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How many of you use lock miter router bits?

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Forum topic by bc4393 posted 06-28-2018 03:50 AM 1825 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bc4393

76 posts in 1590 days


06-28-2018 03:50 AM

Gimmick? Over complicating toy? Love em/hate em/indifferent? Are they the second coming for easy glueup? I normally use rabbets and occasionally straight miters for by boxes but always have to play with the glueups to get the box as close to square as possible. They usually come out unnoticeable except to me because I’m building them. Just curious if these bits make life that much easier to slap together a dead square box. From what I can see they can be a pain to setup correctly and best to use some form of jig from the bit manufacturer. Thoughts?


10 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5970 posts in 3261 days


#1 posted 06-28-2018 04:21 AM

I use mine occasionally for large hollow furniture legs. My bed designs sometimes call for 4×4 or 4×6 legs, which would be wasteful to laminate from solid lumber.

The locking miter joint works great in this application. However, I’ve never tried it on endgrain for a box application.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Rich

4677 posts in 1037 days


#2 posted 06-28-2018 04:33 AM


Thoughts?

- bc4393

Yes. The advantage is, when cut properly, they glue up flawlessly. The corners are perfect, and the nature of the lock joint pretty much ensures that the box is square (I still check it though). The downside is that the edges show that lock miter profile on the top and bottom. That’s fine if the box has a lid, but if the edges are exposed, it looks crappy.

Don’t waste your money on setup jigs. You can read my blog post on setting it up for free!

http://lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/111009

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View trimmitomii's profile

trimmitomii

2 posts in 430 days


#3 posted 06-28-2018 06:13 AM

i havent used it but for sure after reading your answers i would suggest to try them out.

-- https://www.firstcoastgaragedoor.com

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2949 posts in 2795 days


#4 posted 06-28-2018 11:02 AM

The biggest issue I have with mine is the need to stand one of the boards on end in order to run it through the bit. The slightest wobble or out of alignment issue messes the profile up and it won’t fit right into the other piece.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

322 posts in 2182 days


#5 posted 06-28-2018 01:59 PM

I’m kind of on the “too fiddly” side. I actually have one on my amazon wishlist, but I’ve never pulled the trigger because it seems like it would be too much work to get it right for the couple of drawers I tend to make at a time.

I guess if I were doing a bunch of drawers, I might look into it.

I almost wonder if a dovetail router jig would be faster, easier and stronger.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View enazle's profile

enazle

66 posts in 455 days


#6 posted 06-28-2018 02:07 PM

I posted on another thread a drawing of a splinted miter. In all my years of furniture/cabinet making, I never needed a router bit to do what I could do on a Table saw better. I have worked in shops that did use lock miter joinery and they generally had a couple shapers that were set-up in the corner just for them.

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Rich

4677 posts in 1037 days


#7 posted 06-28-2018 03:24 PM


I posted on another thread a drawing of a splinted miter. In all my years of furniture/cabinet making, I never needed a router bit to do what I could do on a Table saw better. I have worked in shops that did use lock miter joinery and they generally had a couple shapers that were set-up in the corner just for them.

- enazle

Instead of a drawing, why don’t you post a photo of an actual joint you cut (not one you found on google), and tell us the time involved in cutting it?

I can set up a lock miter bit in less than 5 minutes. As I explain in my blog post, it all comes down to the thickness (T) of the board. For my Infinity bit, the bit height is T/2 + 0.375 inches and the fence gets set back from the middle tip T/2 + 0.1 inches. With a digital height gauge those settings are easy and fast. I don’t even need to do test cuts anymore, I just set it and go.

The result:

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2763 posts in 1670 days


#8 posted 06-28-2018 04:01 PM

I’m like Willie and use them for leg glue-ups where I want a certain grain pattern on all faces.

Moderately easy to set up and cut with on a router table, but sensitive to any missteps while cutting.

There are other methods for mitered corners that can be done on a table saw and provide the same locking and alignment ability for nice corners ( my favorite method )

Gluing up miter corners without any locking or alignment device is never a pleasure.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

536 posts in 2179 days


#9 posted 06-28-2018 07:45 PM

I like this bit too.

It glues up nicely—but I would recommend a clamping square or 2 for drawers just to make sure. It is possible to get the drawer a little out of square even with this joinery (personal experience).

I would plan to leave the parts a little wide and then rip to final width AFTER using the lock miter bit—sometimes there can be tear-out where the bit leaves the wood.

A zero clearance insert around the bit helps reduce tear-out.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5635 posts in 2941 days


#10 posted 06-28-2018 08:40 PM

I have one and like it, but agree with the fussy set up, and the problem of a long board on end….if that’s what you’re doing. But I’ll tell you, I bought the Lock Miter jig from Infinity from the get go, and the very time I tried the bit out (using the jig to set it up) I got almost perfect lock miters. I think they are quite useful (the jig).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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