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Thread: Ogee feet no spline?

  1. #1

    Ogee feet no spline?

    I was watching a video discussion with Glen Huey and another furniture maker. They both agreed that ogee feet miters could be rubbed, not clamped, and no spline. I have always used spline so I was not expecting their thoughts. I just made the ogee molding for 2 night stands with ogee feet and am thinking about no miters. Watcha think?

  2. #2
    One of the greatest myths in woodworking is the lack of strength in an end grain to end grain joint. Practically everyone repeats it. But there are hundreds (probably, I haven't counted) of tests online that showcase the strength of that joint that fly in the face of that common myth. Of course people will point to flaws in whatever study, or say the test wasn't big enough to draw any conclusions, and they're usually not wrong about that. But, they also neglect how so many tests, done so many different ways, by so many different people, all come to the same conclusion. While you may not be able to draw viable conclusions from the one test, certainly you can trust the generalized conclusions of the multitude of tests that exist. And that is, an end grain to end grain joint, like a miter joint, is actually a very strong joint.

    Now, you might gain small percentage of strength by using a spline, but not a significant amount according to most tests I've seen. If you're stressing a joint to within a few percent of it's breaking force and feel you might benefit from the spline, then you need to rethink your design. That's not going to be a joint failure, that's going to be a design failure. However, if the spline is an aesthetic decision, then by all means, have at it. Most tests seem to agree that a spline doesn't significantly weaken a miter joint.

    And one thing most of these tests you'll see online seem to all have in common (at least the ones I've seen), is that they all use modern adhesives. So it's entirely possible that the reputational weakness of a miter joint or al end grain to end grain joints is due to the properties of hide glue. So it's possible this myth could have roots in the truth, even if it's no longer universally true. So I feel like so long as you avoid hide glue, then you should be fine. And even if you use hide glue, you might still be fine. Because I haven't seen enough tests on end grain to end grain using hide glue to draw any firm conclusions just yet.

    My personal experience with miter joints has always shown them to be a strong joint, and perfectly adequate under most circumstances. I've never had one fail. If I was building something that might have to endure a high amount of stress, I would probably choose a different joint, just to be safe. I haven't seen many tests proclaim that a miter joint is the strongest joint. But they all seem to agree that it's a much stronger joint than most people believe, and at least close to on par with other commonly used joints. So I fully trust a simple miter joint under most circumstances. So, for me, they're usually an aesthetic decision. And in the case of ogee feet, where the miter joint itself won't be under any undue stress and the aesthetics dictate that it would probably be the most visually appealing joint, it would be my first choice. And I wouldn't think a spline would be desirable or necessary in this circumstance.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Harris View Post
    One of the greatest myths in woodworking is the lack of strength in an end grain to end grain joint. Practically everyone repeats it. But there are hundreds (probably, I haven't counted) of tests online that showcase the strength of that joint that fly in the face of that common myth. Of course people will point to flaws in whatever study, or say the test wasn't big enough to draw any conclusions, and they're usually not wrong about that. But, they also neglect how so many tests, done so many different ways, by so many different people, all come to the same conclusion. While you may not be able to draw viable conclusions from the one test, certainly you can trust the generalized conclusions of the multitude of tests that exist. And that is, an end grain to end grain joint, like a miter joint, is actually a very strong joint.

    Now, you might gain small percentage of strength by using a spline, but not a significant amount according to most tests I've seen. If you're stressing a joint to within a few percent of it's breaking force and feel you might benefit from the spline, then you need to rethink your design. That's not going to be a joint failure, that's going to be a design failure. However, if the spline is an aesthetic decision, then by all means, have at it. Most tests seem to agree that a spline doesn't significantly weaken a miter joint.

    And one thing most of these tests you'll see online seem to all have in common (at least the ones I've seen), is that they all use modern adhesives. So it's entirely possible that the reputational weakness of a miter joint or al end grain to end grain joints is due to the properties of hide glue. So it's possible this myth could have roots in the truth, even if it's no longer universally true. So I feel like so long as you avoid hide glue, then you should be fine. And even if you use hide glue, you might still be fine. Because I haven't seen enough tests on end grain to end grain using hide glue to draw any firm conclusions just yet.

    My personal experience with miter joints has always shown them to be a strong joint, and perfectly adequate under most circumstances. I've never had one fail. If I was building something that might have to endure a high amount of stress, I would probably choose a different joint, just to be safe. I haven't seen many tests proclaim that a miter joint is the strongest joint. But they all seem to agree that it's a much stronger joint than most people believe, and at least close to on par with other commonly used joints. So I fully trust a simple miter joint under most circumstances. So, for me, they're usually an aesthetic decision. And in the case of ogee feet, where the miter joint itself won't be under any undue stress and the aesthetics dictate that it would probably be the most visually appealing joint, it would be my first choice. And I wouldn't think a spline would be desirable or necessary in this circumstance.
    Lack of strength in an end-grain joint is not a myth, it's a basic misunderstanding.

    Every joint type has it's place where it should and should not be used. End-grain to end-grain is no different.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    Lack of strength in an end-grain joint is not a myth, it's a basic misunderstanding.

    Every joint type has it's place where it should and should not be used. End-grain to end-grain is no different.
    Thanks Ed and Jim! Ed, the decision to use a miter joint is not really a choice here as the ogee front feet on furniture needs to be mitered to look ok. The question is about splining it. Is the effort to spline it worth it is the question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    4,734
    I spline it. I don't buy into the just rub it when I build it for generations to come. I build the way I like, never based on video discussions.

  6. #6
    It's up to you if you want to spline it. What I was saying is that it shouldn't be necessary, especially since in this case, there won't be much stress on the mitered joint itself. So even if a miter joint only has half the strength of a miter joint without a spline, which most tests I've seen suggest it fares a lot better than that, it should still have plenty of strength to last the lifetime of the piece. But, if it makes you feel better, then go for it! It certainly doesn't hurt anything.

    Either way, usually what destroys a foot like this isn't glue joint failure, but things bumping into it and chipping the wood. You see a lot of old furniture with beat up and replaced feet. So the style of joint you choose is probably inconsequential to the longevity of the feet.

  7. #7
    Good discussion here. Thanks. I have a copy of Glen Huey’s book Illustrated Guide to Making Period Furniture. ( 2006).That is one of the best books on furniture making I have read. Plus his utube stuff and magazine stuff shows a long history of his expertise. He’s not just a come lately utuber. That’s why I was surprised to see his reversal on the spline thing. Love hearing creeker’s thoughts here too!

  8. #8
    I use splines in lots of stuff base mouldings and feet put on with them. Old guy was taught that way, they didnt use nails, they splined and clamped. Takes longer its better quality even if a small amount. My crowns same not put on with nails. Gets tricker as you have to pay attention to cross grain expansion and allow movement. Frame and panel easier than a solid side in that respect as the moulding is on long grain.

  9. #9
    IME, you don't see feet simply mated with no spline, if you do, there is typically some type of corner brace screwed on the inside helping to secure the joint.

    If furniture sits and is never moved, then you don't need a spline.
    In the world I ilve in, furniture gets moved from time to time and adding a spline is a small investment to ensure the foot stays in tact.

  10. #10
    ive moved enough of my furniture and whether im holding base stuff or crown stuff on an armoire or im not concerned cause I know how I built it. Doing shows past meant moving stuff around more than gypsies. Can I still say Gypsies?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    ive moved enough of my furniture and whether im holding base stuff or crown stuff on an armoire or im not concerned cause I know how I built it. Doing shows past meant moving stuff around more than gypsies. Can I still say Gypsies?
    When I was younger, I used to work at a moving company.
    Move furniture for a short while and you'll know what's built well and what isn't. I think I've seen just about every furniture calamity you can think of.
    Building something to last generations, includes moving.

  12. #12
    thanks, thats how I think. When I did work for people in LA a transport would show up, Guys would blanket wrap then tape the blankets tight. Stuff made the journey and was perfect at the other end when I visited it. I then bought around 30 plus packing blankets and a ton of packing tape. After I saw them always did my own deliveries that way.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    9,566
    I wrote about this here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furnitu...Together2.html

    It is relevant to differentiate "stressed" from "non-stressed" joints. The feet only have to support the weight of a cabinet. There is no lateral movement unless you slide the cabinet along a floor.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NE Florida
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    323
    My thoughts are the same as Edward and Warren on this subject: Build the furniture to be durable during moving, especially for larger pieces. The last two pieces I built sit on mitered bases. I did not spline the joints but used dowels for re-enforcement. I used the dowel max 45 degree miter system for the dowel drilling: https://www.dowelmax.com/product-cat...e-miter-system.
    Last edited by Christian Hawkshaw; 06-09-2024 at 12:44 PM.
    Chris

  15. #15
    splines also locate things and aid in clamping. If i do base with some type of feet and moulding they are both splined on and forced together. Its done in a a way the corner mitres are pre loaded and pushing hard together plus sometimes the angle is off 45 degrees on purpose for more load and or material is relieved in some parts inside of the mitre not seen. All this keeps max pressure on the outside part of the moulding to never be able to open up.

    If the last photo I think shown Derek is solid? then thats likely way the walnut mitre has opened up last photo I think. So looked and not the last photo but the mitre is open. Id also slot the inside of the first two boxes shown. This was common for the germans I knew.

    I did work where I had to match someone elses and rabbets were used. They were then rounded. Grain looked continues and edges were softer to the touch and wear better over time for certain things. Sometimes you get jobs where you have to match others work.

    Not sure id do the mitres with nothing in them on those first two cabinets, mitre folding lends itself more to more stable materials than solid.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 06-09-2024 at 1:11 PM.

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