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I'm making mitered a jewelry box out of 1/2 inch walnut.

I was planning to put maple splines in it (the top and drawer dividers will be curly maple). Now that the box is glued up, I really like the clean look of it without splines.

The end grain miters are getting a little bit of an internal spline from 1/4 inch plywood that is serving as the box bottom/ drawer runner. It is glued into 1/4 deep dadoes at each mitered joint. (After the fact I realized that I should have done stopped dadoes for the drawer runners. Oh well. That's what learning looks like)

I don't expect these joints to take a beating. For this kind of application, do I really need the added strength of the splines?

Thanks for your input!

Table Rectangle Wood Plant Floor


Rectangle Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain
 

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No, you don't. They do add strength, but a jewelry box is a low stress application. The splines are merely decorative.
 

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If you want a clean look but still want to use splines for strength you can hide the spline vertically inside the miter before glue up. I would go ahead and put horizontals in this one for the added strength.
best wishes
Lynn
 

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Take a look at the beautiful boxes made by BritBoxmaker using his ez-miter technique. un-reinforced miters, and as far as I know they don't fail. I think it should be fine.
 

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Miters basically are butt joints which are not as strong as other joints the link above points out that it in the test on was surprisingly strong. I don't think that is the norm.Butt joints with all end grain just don't have the strength that other joints have. Do you have to spline a miter in a small box ? No but in my thought it's a good idea .

Here's a quote from the above link.

" Though the miter was surprisingly strong, structural limitations
make it hard to recommend the unreinforced miter for furniture making
tasks. When assembled, the joint is angled at the typical
45°. However, as wood expands and contracts over time, the 45°
geometry will change (see drawing, below), causing joint failure "
 

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Not necessary. I've done some destructive testing myself using hot hide glue on good fitting miter joints and if anyone puts as much force as it took to break them on a jewellery box they shouldn't own nice things. That said if you want, for your own peace of mind, to reinforce them… vertical splines as mentioned above will get the job (over)done for you.
Just my opinion of course. :)
 

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I don't think you need anything, if the joint is neat and tight. Mitered joints like that do not really classify as endgrain joints, as the 45º angle makes for a, lets say, half endgrain only. Be sure to size the 45º miters with diluted glue before the final glue-up, for much added strength, thus guaranteeing that the joint will not starve.

Adding vertical splines, or biscuits of that matter, would facilitate aligning the glue-up, specially if you are doing many boxes.

Pedro
 

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Babieca
Obviously many folks commenting here make more boxes than I do and much more involved boxes too.. I'm a person who over kills most of my construction so it may not be necessary for you to do the same as I do.
End grain is end grain no matter what angle it is cut at. I do agree with that sizing of the end grain will add to is strength .I think the best way for you to resolve this for yourself is by gluing up a test miter for yourself and do your own strength test,to see what you think.
 

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I do believe that the strength, or lack of same, depends on the wood. As was pointed out above, modern glues are very strong. "Properly glued" joints are strong - I've made end-to-end joints which have held up for the past ten years. HOWEVER - I was using a very dense wood: don't know what it was, I got it as a gift from a friend of a friend, who brought back a few bf from somewhere in S. America.

I've also done it with pine - you have to prepare the material by soaking the end grain of both pieces in thinned glue so that it soaks it up and thus you don't get a glue-starved joint, as was also pointed out above.

True, splines will add strength, but in small things, such as jewelry boxes, they can be a real pain to put in. And a correctly glued joint should withstand most normal stresses.

So go with it…
 

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Splines are one more step in the process, but I have decided they're worth it in ease of glue-up in making the miters fit perfectly with less clamping. The peace of mind that I've strengthened the joint is worth something. Most folks actually like the look of the spline because it shows it's hand made.

The bigger the box, the more I'd lean toward using the splines.
 

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For what its worth; I have a little walnut box with 1/4" sides that I made back in shop class more than 20 years ago, held together with nothing more than glued butt joints on the sides. As a 20-something I actually used to use it quite a bit and its been moved A LOT. Today its still as structurally sound as the day it was made.
 

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A couple of folks have mentioned "modern" glues as if they believe that "old glues" were not as strong. Having used both I can tell you that about the only difference between "modern" glues and the hot hide glue that I use now is that I don't need clamps as often and my glue doesn't mess with my finish. Both are much stronger than most wood.

Sorry, just a bit of a sore spot.
 

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I'm with you. Could easily hijack the thread with this one.
A couple of folks have mentioned "modern" glues as if they believe that "old glues" were not as strong. Having used both I can tell you that about the only difference between "modern" glues and the hot hide glue that I use now is that I don t need clamps as often and my glue doesn t mess with my finish. Both are much stronger than most wood.

Sorry, just a bit of a sore spot.

- shipwright
 
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