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Hello everyone. Glad I found this site. Just built a pantry for the kitchen with Kreg Jig and now moving on to other projects.

Question:

I'm building a simple end table, Top and side are 3/4 ply with a 45 degree bevel at the connecting ends. Is it possible to join with pocket holes? I tried a few tests and could not figure it out.

Thanks in advance

Jason

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Jason,

It will take some trial and error.  Can you post a picture for reference?

If the pocket hole is not doable what would be the best way? Thanks Justin

Jason you can try putting the pocket holes on the out side corner,s and hide them with plugs , try on scrap boards first, or I have used biscuit,s on 45 degree bevel,s , works for me , JIM !!!

Hello Jim, Ive tried a few tests with pocket hole and can't get it to work. Thought there might be a solution I wasn't aware of. I've never worked with biscuits before but does sound like the best option if I can't get the Pocket holes to work. Thank you for your help!



james wilhelm said:

Jason you can try putting the pocket holes on the out side corner,s and hide them with plugs , try on scrap boards first, or I have used biscuit,s on 45 degree bevel,s , works for me , JIM !!!

Hi Jason , I have two craftsman biscuit cutters , one is a mini and the other is the standard size, they are not hard to use , just put a mark on each end of board, draw a straight line with square ( a few inches )  on each board!!  Set your cutter for 45 degree and half the thickness of the joint ( all lines on out side of boards ) line up cutter with line and just push , depends on how wide your board,s are on how many biscuits you will need !! Then just glue , clamp and let sit for an hour or so , also good for edge joining of board,s , hope this help,s , Jim !!

Jason -- biscuits would do the trick, but they would require you to buy a new tool.  In addition, I don't think I would trust just the biscuits for this type of joint on a table, especially in plywood.  A minor amount of racking force could still cause the joint to fail.  Braces are going to be the most effective fix.  But here's a couple ideas that could help you avoid buying a biscuit joiner.

1.  Splines.  After you glue up and clamp both pieces together how you want them ultimately joined, run the joint through the table saw, run a circular saw across the joint, or cut a space with a handsaw.  Then you glue a spline into the kerf and cut off the overhang with a trim saw.  Here's a video you can use to see the technique, or google/Pintrest "splined miter" and you'll get the idea.  If you use a darker color wood, it leaves a nice decorative detail.  You don't need to build a jig or anything fancy.  Can always cut them with a handsaw, clean them up with a file or sandpaper, then glue in the spline.

2.  Finish nails.  After your glue-up, clamp it together and shoot some 18-gauge 2" finish nails through the outside of the joint.  They will provide enough clamping pressure to hold the joint while the glue sets.

For strength, you should brace the backside of the joint, whether you go with biscuits, splines, or nails.  On the underside of the table, set back far enough from the edges so they aren't visible, glue and screw braces of some sort across the inside of the joint to strengthen it and prevent racking.  You could use either diagonal braces (you can buy metal ones or make small ones out of scrap plywood or solid wood) or square/rectangular ones.  You can even use small strips of scrap, e.g. 3/4" x 3/4" and run them the length of the joint.  Glue and screw them into both the side and table top.  If you go with the splines or the finish nails, I would add a couple braces anyway if the table is going to support significant weight or be subject to children.

The other thing you should know is when you glue up the joint, give both sides of the joint a healthy amount of glue, then wait 5 to 10 minutes.  The end grain of the plywood is going to soak it up.  NEVER glue up a plywood joint like that with only one application of glue, it simply won't hold.  After 5-10 minutes, Put more wood glue on the joint and commence your glue up.  Let the glue set for at least an hour before trying to cut splines into it.  If nailing, go ahead and shoot while the glue is wet -- you'll need less clamping force.  Clamping a miter tight is another woodworking adventure you can solve with money (in which case check out Kreg's 90-degree corner clamps) or a little ingenuity and jig making.  If your adding braces, make sure they're square and put them in while the glue is wet -- they will help keep the glue-up square while the glue is setting.

The miter joint is beautiful, but it is by far the weakest of all possible woodworking joints.  I avoid it for all but the most decorative features.  Best bet for future uses in furniture ishow to make a non-miter joint LOOK like a miter joint (pay careful attention between 1:15 and 2:00 -- you'll see what looks like a mitered joint but is actually a sequence of half-blind dovetails).  Good luck!

Russ, awesome tips and thanks for sharing the video.
Jason, I've done what Russ suggested. Mitre, glue and nail. I normally use a pin nailer so you don't see the hole if I'm staining. Wood filler never works well for me. 18 guage otherwise. Good luck

Wow guys thanks for all the help. I'm new to wood working and the Kreg Jig has helped so much. Here is my first project attached. Looking forward to more project and sharing on the site.

Thanks again

Jason

Nice cabinet. Doors look great. Good finish!

Thanks Russ, 

I did the doors with no grooves. 1/2 ply butted up against the rails and stiles with pocket holes. It worked out nicely I'm very happy with them.

Jason,

I'd suggest using a "spline" joint for the 45 degree miterd corners, you describe.

#2 biscuit joinery.

Biscuits allow a little wiggle room---which will permit alignment of the outside miter corner.

(Press the biscuits in a vise, so as to make them a little thinner---

when the biscuit swells up with the glue, it'll make a snug fit).

Yes I Like the Spline Idea. Thats probably the direction I'll go. Thanks Ken

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