what is favored method for joining miter joints

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Forum topic by , posted 07-26-2011 06:15 AM 5371 views 2 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 4516 days

07-26-2011 06:15 AM

I think we might be close to closing a kitchen sale that will include mitered doors. I actually look forward to this fun job. We will use our woodmaster 725 to xut the stile and rail parts. Then shaper to add the panel groove. Then possibly mop sand as necessary.

Joining the mitered joint:

Bisquit joinery
Dowel joinery
Floating tenon joinery (cannot remember the name brand i am thinking of)

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

I plan to use mitered strap clamps from mlcs woodworking.

-- .

24 replies so far

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3593 days

#1 posted 07-26-2011 07:19 AM

The few miter joints that I have done have been with splines. I like the look of exposed joinery. These were on picture frames and may not be applicable to your situation.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3568 days

#2 posted 07-26-2011 07:33 AM

I like to use splines as well, usually a different wood, but usually in picture frames. I like the look, but not sure how it would stand up for cabinet doors.

View Loren's profile


10930 posts in 4617 days

#3 posted 07-26-2011 09:45 AM

I would dowel it, personally. Lot less nonsense with misaligned
parts when you dowel joints well.

View gerrym526's profile


299 posts in 4778 days

#4 posted 07-26-2011 09:59 PM

I’ve used biscuits-they work fine in creating a strong mitered joint. Think the floating tenon tool you were trying to remember is the Festool Domino joiner.

-- Gerry

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10955 posts in 5022 days

#5 posted 07-26-2011 11:40 PM

I think I’d use the Domino method…

If you don’t have one, might be a good excuse to GET one! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4128 days

#6 posted 07-27-2011 12:10 AM

I normally use biscuits unless the boards are small. At that point, I might use dowels, splines, or even staples (perfect for smaller, Boy Scout projects).

-- jay,

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2387 posts in 4516 days

#7 posted 07-27-2011 01:09 AM

I have thought of biscuits, this would be fairly simple. Biscuit jointers are dime to dozen. Will the biscuit method allow for tight and accurate alignment. With detailed profiles i would want the joint to line up near perfect.

We have always built cope and stick doors but have always wanted to build mitered doors.

Dowels would be great, but i want efficient and repeatable accuracy. I have loomed at horizontal boring machines, an older model probably could be had. I would need to drill two dowels per joint, preferrably drilling both holes at one time. Grizzly does have a machine but would cost around 1700.00

Domino, now that is tempting, it appears easy enough to use, efficient, repeatable and accurate. I probably could even demo the unit at woodcraft.

Well budget probably dictates that we use biscuit jointer until we can budget for the domino.

Any other ideas on the floating tenon such as the domino but for less money.

Thanks everyone.

-- .

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2387 posts in 4516 days

#8 posted 07-27-2011 01:50 AM

For dowel joinery, could i just set up a drill press, set the table at a 45 degree with stationary fence and set stops and a cam clamp set up to drill in dowel holes.

I am trying to think of more budgetary ways of doing things until we are able to build up the budget. Of course a good sized kitchen sale would help the budget quick, but for now i have to think less expensive.

-- .

View Madwood's profile


68 posts in 4021 days

#9 posted 07-27-2011 02:44 AM

Jerry, I lean towards splines. I too use a contrasting wood for a little added zing. No one has mentioned the Beadlock system of loose tenon joinery. Although I have no experience with this, reviews have always been favorable.


-- In the shop making chaos out of order

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4863 days

#10 posted 07-27-2011 02:52 AM

Biscuits work, as do splines but the domino cuts an extremely accurate floating tenon,……….a tad pricey

also……….Hoffmann makes a tool that cuts in a double dovetailed “bowtie”…….very pricey.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3779 days

#11 posted 07-27-2011 03:57 AM

Hi Jerry, Since you have laid out your criteria, I would go with the plate joiner. Mitred doors are the biggest reason I got my first plate joiner I guess about twenty yrs ago. They were few and far in between at the time. We used to run our molding then plate join from the backside. Unless you have the flooor machine for dowling its going to be pretty slow trying to dowel with a clamp on jig.Clamping up the mitre doors is going to be the only big issue you ll have but I wont insult you by telling you how to do that. Your in the business as well so I know youll figure that one out in a few minutes. You gotta know however that if one is going to seriously produce mitred doors that you will need about $ 20,000 to start but I know your not going there and that it is likely a once in a while project, so in view of that I could recomend nothing but the plate joiner.After all your average job will have only 24 doors plus or minus. Wish you well with it. JB

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10955 posts in 5022 days

#12 posted 07-27-2011 05:37 AM

Got me thinking…

Make a bridle joint look like a mitered joint on the outside… (sp?) ???

Would be a super strong joint… & no mess or fuss! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3645 days

#13 posted 07-27-2011 05:42 AM

I like biscuits for this. they are actually a type of spline when you think about it.

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2387 posts in 4516 days

#14 posted 07-27-2011 05:50 AM

Yes, probably opt for plate jointer. That is probably most efficient and exonomical way.

Cabmaker, any suggestions i would appreciate. We always build cope and stick for our kitchens. We would only be building enough doors.for.say 15-18 kitchens per year. And many of those might be cope and stick. Would only do the miter doors for customers requesting fancier profile on the style and rails.

-- .

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2387 posts in 4516 days

#15 posted 07-27-2011 06:09 AM

I think i would love to just gain the exp of this type door in order to be able to add it as an option for our kitchen sales. I personally love the look of the mitered door.

As far as clamping goes, i intended on using a 90 degree strap clamp, i think bessey makes some and mlcs woodworking has a set for sale also i think. Currently we clamp our cope and stick with bar clamps, by the time a person clamps up seven doors the first one is ready to be removed from clamps. And obviously check for square and .ensure profile is flush and maybe some light sanding duties.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

-- .

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