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hand cut mitred box splines?

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Trigs

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Im wanting to make a Jewellery box using mitres and splines, but because I can't be pineappled making another jig for the table saw I thought I'd enjoy hand cutting them more.. So the question is when would be the best time to cut for the splines?? Before cutting the mitres, after the mitres or once assembled??
 

marcros

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once assembled. mark out, and I would use veneer as the key.
 

thetyreman

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from my experience glue the mitres first let it set then add the splines, if you try and do it all the same time it's a lot of un necessary pressure and can be a very stressful glue up.
 

Orraloon

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After they are glued up and set like the others have said. As to hand cutting them you will need a saw that does a very clean cut and a steady hand. I have tried it but they were not as crisp as off the table saw. I think that the short time spent making a simple jig was worth it as I use it a lot. They can be done on the router table also with a holding jig and that gives you the option of thicker splines if you like.
Regards
John
 

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woodbloke66

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The easiest way is on the router table after the box or frame is glued; use a two or four wing slot cutter which are available in various thicknesses. A simple jig needs to be made to do it accurately and it's important that the job is only passed once through the cutter. I'm currently using a 4mm cutter to reinforce the mitres on a few picture frames - Rob
 

powertools

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We know the op has a table saw but we don't know if he has a router table. He has told us that he can't be bothered to make a jig for the table saw so it is safe to assume that even if he has a router table he won't make a jig for it.
In my opinion the best way to cut splines of any thickness is on a table saw with a jig that can adjust to make splines of any thickness and distance apart after the box is glued up.
 

Hornbeam

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Splines can be cut on a router table before the mitre is assembled so they are not visible when the mitre is assembled but strengthen the mitre (a bit like a secret dovetail).. Al that is needed is a decent fence and preferably a second fence.
Cut the mitres as normal.
Set up a 4mm cutter about 2 to 3 mm less than teh thickness of the sides
Set stops on both sides of the cutter so the slot is only in the mitre portion
Set a secondary fence parallel with the main fence.
Cut slots, half of these will be normal feed direction, half as reverse cutting (hence teh second fence which can just be a scrap of wood. If you want a number of spline, feset fence position and cut further slots
Then cut 10mm X 10mm ( or whatever size fits) square ply splines (you will need to square up the router groove or round the edges of the splines. I use 4mm birch ply for splines
Splines help hold everything together / stop joint movement during gluing and are totally invisible after clean up
Ian
 

Trigs

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Cheers for the replies guys, sorry for the delay
Yeah I do have a router table but again I don't want to make a jig.. i decided to hand cut them and use zebrano splines , they turned out not too bad for a first go. I'll get something up on the project board when I get chance.
 

custard

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Hand cutting the slots for splines is possible, and with care the results can be okay.

However, they'll never be better than "okay". The reason being that it's very difficult to cut the bottom surface of the slot perfectly flat and clean with a hand saw. If you use a cross cut saw it's impossible, but even with a rip cut saw you'll find small errors creeping in.

Like I say, with care the results won't be terrible, but if you're aiming for perfection (and on a small project like a jewellery box, that's closely inspected, then "perfection" is IMO what you should be shooting for) then you'll need to take the time to get jigged up.
 

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