Cutting Mitre Joints on the Organ Pipes

by Charles Darley

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Making Mitre Joints
Fed up with making poor mitre joints?  Try this idea, it has worked for me:

Whilst I have some experience in woodworking, I have always found cutting a mitre joint the most difficult aspect.  Talking to other woodworkers they have all experienced a similar difficulty.  I find that either the mitre joint is less than 90 degrees or greater.  Either way, the joint looks very poor and does not fit well into the space allowed for in the John Smith's buskers organ.

My solution to the problem is to cut as good a mitre joint as you can. Then set up a belt sander (or you could devise a scheme with sanding block etc) to clean up the cut mitre.

First you must ensure that the normal fence across the bed of the sander is set to a right angle using a try square.  Then a short section of angle iron is clamped to the fence. A plastic drawing instrument with 45 degree angle sides is then used to set the angle iron to 45 degrees as perfectly as you can (Photos 1 & 2).

Using spare timber (I actually used the first organ pipe) check the accuracy by running the sander and allowing the sanding belt to take off any excess timber until the end is in contact across the full cut (Photo 3).  Repeat with the second part (Photo 4).

Bring the two pieces together and then, using a try square, check that the joint is a right angle (Photo 5).  You will probably find that it is good but that improvements can be made. Suitably adjust the set angle of the clamped angle iron and repeat the above until you are satisfied with your mitred joint.  Then apply the same technique to the organ pipes.

It is amazing when you have the angle correct how well the mitre joint goes together and looks so much better than an out-of-square joint.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4


Photo 5


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