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What is a Miter?


A miter is a joining of materials at the corners where both edges being put together are beveled to create a smooth union. Two pieces are miter cut, most often at a forty five degree angle, and then put together to make a ninety degree angle. what is a miter?

Miter joints are often used in picture frames, pipework, molding, trim and cabinetry. Miters are clean, precise cuts that give the product a distinct high end appearance. It takes a skilled craftsman to cut and match the joints correctly to be able to produce quality products.

Miter joints are cosmetically nice to look at, but in wooden projects they are one of the weaker type of joints. For this reason miter joints must have splines installed to strengthen them for everyday use. Splines are installed to run the length of the joint or can be installed perpendicular to the joint. The splines are often installed inside the joint so that they cannot be seen in the finished product.

Miter jointed cabinet doors consist of five pieces to be assembled, a panel, top and bottom rails and the left and right stiles. Early in the manufacturing process the materials are graded and chosen specifically to match and provide the consistent, high end appearance you expect from quality cabinetry. 

The choice of wood and careful selection of wood grains along with the removal of undesirable features in the wood, knots etc, is important to ensure a perfect project. But that project isn't complete without sharply miter jointed corners. The miter joints are what produce the desired look and feel of quality cabinetry, molding or trim. Without the miter joints, the work produced will be considered poor quality or shoddy.

There are several types of miter saws used to make these precise miter cuts. They range from the old school hand powered type that rests in a miter box to guide the saw blade correctly down the path of the needed miter cut, to the powered miter saw, and even to the compound miter saw which does most of the work for you. 

Professional use of these tools coupled with a skilled tradesman will produce high end looking miter joints for your cabinets, molding, trim, or other projects that require precision cut corners.