Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cutting Mitered Corners, Part 1

I have a few small boxes to make, and I wanted to do mitered corners with splines across them.  Unfortunately, miters are really hard to cut accurately in wide stock, and my Langdon miter box can only hold small stock vertically if it's pretty long and not too wide.  So what am I to do?

Enter the miter shooting board.  My first attempt was for a jig that would sit on my regular shooting board, with the miter at the bottom, so I could just treat it like any other board.  Unfortunately, that turns out not to have worked, for several reasons.  So after some tweaking (and muttered curses), I decided to go with a more standard design.  Something more like this, from the Unplugged Workshop:

I happened to have a fairly large piece of pine (around 10" by 14") that's been in my shop for over a year without cupping or twisting, so I decided that was probably stable enough to use for a base.  The first step was cutting the groove for the plane to ride in.  I have a scratch stock I keep meaning to use, so I started by making a 90 degree cutter for it, so the sides of the groove would be at 45 degrees to the surface of the wood.  Cutting cross-grain in pine is hard, so I started out with a knife line, and cleaned it out to a little less than 45 degrees by eye with a chisel.  Once it looked about right, I used the scratch stock to make sure the sides were actually at the right angles.

Next up were the sides.  Those are simple pieces of 2x2 pine, and the angles were cut on the Langdon miter box.  I don't use it a lot, but when I do it reminds me why I bought it:  the cuts wound up essentially perfect straight off the saw, with a fairly clean surface.

It's a little bit of a challenge to use in the space I have available, since my bench isn't actually deep enough to accommodate it, but clamping it to a sawbench works fine.  For scale, that's a 30" backsaw blade (I think... maybe 36"?), so it's quite a bit bigger than it looks in the photo.

Once those were cut, I glued them to the base, making sure they were square to the groove and met it at the same place on both sides.  Right now the glue is curing (I was impatient, so I used Titebond instead of hide glue), and hopefully I'll be able to get the final piece installed tonight.  Then, finally, I'll be able to start working on those boxes!

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