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Question re fixing small miters

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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 03-15-2019 06:09 AM 701 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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unclearthur

383 posts in 2871 days


03-15-2019 06:09 AM

Hi. Once again looking for free advice!

So I am making a small box to hold some coasters I made:

I’ve just done the glue-up and the miters on the sides look reasonably OK:

But the miters open up at the top when viewed from above:

Gaps maybe 1/32” but very visible as there is no lid.

1) Any suggestions on clever ways to fix / hide / cover up other than just filling the gaps ?

2) If I were to just try to fill the gaps, what should be used for the filler and how do you match color? I’ve tried in the past with things like elmers wood putty or sawdust & glue, and its always looked awful (Wood is maple, not planning on staining, just maybe natural Danish Oil).

Any suggestions appreciated, thanks!


16 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

6840 posts in 1672 days


#1 posted 03-15-2019 06:55 AM

The easiest would be Timbermate, if you can get a good match. I’m certain a perfect match is possible, but getting there takes a lot of experience since, unless there’s a good match in their standard colors, you’ll be mixing your own. Still, between their existing colors, things like TransTint and even acrylic paints from the hobby store, the color possibilities are endless.

The other would be either Mohawk Fil-Stik or Quick Fill. The Fil-Stik is waxier, but that doesn’t look like a place where durability is an issue so waxy would be fine. They are available in over 200 colors, so getting a match is guaranteed. The Quick Fill sticks are more durable, but available in fewer colors. Still, you’ll probably find a match that’s good enough for such a small fill.

Check out Mohawk and Timbermate videos on youtube for more information.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Peteybadboy

3378 posts in 3032 days


#2 posted 03-15-2019 09:19 AM

A thought..accentuate the joint? Open it up and put a spline in the opening. BTW cool project.

-- Petey

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unclearthur

383 posts in 2871 days


#3 posted 03-15-2019 03:46 PM

@Rich – thanks, I’ll check out the videos.

@Petey – do you mean a vertical spine right along the joint? How would you cut it – handsaw? I think the look might be cool but I’m not sure how to get the fit perfect – might end up making a bigger mess. Or do you mean a horizontal “spline” right at the top?

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CWWoodworking

1759 posts in 1262 days


#4 posted 03-15-2019 04:59 PM



A thought..accentuate the joint? Open it up and put a spline in the opening. BTW cool project.

- Peteybadboy

I do this on a picture frame line I have. It has 5.5” miters. Knowing they won’t stay perfect, I bevel the edges so the crack is less noticeable.

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LesB

2986 posts in 4526 days


#5 posted 03-15-2019 05:21 PM

Are you patching up a bad cut? By the looks of it your saw blade was out of alignment when the cuts were made.

Because there does not appear to be enough length to the sides to true them up with a re-cut the spline idea is a good one. Check the alignment of the saw and re-cut the bevels to make space for a vertical piece of matching or contrasting wood to insert in the gap created in each corner by the re-cut (which will shorten the length of the side pieces). The insert will make up for the shortness of the sides.

-- Les B, Oregon

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unclearthur

383 posts in 2871 days


#6 posted 03-15-2019 06:21 PM

The bottom (plywood) is already glued into place so I don’t really want to re-cut the entire bevels and re-assemble. Also new splines the entire height of the side will interrupt the flow of the inlay type thing going around the sides. Trying to think of how to just repair the top corners which is really the only place its visibly bad.

View ruger's profile

ruger

142 posts in 1178 days


#7 posted 03-15-2019 08:43 PM

I see by your projects you have made a bunch of boxes. but the truth is there is not a lot of options with this box. when i cut 45 angles, every thing has to as perfect as possible. the sides have to be perfect in length, saw at a perfect 45 angle and a good sharp blade. if the blade is somewhat dull the blade will walk in the cut. if your 2 front boards or your 2 side boards arn’t as perfect as possible you will get gaps in your corners. even clamping up your box after glue up can cause alignment problems at the corners if not really careful.

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Aj2

3842 posts in 2881 days


#8 posted 03-15-2019 09:18 PM

There’s no fixing. Perfect looking miters are not easy so consider this one practice. Continue until you get it right.

-- Aj

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RobS888

2829 posts in 2928 days


#9 posted 03-15-2019 09:35 PM



The bottom (plywood) is already glued into place so I don t really want to re-cut the entire bevels and re-assemble. Also new splines the entire height of the side will interrupt the flow of the inlay type thing going around the sides. Trying to think of how to just repair the top corners which is really the only place its visibly bad.

- unclearthur


Splines of the same banding wood from that point up would look nice, so the spline would 1/4 inch or so.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

459 posts in 3327 days


#10 posted 03-15-2019 11:08 PM

Try this on bottom and see if you like. Put some glue in the gap, wait a bit then sand it with orbital while glue is still wet. Won’t make it disappear but will help.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1366 posts in 2185 days


#11 posted 03-16-2019 12:44 AM


@Rich – thanks, I ll check out the videos.

@Petey – do you mean a vertical spine right along the joint? How would you cut it – handsaw? I think the look might be cool but I m not sure how to get the fit perfect – might end up making a bigger mess. Or do you mean a horizontal “spline” right at the top?

- unclearthur

You can use a sacrificial fence and cut a small triangular groove at each corner this way:

You will then need a jig to hold your box with the top down to cut a groove in the miter at the top. edge. Use a blade with flat top teeth like a rip blade.

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a1Jim

118162 posts in 4660 days


#12 posted 03-16-2019 01:15 AM

use a backsaw to cut a shallow kerf in the top of the box and add walnut or darker wood shim just on the top .then use William Ing’s fix for the outside corners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyHtW_x8Y64

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

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unclearthur

383 posts in 2871 days


#13 posted 03-17-2019 12:34 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions; I’ve bookmarked this thread for future reference. Anyways, I ended up adding some splines at each top corner to cover up the gaps:

Looks OK in this case ….. but I think I am going to build a miter sled so I can make these ‘sans le gap’.

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Kelster58

759 posts in 1623 days


#14 posted 03-17-2019 12:52 AM

Got to hand it to LJ’s that’s a great solution.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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runswithscissors

3130 posts in 3108 days


#15 posted 03-17-2019 01:07 AM

Looks like you found a good fix. But in the original photo it looks like a tiny gap at the bottom, too, which could suggest that the sides were slightly warped.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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