter joint is strong enough for their intended use. While I can cut "near" perfect 45's, I am still searching for the best way to get all four corners at 90 degrees. This last batch used miter folding and Titebond II.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,686 Posts
I like a vertical spline in a miter joint for a box. Nice and strong, although glue is often sufficient. If you use a digital angle finder and set the blade at exactly 45 to the table. Cut the side and end pieces, and then you can lower the blade and cut the groove for the spline with the same full kerf blade. Simple, strong, accurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like a vertical spline in a miter joint for a box. Nice and strong, although glue is often sufficient. If you use a digital angle finder and set the blade at exactly 45 to the table. Cut the side and end pieces, and then you can lower the blade and cut the groove for the spline with the same full kerf blade. Simple, strong, accurate.
I have never done a vertical spline so that would be a good joint to experiment with the next time I am in the mood to make another box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
Vertical splines are a great way to joint mitered corners, but for good strength they need to have the grain in the splines running horizontally (across the joint). Locating the spline cuts more toward the inside of the joint angle also helps with joint strength. This is a very strong corner joint that is a bit of a challenge to master, but the end result is very pleasing.

I use my Unisaw to cut the spline slots in the mitered ends of the box sides at 90 degrees to the box end miters. Trying to get spline material that equals the kerf width of the blade used, and making them with the grain running across their width is a bit of a challenge.

I make the cross grained splines using a tenon jig on my Unisaw, setting it up so that the waste from making the tenon actually becomes the spline. With the spline donor board vertical in the jig and the jig to blade distance being the dimension needed for spline thickness, which needs to be a few thousandths thickness less than the kerf width of your spline cuts in the ends of your work pieces to allow for glue. Once set for correct spline thickness, you can easily cut a spline, then flip the board over and make a second spline from the opposite surface. Then repeat the process to make two more splines from the opposite end of the donor board. I then set up my miter saw at 90 deg with a stop to allow cutting the splines at the needed width to fit the spline cuts in the work pieces. I chop them free of the donor board and then go back and cut more splines on the table saw from the spline donor board so that I have spares. The resulting tenons made become the waste, since you only need the thin splines. With the grain running across the narrow dimension of the splines they will break easily, but they will produce a very strong joint when in use. Even broken pieces of these splines stacked in the joint with glue will make a very strong joint.

I'm attaching a photo of one of my spline joint projects where this method was used. The project was burial urns for cats and dogs. It's important for the grain in the splines to run across their width and not top to bottom. Notice also that I located the spline cuts toward the inside of the corners. Too close to the outside of the corner can result in breakage between the spline joint and the outer surfaces of the box side. This type of joint is quite strong when made correctly. It also helps keep the joint from mis-aligning during glue-up.

I make a lot of boxes, but usually make them with box jointed corners, like seen in the third and fourth photos. I use the same Unisaw, but with a special box joint cutting blade set for 1/4 and 3/8" box joints, or a FTG Ripping blade for 1/8" box joints, and an Incra I-Box jig. This is yet another very good joint to master. It's faster to make than dovetail joints, and I think stronger too.

Charley
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Comments on splined miter joints prompted me to construct a simple box out of 1/2" MDF and it is shown in the attached jpg file. There is nothing particularly note worthy about this box except it is proof that i went through the exercise. For boxes of the size of a tissue box, I do not think any reinforcement of the miter is necessary.

In the process of building this splined box, I came up with a way of cutting the spline slot before the miter cut. My process is documented in the attached pdf file.
Rectangle Wood Wall Flooring Gas
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,686 Posts
Comments on splined miter joints prompted me to construct a simple box out of 1/2" MDF and it is shown in the attached jpg file. There is nothing particularly note worthy about this box except it is proof that i went through the exercise. For boxes of the size of a tissue box, I do not think any reinforcement of the miter is necessary.

In the process of building this splined box, I came up with a way of cutting the spline slot before the miter cut. My process is documented in the attached pdf file.
View attachment 401371
Very nice solution to cutting that splined joint. Getting those 45 exactly right is the key. Time for a Wixey Digital Angle gauge and some very careful fence alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi bfblack.
Those are magnificent boxes. I am curious about how to put the tissues inside them.
There is no bottom to the box. The first version I made had the lid held in place by two dowels that were glued to the box ends. Hence you could remove the lid. The recent version shown in this thread had the lid glued to the box using the same two dowel arrangement. This approach eliminates the issue with cross grain expansion of the lid if you put glue along the entire lid/box interface. Also, it is easier to install a fresh box of tissues when the lid and box are permanently attached. Felt buttons on the four bottom corners eliminates scratching of the surface that the box is placed on. I can post a drawing if there is interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,686 Posts
Nice. Because of health issues, I go through five or six boxes of tissue per week. I don't like Kleenex brand because they don't pop up as you get to the bottom. I prefer Puffs, which has a side opening. I guess you'd just extend the opening to one side to match the package. Good point on expansion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice. Because of health issues, I go through five or six boxes of tissue per week. I don't like Kleenex brand because they don't pop up as you get to the bottom. I prefer Puffs, which has a side opening. I guess you'd just extend the opening to one side to match the package. Good point on expansion.
My design is specific to the larger size (110 count) Kleenex brand.
 

·
Premium Member
Frank
Joined
·
368 Posts
When I made my boxes, they were for the small Kleenex boxes. I did not want someone to pick up the box and the Kleenex box would fall out, so I designed a "lock" on the bottom. See pictures. I just glued two pieces of walnut to each side to make a slot for the bar that hold the Kleenex inside. Just move the bar to one side and it comes out.
Facial tissue holder Wood Facial tissue Interior design Flooring
Rectangle Wood Wood stain Gadget Hardwood
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top