Wouldn't it be great if I could come up with some creative, visually attractive way of enhancing and strengthening miter joints that could become a sort of personal signature? I realize this is somewhat silly because I don't have the Greenes' creativity, but you can't blame me for trying, can you?
Here's what I'm after:
- Strengthened and enhanced mitered corner
- Fast and easy to make with hand tools
- Creative and unique
What else could I do? I don't like pegging this joint because there is so little material between the tip of the miter and the peg, so I don't think it is very strong. But what if you put a peg diagonally through the joint so that it appeared on both sides? It would be much stronger and you'd see an oval that might look nice, so that is what I tried next:
I had hit a dead end ... and then I thought of the Greenes. I drilled a larger hole a quarter of an inch deep straight in on the top of the diagonal peg, grabbed one of the hollow chisels from the old mortise attachment for my drill press that I haven't used in years and whacked it in, then glued in a piece of square stock to fit the hole. I sawed off the insert about an eighth of an inch above the surface and, not expecting it to work, I went over it with a sanding sponge. To my amazement, the sponge pillowed the square peg, just like the ones Greene and Greene made. (Actually it was the Hall brothers who made them, but that is another story.)
tedious effort you always hear about. OK, my square pegs probably aren't as good, but I like them and they sure are fast. Fast is as fast does.
This is the best idea I have come up with so far. I haven't heard of running a dowel diagonally through a mitered joint before and the peg is so far away from the corner that it looks like an attractive decoration, not a part of the joint. Still like the butterflies better though and I think I have a better appreciation of why splines are the usual choice.