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Forget Mortise and Tenons… THIS joint is better.

I'm going to show you and test the strength of some common joinery methods that you can do with the tools you already have in your shop so you don't have to go out and buy an expensive Domino or any other joinery system what's that the elephant in the room yes I have contacts now oh the shop yeah I moved you can't just use any joint for any situation unlike dominoes and dowels you need to select a traditional joint based on the direction of the two pieces of wood you're joining together the joints I'm going to cover first are all useful if you want to join the two pieces of wood together like this as opposed to like this or this think of it like joining a table egg to an apron or making a frame for a picture or a frame for a frame and panel there are quite a few options to choose from and they're not all equal but some of them are simpler to do than your favorite YouTub Domino like a miter they're a great joint if you're looking for grain that flows around the joint and you don't want to see any end Grain on the edge es if your work pieces have a profile or detail of any kind a miter can make that shape flow around the joint like a picture frame miters are a greatl looking solution for joints but a good-look miter joint does not a miter guge make for that you need a dedicated miter sled like this one that I was inspired to make after watching David pto's video If made well this is a foolproof way to ensure that your miters turn out as crispy as a kettle chip gluing miters can can be a pain if you're not set up for Success colins miter clamps are great if you can hide the indentations that they make but 45° clamping calls will call your name if the Collins clamps are too crash both of these Solutions will work if making a complete frame but I also love bang clamps for frames too but they do take some practice but is a miter joint really that strong isn't it just a bunch of end grain glued together conventional wisdom suggests that gluing end grain isn't actually that strong wrong but there was a fellow named Patrick Sullivan who made a very convincing video that appears to disprove that line of thinking now I'm not here to jump that far into the weeds but I can show you how strong a joint is relative to other joints of the same size which might give a more practical guide for what joint to choose if strength is your number one priority remember this this is the testing J some of my kind commenters told me that I stole from Matias wandell and yeah I did steal it from him because he is smart and I am just a silly goose I made five of each joint and I will break each one with my super scientific jig here the joint clamps here then the bottle jack puts pressure up on the joint while simultaneously putting pressure down on the scale which is going to measure the force it takes to break it I did modify it to include this lever right here which divides the total load on the scale in half because I was kind of worried that these joints were all going to be so strong that it would exceed the scale's limit and because of that I'll have to double the number on the scale to get the actual result for each joint I'll remove the highest and lowest values for a crude but consistent way to remove outliers and then I will average out the middle three results I'll also include a butt joint as a control because seems like the sciency thing to do miter joint numer one slowly are you joking well that was a let down the miter really wasn't much to write home about but it did score over twice a strength as the butt joint did at 187 lb for the miter and 79 lb for the butt joint so even though the miter seems to be just a bunch of end grain it's really not clearly there is a better bond with the joint cut at a 45° angle over a straight up butt joint while it also slightly increases the amount of surface area for the glue to use but is it strong [Music] enough enter the spline you can put a spline in any miter with just your table saw and if you're making lots of picture frames I highly recommend making a jig like this one that rides on your fence allowing you to repeatedly and accurately cut these slots you can basically raise your blade up as high as it can go without going over if you don't trust your planer to Mill down the splines thin enough you can double stick tape your spline material down to a flat sheet of MDF or you can also sneak up on the perfect fit on a table saw using featherboards to keep things consistent a while back Jason hibs of bourbon moth made a video about joint strength and his splin might were the strongest in his test so I was fully expecting this joint to blow my mind but it was kind of a let down sure it came in stronger than just the regular miters at 271 lb but I don't know it didn't really give a satisfying snap it just kind of stretched apart but I suppose that could be considered a good thing that there's no sudden moment of failure but there is plenty of warning that you're will fall apart if you keep using it as a stage for your at home Fiddler on the Roof Productions to be fair Jason was using a splin miter in a different orientation like if you were going to make a box or a case so perhaps it's still stronger for that scenario and look I will test that scenario too I've already made all the joints but I'll get to that later the other thing to note in this video is that he is squeezing the joint together as if you were closing a book whereas I'm I'm opening the metaphorical book at any rate this just confirms the limitations of any joint strength testing there are A1 ways that a joint can break and it's really hard to account for them all but these types of joints tend to be the weakest in this racking or rotational Direction so that's why I tested them this way all I know is that I tried to maximize the size of my spline by raising up my blade as high as it will go all the same the mitered spline is a great looking joint particularly if you like to create accents with contrasting wood tones if you want the clean look of the miter but are doubting its strength for your application then a spline fits the bill rather nicely but be sure to double check the grain Direction on your splines because it's easy to mess this up and I know I've done it wrong many many times in the past the grain needs to be perpendicular to the direction of the miter conversely if you put it in the same direction it'll be as helpful as chat GPT was for creating a simile for how helpful a spline is when the grein is pointing in the wrong way it's as helpful as a chocolate teapot the granddaddy of joints in this category is the mortise an Tenon this thousands of year old joint is traditionally used in all walks of woodworking like carcass construction Timber framing chair making Etc because it's apparently the strongest or is it the great thing about Modern Machinery is that we do have a whole host of ways to accomplish this ancient joint the most accessible way to create a mortise is w

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