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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,400

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    p.s. when you cut back 3/4"x3/4"x3/4" fingers to 3/8"x3/4"x3/4" and then tuck them into a 3/4"x3/8"x6-5/8" rabbet, I can see how it fits - it's just that there are also several 3/4"x3/4"x3/4" spaces between the fingers, and after cutback, these spaces are reduced to 3/8"x3/4"x3/4", but they are still there and do not get filled by the rabbet. Am I missing something?
    Yep, after assembly there are definitely gaps where there weren't any fingers before the fingers that be are shortened, and on top of everything else, those gaps expose end grain.

    Okay, maybe I'll reconsider cutting matching end pieces, with box joint fingers, for my remaining side pieces, I have, after all, already created a sled for my table saw that simplifies making these cuts with my dado stack. It's just so much more time-consuming than the simplicity of the rabbets and trimming off the fingers. But, you're correct, it definitely compromises my completed supers to do it that way.

    I will get a bottle of Titebond II on Tuesday (2Mar), then try it out to see how it does for me.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-01-2010 at 11:44 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Hello Fafrd et al, when I started making boxes I did blind dovetails that I still like too. I have no experience with making finger joints or box joints except that we have a few old boxes with them that were given to us. The things that always kept me from trying to make finger joints is that I have only a simple, small table saw. These things have a short saw shaft and so a 3/4" dado blade will not fit. Yes, on a bigger saw one can gang the pieces and speed things up. However, I have also heard that just a small interfering chip can throw the spacing off and then accumulate that error to the end which then will require a ripping operation to adjust the box height. And then there was a post here where someone suffered some serious finger damage doing finger joints. Finally, there is the end grain exposure but that horse has been beaten enough. You are totally right that what we are doing with Miter Locks lends itself better to hobbyists. Who knows though? Take care and have fun

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Joseph,

    didn't mean to imply you should think aout doing it diferently -just wanted to make sure I understood what you were doing (which I do now - thanks).

    let me know what you think about TiteBond II - I was in Home Depot last night and saw that TiteBond III cost only 40% more than TiteBond II ($7 versus $5 for 16 ounces) so I went ahead and picked up some TiteBond III - will let you know what I think when I have had chance to use it.


    Alex,

    never actualy tried to make a box joint before and if what you are saying about a small chip throwing things off and accumulating errors is correct, your just making feel a whole lot more confident about my gut feeling regarding the complexity of box joints versus lock-miter joints for the onesy-twosy home hobbiest (at least for those of us who have router tables ).

    For the commercial outfits, I am sure it is fully automoated so that those kind of issues are avoided, and between the higher degree of parallelism (meaning lower cost of manufacturing) as well as the lower tolerances (meanin easier storability and shippability), I don't think we are likely to ever see lock miter joints from the commercial outfits.

    Both of you (and anyone else),

    are you using your router tables to form your frame rests? I am and I really like the way it comes out - leaves a full 3/4" thick board for the first 1" so the top corner is much stronger - and while it i pretty easy to do by hand, I am thinking about making a jig so it is even easier and faster. How are you both doing it and if you are using a jig, how is it designed?

    -fafd

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Good morning guys, I am right now in chilly Florida (33F) this morning just a few miles north of Tampa, unbelievable. So I am staying longer at the computer in the mornings. I agree that Miter Locked boxes may not appear in the commercial picture ever. However, somewhere I saw a guy do some routing on a router table with an automated feeder, both horizontal and vertical and that went pretty fast. Of course it is an investement that not many are willing to make. I use my home-made router table that I built to "Shop Notes" and is a pretty solid piece of equipment. It is a few years old and I would build it differenet today with such amenities as adjusting the router from the top etc.
    I am not sure about the boxes that you were repairing with finger joints and rabbets etc. I just have this picture in mind that if I would have to do something like that I would cut the box apart right in the middle. Rout one of the sawn ends with a Miter Lock and add a new piece also routed that way flat, flip it over and glue it together. Later on cut to exact length and make the nex box with it using one new and one old piece. In other words, Miter Lock lets you lengthen a board that will be pretty strong. Just my thinking on this......Take care and have fun.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    However, somewhere I saw a guy do some routing on a router table with an automated feeder, both horizontal and vertical and that went pretty fast.
    Even automated with a feeder, the lock-miter joint is still inherently a one-at-a-time manufacturing process, where I'll bet the box joints are cut 10 or 20 at a time by the pros. It's just fundamentally a more expensive joint to make on commercial scale, and as they say: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..."


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    I would cut the box apart right in the middle. Rout one of the sawn ends with a Miter Lock and add a new piece also routed that way flat, flip it over and glue it together. Later on cut to exact length and make the nex box with it using one new and one old piece. In other words, Miter Lock lets you lengthen a board that will be pretty strong.
    I've never glued one up yet, but I have routed and fitted the flat joint and I think you have a good idea (for Joseph). Cut off 100% of the fingers on both ends, put a horizontal lock miter joint on both ends of that 18-3/8"" long board, glue another horizontal 18-3/8" horizontal lock miter board to this first one to make a single board 36-3/4" long. Cut that 36-3/4" long board (after the glue has set) to 19-7/8" and put another lock miter joint on the cut end so you have one side of the box finished. The leftover board piece is about 16-3/4" long (allowing for saw kerf) - trim it to 16-1/4" and put vertical lock-miter joints on either end so yo have one end of the box finished.

    In this way, 2 19-7/8" finger-joint boards can be used to make one 19-7/8" side piece with a horizontal lock-miter joint and one 16-1/4" end piece with a vertical lock-miter joint.

    Cutting off the ends is no more work and probably easier that the rabbets, so the trade-off is cutting and gluing the extra lock miter joint versus how much cleaner the end result will be. Joseph, what do you think?

    For those of us with lock miter router tables but without Joseph's excess stock of finger-joint box sides, the same idea could be used to eliminate knots and extend boards. I've been struggling with optimizing the number of sides I can get out of a board versus trying to position the sides so that I end up with a 'select' box (no knots). For the cost of an additional lock miter joint, any knot can easily be eliminated by using the flat joint. The same thing can of course be done horizontally on the board, but that is much, much less efficient, reduces the height of the board below 11-1/4" rather than shorten its length and frankly, does not look like it is worth the trouble.

    Have you tried to use the horizontal joint yet, Alex?

    -fafrfd
    Last edited by fafrd; 03-05-2010 at 02:17 PM. Reason: fixed typo and quote format

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Good morning again fafrd et al. As I said, I am remote at present from my bees and the woodworking operation. No, I have not tried the horizontal joint with Lock Miter. It might be a challenge and I will try it when the time comes. I will question the reasoning behind a horizontal joint as there are some things to consider: Value of the product in relation to time (I have qualify here as time is of very little importance to me, other than the achievement of satisfaction of having a good product.) However, I have widened boards with butt joints and Buiscuts that were looking good and so far have held up. The other thing I would consider is the life time of the cutter edge on long cuts vs. the cost of another board. Another consideration would be the remoteness to the wood source.That does not apply to me but it could if I was living in the Outback or so. In any case, someday I will try it and will report on it. Take care and have fun

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Once more, the other day there was a mention of routing the frame rests. I do rout the frame rests carefully on the router table. I am not sure right now, but I think I use a 3/4" straight bit, extending 5/8" above the table. The fence is set back 3/8". Before I start cutting I make pencil marks on the fence for the beginning and the end. With the board vertical, I then plunge near one marked end, carefully run it to the mark and then rout it to the other mark and take the board away or stop the router with that big safety switch. I have no problems with that little radius in the corners, I take it out with a chisel of leave it as the top of the frames have a small corner cut there anyway. Excuse my long windedness, I write with ten fingers and only look at the screens and then the words flow. Take care and have fun

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    No, I have not tried the horizontal joint with Lock Miter.
    My apologies Alex, I made a typo (or used the language in a confusing manner). The horizontal lock miter joint (to increase board height) makes little sense, as I indicated in my post. I meant to ask if you have used the lock miter joint to make a 'flat' joint to extend the length of a board, as you suggested to Joseph.

    -fafrd

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    Once more, the other day there was a mention of routing the frame rests. I do rout the frame rests carefully on the router table. I am not sure right now, but I think I use a 3/4" straight bit, extending 5/8" above the table. The fence is set back 3/8". Before I start cutting I make pencil marks on the fence for the beginning and the end. With the board vertical, I then plunge near one marked end, carefully run it to the mark and then rout it to the other mark and take the board away or stop the router with that big safety switch. I have no problems with that little radius in the corners, I take it out with a chisel of leave it as the top of the frames have a small corner cut there anyway.
    Thanks for the response to my question on routed frame rests, Alex. I do pretty much the same as you with a couple of differences:

    a) you have been plunging the board down from above, where I have been holding the board at an angle but laying the bottom edge flat on the router table so that the board is more than 3/8" out from the router bit (right end of board resting against fnece, left end positioned 1/2" out from fence , and then I have been 'plunging' the board horizontally (actually radially) into the router bit until it is resting against against the fence along the entire length of the board and the router bit has channeled 3/8" into the left end of the board (I position so that the frame rest begins 1" from the left end of the board and continue the frame rest route to within 1" of the right end of the board).

    b) rather than mess around with a chisel to square out the corners, I have been re-routing the corners with my 1/4" router bit - the small amount of rounding that remains in the corners then becomes irrelevant. In fact, I just puirchased a 3/8" bit so I can try to route out the frame rests in a single pass because even at a 3/16" radius, I don't think the rounding in the corners would interfere with the frame positioning.

    This is working OK for me but the two things that take time are positioning and beginning the route (with whatever 'plunging' solution is used and being careful at the end for the positioning of where the route is completed. This is the reason I was thinking about building a jig of some kind to speed up the start and end of the process. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

    -fafrd

    p.s. I think the routed frame rests are far superior to the dadoed frame rests. On the several commercial boxes I have built, it is the connection between the sides and the 3/8" top of the ends where the frame rest continues that is the weakest point on the box. All of my boxes are warping or splitting in this area and so far I have not found a combination of glue or nails that prevents this. I suppose screws would be the next thing to try, but the routed frame rest completely avoids this problem and provides a joint that is strong and uniform from top to bottom.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Hello fafrd et al. Yes, you have the right approach with plunging horizontally, I might have done that and not remembered. The only thing that I would caution about, and I assume here that hopefully we have some hobbyists reading in on our conversation, that Safety is Number One! With routing, one has to keep the feeding direction in mind and when routing the frame rests, I have to violate the rules a little bit to get that last bit on one end. No, I have not made a "longer board" yet with the Miter Lock, but have made a sample just for curiosity and found that it helps in the set-up of making the corners. Yes, I had some challenges in the beginning with other box corners where I wound up with a void at the ends of the frame rests. At that point I let the glue dry well and then cleared the area with a Forstner bit and glued in a wood plug. That worked for me too when I had some loose knots (note the spelling! I am the loose nut) that I drilled out with the appropriate Forstner bit only to the needed depth and then glued in a wood plug. Of course, one needs the tools for that but it won't break the bank. Take care and have fun

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,506

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    This is the reason I was thinking about building a jig of some kind to speed up the start and end of the process. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
    This is easily accomplished by by clamping "stop blocks" on the fence where you want to start and stop the cut. You will probably have to make a longer fence to accomplish this if you're using a router table.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    With routing, one has to keep the feeding direction in mind and when routing the frame rests, I have to violate the rules a little bit to get that last bit on one end.
    Alex,

    I succeed to route my frame rests without violating the feeding direction rules. Here is how I do it:


    RIGHT SIDE (first):

    a/ plung router horizontally 3/8" into the right hand side of the board at the stop point (1" to the left of the right hand edge of the board) until the board comes to rest against the fence.

    b/ plung router horizontally 3/8" into the right hand side of the board 1" to the left of the first route (2" to the left of the right hand edge of the board) until the board comes to rest against the fence.

    c/ continue the second route to the right for ~1" until intersecting the first route (this completes the right side corner).


    LEFT SIDE (second):

    d/ plung router horizontally 3/8" into the left hand side of the board at the start point (1" to the right of the left hand edge of the board) until the board comes to rest against the fence.

    e/ continue the third route to the right for the length of the board until intersecting the second route (this completes the left side corner and the entire frame rest).


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Cantacuzene View Post
    That worked for me too when I had some loose knots (note the spelling! I am the loose nut) that I drilled out with the appropriate Forstner bit only to the needed depth and then glued in a wood plug. Of course, one needs the tools for that but it won't break the bank.
    Shows how much of a novice I am about this woodworkig stuff - cutting out a knot with a hole cutter (which I assume is similar to your 'Forstner bit') and then backfilling with a 3/4" thick wood plug of the same diameter sounds like a much easier way to eliminate a knot then cutting the knot out and splicing the boards back together with a lock miter joint. Thanks for the tip!

    -fafrd

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: Supers with no exposed end grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    This is easily accomplished by by clamping "stop blocks" on the fence where you want to start and stop the cut. You will probably have to make a longer fence to accomplish this if you're using a router table.
    Barry,

    stop blocks are a good idea, though my table is not wide enough as is, so I may need to do a seperate left side stop and a right side stop (or get a bigger table).

    I guess I could make a new fnece insert to clamp in front of my existing fence to extend beyond the edges of the table with stop blocks on either end (maybe that is what you meant).

    Since I want to plunge the box side horizontally into the router bit (which means the board is vertical, on edge), I am also thinking about a way to do the horizontal plunge that is truly horizontal (and not radial as I am doing it now).

    With a box-like structure that clamps to the board being routed, I ought to be able to use a 'U-shaped' insert/guide to plunge the board into the router bit, guided by the right stop-block/front-to-back fence, slide the board (and support box) all the way to the left against the extended side-to-side fence to route out the frame rest, and then pull the board and box back using the left stop-block/front-to-back fence to end the route.

    Anyone ever done anything like that? Does it sound like a good idea? Is there a better way?

    fafrd

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