2 Ways to Cut a 3-Way Miter

2 Ways to Cut a 3-Way Miter

Create this impressive joint by hand or with power tools.

By Garrett Glaser

 

Admiring the complex 3-way mitered joint between the leg and aprons in an antique Chinese table is natural. But the thought of cutting and fitting this interlocking joint by hand is enough to make most woodworkers run up a white flag. Fortunately, the same joint appears in contemporary designs, which means there’s also a modern (easier) way to complete it. In this story I’ll demonstrate both methods and provide all the information you need to build a table with 3-way miters. Whether you love the challenge of using hand tools or love the reliability and predictability of modern power tools, there’s a straightforward way to fashion this elegant, versatile and time-tested joint.

 

 

Machine-Cut 3-Way Miter Joint

 

Simplicity defines this joint, because the cuts on all three
parts are identical. Each part has two miters and two slots
for loose tenons. Only two setups are required, one for
mitering and one for routing. This method is based on a
miter saw, but a tablesaw can also be used. A simple shopmade
jig is used for routing.

The miters must be precise, so a saw that cuts accurately
is a must. Set up the saw to make a perfectly plumb 45