Favorite 3-way corner joint?

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Sleepydoc

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A perfectly acceptable method of what? As you said, an alignment aid, sure. For creating a strong joint, no. For building anything structural, no. Building something that will have to securely hold hundreds or thousands of pounds, no way in my shop. I can tear a kreg drilled frame apart easily. I've done it. Can't break apart a m&t without destroying the work piece.

The domino is also a crutch tool that creates a time tested joint. Mortise and tenon construction goes way back. A floating long grain tenon adds strength to the overall joint.

Kreg jig has its place. Picture frames, cabinetry. I have it and use it.

Building an aquarium frame, I'll stick to what I know works. We all have our opinion of workflow. No one right way.
No, pocket screws are not the strongest of joints. They’re stronger than a plain butt joint but weaker than a tenon, but the OP is talking about a frame for his light. It doesn’t need to hold much weight at all. Like I said in my post, the ‘best’ joint depends on the wood, the application, the tools available and the individual’s skills.

Fine Woodworking did a ‘joinery shootout’ several years ago - you may be surprised to learn that a glued pocket screw joint beat a domino joint. Their test was for a 90º frame joint that was stressed by holding one member vertical and pushing down on the perpendicular member (think of the corner of a picture frame.) I’m sure the results would be different if you did a straight vertical load at the joint or loaded the joint on a different axis.

I used pocket screws in my stand. Of course it was just for the corner braces... :p I also used half lap, some dowels and mortise and tenon joints.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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No, pocket screws are not the strongest of joints. They’re stronger than a plain butt joint but weaker than a tenon, but the OP is talking about a frame for his light. It doesn’t need to hold much weight at all. Like I said in my post, the ‘best’ joint depends on the wood, the application, the tools available and the individual’s skills.

Fine Woodworking did a ‘joinery shootout’ several years ago - you may be surprised to learn that a glued pocket screw joint beat a domino joint. Their test was for a 90º frame joint that was stressed by holding one member vertical and pushing down on the perpendicular member (think of the corner of a picture frame.) I’m sure the results would be different if you did a straight vertical load at the joint or loaded the joint on a different axis.

I used pocket screws in my stand. Of course it was just for the corner braces... :p I also used half lap, some dowels and mortise and tenon joints.
I'll have to check that FW article out. Marc Spags did his own tests and I remember the results being much different.

Fwiw, My personal experience with both joints makes my opinion highly partisan as I've tested it myself.

I must have gotten derailed, I thought the kreg was being used for stand construction in this conversation. Which I still wouldn't recommend.
 

Sleepydoc

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So, is there a way to do a rounded mortise and tenon? Drill though and round over edges with a router? Me and chisels don't get along.
Absolutely! Very few people do mortise and tenon joints by hand. You can buy a hollow chisel mortiser but I would wager the majority of people use a router with a spiral up cut bit. You can then either cut tenons to match your mortise or mortise both sides and cut some stock to thickness for the tenons. To round the tenons, use a roundover bit, a hand plane, or even sandpaper.

The think with a mortise and tenon joint is the tenon doesn’t have to be precisely the same width - if it slides back and forth a bit it’s ok as long as the thicknesses match.

Here’s a couple of videos describing it:
 
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NabberNate

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Two mortise with a tenon cut to size in the middle. Genius! I'm going to have to play around a bit. I have a good dowel jig but even so I find it tedious to get the wood to line up perfectly. I could cut one long tenon and cross cut to size as needed finding a good use for all my 1-2" scrap. Love it.
 

SteveMM62Reef

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I did one years ago, the top is 3/4“ Plywood with Oak Veneer on the plywood. The Sides are Oak 1” x’s. The sides are butt jointed to the plywood, to cover the plywood edge. I used a Simple Doweling Jig to drill the holes, everything is dowelled and glued together. The hood, I made is an upside-down drawer, and attached to an overhead cabinet. Was finished with Sikkens Clear Satin.
 

RobW

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Pocket holes are not real joinery. It's a gimmick that holds a bit at an angle on a butt joint. No different than butt joint reinforced with screws.


For a frame, nothing beats good ol fashion mortise and tenon (except a festool domino and that's just for speed)

On panels, If you have a router or dado blade, my favorite 3 way joint only needs rabbets. Cut rabbets into your "L" pieces do fit together, rabbet the third wall into the first two. Don't assemble anything with glue (Titebond 3 or epoxy) until all are cut. As long as your panels were square to begin, the entire side will be self squaring. This joinery method is easy and has a massive amount of surface area for adhesion.
Yeah, if you have 1500.00 laying around for the tool. Lol!
 

RobW

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People think red sea is an expensive addiction. Try Festool. . . Red sea doesn't drop new tanks every 90 days
I'm just a hobbyist woodworker... i have a thing for tools. I purchased a festool sander and dust extractor last year. Ive been trying to sneak new festool items into garage ever since. Lol
 
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