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How To Make Splined Edge Joints With A Saw – Sawing Secrets

We all strive to achieve seamless joints that add to the final product’s aesthetics and ensure its durability. Among the different types of joints, splined edge joints are common to join two boards together while also providing added strength and stability to the joint.

However, mastering the art of creating perfect splined edge joints requires skill, patience, and the right tools and techniques. To take your joinery skills to the next level, then learning how to make splined edge joints with a saw is a must. Splined edge joints are not only visually appealing, but they also provide added strength and stability to your projects.

Here, we will walk you through all the necessary steps to create these joints. We’ll also discuss variations of splined edge joints and highlight their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision when incorporating them into your future projects. Get ready to elevate your woodworking game with this ultimate guide to making splined edge joints with a saw.

How To Make Splined Edge Joints With A Saw

About Splined Edge Joints

About Splined Edge Joints

Splined edge joints, a popular choice among woodworkers, provide both mechanical strength and aesthetic appeal for joining wood pieces together. This technique involves creating a groove along the edge of each piece and inserting splines made from contrasting wood. The spline slot’s width, thickness, and set up depend on the specific project requirements. Woodworkers can use a table saw and a spline cutting jig to achieve tight-fitting joints that ensure easier assembly and increased stability.

One advantage of splined edge joints is their versatility. They are handy in various woodworking projects, such as picture frames, boxes, or furniture. Woodworkers can create visually striking joints by selecting contrasting woods, like walnut, and carefully aligning the grain direction. Moreover, splined edge joints offer increased mechanical strength compared to simple butt joints, contributing to the overall durability of the project.

Necessary Steps On How To Make Splined Edge Joints With A Saw

Necessary Steps On How To Make Splined Edge Joints With A Saw

When making splined edge joints, it is essential to consider the woodworking tools and materials required, including a table saw, spline jig, and suitable wood glue. A mitre gauge or stop block can help maintain a precise 45-degree angle for accurate cuts.

Woodworkers often use scrap wood to test the setup, ensuring proper blade height and a flat bottom in the groove. Additionally, sanding the joint with sandpaper or using a planer can help achieve smoothness and remove slight imperfections. To create a strong and aesthetically pleasing joint, follow these steps to make splined edge joints with a saw.  Scroll down for detailed steps on how to make splined edge joints with a saw.

Tools And Materials Required

Tools And Materials Required

When making splined edge joints with a saw, it is important to have the right tools and materials. Instead of making joints with weak mechanical strength, splined edge joints offer better stability and easier assembly. To create these joints, you will need the following tools and materials: a table saw or circular saw, a miter gauge or mitre sledge, a spline jig or a spline cutting jig for your saw, wood glue, clamps, and a piece of scrap wood.

These tools will allow you to cut precise slots for the splines and provide a strong bond between the pieces of wood. You can create an aesthetically pleasing joint by using splines made of contrasting wood, such as walnut. Don’t forget to sand the joint smoothly for a seamless finish.

Preparing The Wood For Joinery

Preparing The Wood For Joinery

Preparing the wood for joinery is a crucial step in the woodworking process. The first step is to select the right type of wood for the project. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry are popular choices for furniture making, while softwoods like pine and spruce are common for framing and construction.

Once you have chosen your wood, the next step is to inspect it for any defects such as knots, cracks, or warping. These defects can weaken the wood and affect the overall quality of your project. If you find any defects, you may need to cut them out or use wood filler to repair them.

Creating A Spline

In the process of creating a spline joint for your splined edge joint, one crucial step is to cut slots into the edge of each board you want to join. These slots should have a width slightly larger than the thickness of the spline you plan to use.

By using a saw or router, you can achieve clean and parallel cuts that run straight along the board’s edge. Once you made the cuts, you’ll need to cut a piece of wood to serve as the spline material. It’s important to ensure that the spline fits perfectly within the slots on both boards.

Setting Up The Saw For Cutting The Spline Groove

Setting Up The Saw For Cutting The Spline Groove

When preparing to cut the spline groove, setting up the saw properly is important. Begin by selecting a saw with a fine-toothed blade to ensure clean and precise cuts. Adjust the blade height to match the thickness of your workpiece.

To guide the wood, use either a mitre gauge or a fence, ensuring the cuts are straight and accurate. Mark the location of the spline groove on both pieces of wood that you will join together, and align the fence or miter gauge with these marks for consistent cuts. Slowly feed the wood through the saw, keeping it firmly against the fence or miter gauge. This setup will result in straight, clean cuts for the spline groove.

Cutting The Spline Groove

To begin, mark the location of the groove on both pieces of wood. Using a table saw or dado blade, carefully make multiple passes along the marked line to create a clean and precise groove. Ensure the blade’s height and width match the chosen spline’s size for a proper fit.

Prioritize safety by using a push stick or other safety device to keep your hands away from the blade. Take your time during the cutting process for smooth and even cuts. Once you cut the groove, test fit the spline to ensure a snug fit that allows for easy insertion and removal.

Fitting The Spline Into The Groove

Fitting The Spline Into The Groove

To fit the spline into the groove, cut a groove along the edge of one piece of wood using a table saw or router with a straight bit. Ensure that the width and thickness of the spline groove are appropriate for the size of your chosen spline. Proceed by cutting the spline to fit into the groove, considering that it should be slightly wider and thicker than the groove itself.

Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the groove and spline, ensuring the coverage is even. With caution, insert the spline into the groove, ensuring that it sits flush with the surface of the wood. To secure the joint, clamps hold the two pieces of wood together, distributing pressure evenly. Allowing the glue to dry fully before removing the clamps is essential.

Sanding And Finishing The Joint

Achieving a smooth and flawless finished joint is essential to making splined edge joints with a saw. Once you assemble the joint, the next step is sanding and finishing the joint. Start by using coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges or imperfections.

Gradually progress to finer grits, ensuring a smooth finish. Pay attention to sanding the splines, ensuring they are flush with the joint’s surface. After sanding, apply a wood finish or stain for an enhanced appearance. Allow the finish to dry completely before using or adding additional coats if desired.

Variations Of Splined Edge Joints

Variations Of Splined Edge Joints

Splined edge joints offer a range of possibilities for woodworkers looking to create strong and visually appealing connections between pieces of wood. One popular variation is the mitered splined edge joint, which creates a seamless 45-degree joint that provides mechanical strength and adds an attractive design element. This type of joint is commonly used in projects like picture frames and boxes, where structural integrity and aesthetic appeal are crucial.

Another variation to consider is the double-splined edge joint, which involves adding two splines for increased stability and reinforcement. This type of joint is often used in heavy-duty furniture or structural components that require additional strength. By exploring these variations, woodworkers can achieve impressive results while ensuring the longevity and durability of their projects.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Splined Edge Joints

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Splined Edge Joints

In terms of woodworking, splined edge joints have numerous advantages. These joints offer increased mechanical strength, making them an excellent choice for joining pieces of wood together. By incorporating a spline, the overall stability and durability of the joint are enhanced.

Another advantage of splined edge joints is their ease of assembly. Compared to other joinery techniques like butt joints, splined edge joints ensure proper alignment and reduce the risk of misalignment during the joining process. This can be a significant time-saver, especially for larger projects.

However, there are a few potential disadvantages to consider. One drawback is that creating splined edge joints requires additional tools and materials, such as a saw, router, or dedicated spline jig. This may be challenging for beginners or individuals with limited resources. Cutting the spline slot also demands precision and accuracy to achieve a snug fit. Any errors in the cutting process can lead to gaps or a loose connection, compromising the joint’s integrity.


To sum up, splined edge joints provide a versatile, sturdy method of joining wood pieces. They offer mechanical strength and ease of assembly. Implementing this joinery technique may require additional tools and meticulous execution to deliver optimal results.

Splined edge joints are an excellent technique to create strong and visually appealing connections between pieces of wood. You can easily create splined edge joints with a saw by following the necessary steps and using the right tools and materials.

These joints add strength and stability to your woodworking projects, making them last for years. Additionally, they offer flexibility in design and can be customized to suit your specific needs. We hope our provided information on how to make splined edge joints with a saw was helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Can Splined Edge Joints Be Used On Different Types Of Wood And Projects?

Ans: Yes, splined edge joints are versatile and can be used on different types of wood and various woodworking projects. They provide strength and alignment to boards, making them suitable for cabinets, furniture, and picture frames. The size and thickness of the spline will depend on the specific wood and project requirements.

2.Can Splined Edge Joints Be Made With Different Saws, Or Is A Specific Type Recommended?

Ans: Splined edge joints can be created using various saw types, such as table and mitre saws. While a table saw is commonly recommended for its precision and stability, a mitre saw can also be utilized if it has the required features for accurate cuts. Ultimately, the saw choice depends on the project requirements and the operator’s proficiency.

3.Do You Also Cut The Through Spline Grooves On The Table Saw?

Ans: No, cutting through spline grooves on the table saw is not recommended. Using a dado blade or a router with a straight bit is safer for this purpose. Cutting through spline grooves on the table saw can be dangerous and may lead to kickback. Always prioritize safety and use the appropriate tools for cutting splines.

4.Which Type Of Saw Blade Makes The Best-Splined Edge Joints With A Saw?

Ans: The ideal tool for creating splined edge joints is a table saw equipped with a dado blade. This combination allows for precise and clean cuts, producing perfect spline slots. To achieve the best results, use a saw blade with a flat-top grind or alternate top bevel (ATB) tooth configuration and a high tooth count for smooth and accurate cuts.

5.How Do You Finish Your Work To Look Nice And Smooth Before Putting It On The Wall?

Ans: Use sandpaper to smooth the splined edge joints to achieve a polished finish on your work before hanging it. Start with coarse grit and progress to a finer grit for a smoother result. Maintain even pressure with a sanding block or sponge. Finally, apply a wood finish like a varnish or paint for protection and beauty.

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