Trying new woodworking skills #16: A tighter miter

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BJODay posted 02-10-2014 03:11 AM 2260 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Mitering success Part 16 of Trying new woodworking skills series Part 17: Ready for assembly, (almost) »

It has been 2 months since I worked on the project and posted any progress. In the last entry I was happy with the first mitered top. But over the holidays I would look at it and think, I can make it better, (a tighter miter).

The first top was cut at 45.2 degrees. There was a slight gap in the joint. I ran a few test pieces through. I adjusted the miter sled by 0.05 degrees. I’m not kidding. The best tests were at 45.15 degrees. If I was working in pine, the first cuts could have been clamped tight. But this is QSWO. I wanted them as close as possible because of limited flex in the WO.

This is the top I recut. It is 9” x 9”

This is the middle size table top. 14.5” x 14.5”

This is the large table top. 20” x 20”

All three for comparison. The first piece is at the very top. It wasn’t a wasted piece. I used it to test the glue up process and practice cutting the mortice. I used a Incra miter express sled for the miters. It made the cuts accurate and SAFE!

The glue up was tricky. I dry fit it all first. Then clamped one piece to the work bench. I then brushed glue on the mitered edges and set them together. Minimal clamping pressure. I was more concerned with keeping it flat so I clamped each piece to the table as I assembled the top. (sorry no pics). I used waxed paper to keep the mess manageable. That’s something I learned here at LJs.

After the glue up was finished I machined a camfered edge. The tables are A&C style. The plans called for a flat glue up with squared edges. I think this looks nicer.

The next step is to drop in the decorative tile in the center of each top.
First I scribe the shape with a marking knife. The tiles are not perfectly square. Each mortice must match its tile.

Then I drill out the excess with a forstner bit. The small table fit in the drill press. These pics are the middle size, 14.5”, top. I had to drill this top with a cordless drill.

Now to clean out the mortice.

And the fit is good.

I’m wondering if anyone has advice for gluing the tiles to the tops. The bottom of the tiles are not glazed. I think any wood glue would work. Any thoughts or suggestions?

More to follow.


13 comments so far

View Alster's profile


102 posts in 4229 days

#1 posted 02-10-2014 03:24 AM

I don’t think I’d try wood glue. I’d think you’d have better luck with silicone.

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3639 days

#2 posted 02-10-2014 04:14 AM

Construction adhesive.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4117 days

#3 posted 02-10-2014 02:06 PM

Your miters came out great. They can make you want to throw something when thier not working.

I would go to the tile isle at your local big box store and buy adhesive especially made for tile.
That’s what I did on this project and and it will hold up like you need it to…...................

-- mike...............

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 02-10-2014 02:24 PM

I like it. Those miters are very nice. I don’t have a clue what to use to make it stick.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4735 days

#5 posted 02-10-2014 03:15 PM

Be careful, even with quarter sawn stock, you will still have wood movement. If every thing is too tight you risk breaking your tiles. That’s also why I would not use wood, no flex once it’s glued down. I’d go with the construction adhesive or a specialty tile product. Good luck, they are looking great.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View steph33's profile


8 posts in 3836 days

#6 posted 02-10-2014 03:22 PM

I second (or third) the construction adhesive suggestion. Best durability, somewhat flexible and and will never come loose. I had a lot of luck with PL premium. Sticks anything to anything pretty much.

View justoneofme's profile


850 posts in 3495 days

#7 posted 02-11-2014 01:57 AM

Mighty tight tighter miter BJ! Beautiful job … and I think Alster’s suggestion of using silicone is a good one! Clear silicone (not acrylic water based type as it tends to dry up over time and break away). Not much is needed … just enough to ‘suck’ the tile in place. Use a bit of weight while drying. Holds well over time and remains completely flexible.

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4456 posts in 4124 days

#8 posted 02-11-2014 03:28 AM

That is one fine miter!

In the future, maybe make a dado so that the tile floats? That would save a lot of issues with adhesives, potentially.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View BJODay's profile


528 posts in 2958 days

#9 posted 02-11-2014 04:12 AM

Thanks for the advice. I’ll look into construction adhesive, but I’m leaning to the silicone. At my old house I tightened up the squeaky stairs by using silicone caulk. No squeaks after caulking,... I could have used that in high school.


View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4383 days

#10 posted 02-11-2014 05:01 AM

I go with jumbojack construction adhesive should hold those tiles!

I was wondering how you did your miters?
When I cut miters, that are that long, I do adjacent sides at the same time so that any error will be eliminated.
I rough out two adjacent pieces and then place them, miter together, in my TS sled for the final cut.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3497 days

#11 posted 02-11-2014 07:04 AM

Nice joinery work. I’d use PL 400 on the tiles. They will never come off.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View BJODay's profile


528 posts in 2958 days

#12 posted 02-11-2014 02:04 PM

I used a Incra miter express sled.

My shop built miter sled was too difficult to use on this project. (See previous blog entry).


View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4383 days

#13 posted 02-11-2014 05:05 PM

Thanks BJ

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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