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Thread: Smoothing mitered corners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    129

    Smoothing mitered corners

    The latest project (a dovetailed hanging bookcase) got glued up and I'm in the process of smoothing it now. What's the best way to approach smoothing the mitered corner edges? I initially smoothed straight across the corner so the joint would be flush, but obviously this leaves a small ridge on one of the two boards. I've tried feathering with the smoother right to the miter joint, but it's difficult to get it done cleanly right to the joint and keep the joint flush.

    Open to ideas before I break out the sandpaper!

    20210428_175233.jpg
    Last edited by Aaron Liebling; 04-28-2021 at 9:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Break out the sandpaper. It’s been around a long time. And when I was kid I made some. Shark skin has been used too. Oh, and it’s OK to
    use a hammer instead of a rock.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 04-28-2021 at 10:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    661
    If you can place the piece so that the edge faces up, and can set some stops up on the bench, then you can plane the edges and flush all of the miters by going in a continuous loop. As you approach one of the corners, skew the plane to about 45 degrees and as you get to the corner go over it at about 45 degrees. As you leave the corner, straighten the plane back out and continue along the next piece. Repeat skewing procedure as you get to the next corner.

    You can also do a shorter shaving with the skew technique, starting a few inches before the corner and ending a few inches after, just focusing on flushing that one miter. But every time you start and stop a shaving it tends to leave a mark that may not show up until finishing, so I try to do it continuously.

    You'll want to have a freshly sharpened blade for this, and a very fine set. You do not want a shaving that takes a lot of force to push.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    661
    Oh, and very nice mitered-corner dovetails! One of my favorite case joints.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    129
    Thanks, Robert! It's designed to match a cabinet for my office. I'll post a photo of them together when it's done.

    Totally agree on the mitered dovetail. It's such an elegant joint.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    1,224
    Excellent advice Robert! Thatís exactly what I do!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

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