A Strong Miter Joint in an Exterior Teak Railing
What is a proven method/joinery technique for a long lasting tite joint? I was planning on using System Three epoxy for the glue after an acetone wipe. Also, time and cost are not a factor. Thanks for any input. Hopefully someone who has actually this or something very similar can elaborate.
From contributor D:
If you look at railings on boats, they look the same as you describe. Splines are usually added for extra gluing surface. Epoxy, as mentioned on here many times, likes loose joints. Many end grain to end grain joints benefit from a two step approach, soaking, as Contributor A mentioned, followed by a coating with thickened epoxy - thick enough not to run out of the joints. The epoxy bond is mechanical and works better with roughened surfaces for a better bite. Don't be afraid to experiment on a few scraps. Often by mixing a lighter colored sawdust (like alder) to thicken you can get a nearly invisible joint. Teak dust to thicken in a teak joint will leave a dark line.
From contributor B:
Every connecting joint in a marine environment is either lapped, mortised, splined, or doweled (with dowels often run through the lap). A half-lap joint is not too difficult if you have both a radial arm and table saw, otherwise you'll have to improvise. If you're going to use a straight glued miter, then I would at least run recessed deck screws (the long ones) through the joint (like regular nailing) and plug the holes. Everything in an exterior (marine) environment needs to be both glued and screwed (and the screws need to be non-ferrous).
Click here for higher quality, full size image
From contributor D:
One extra tip to get nearly invisible plugs (bungs, technically). Take an offcut of the same stock used for the rail oriented the same way to the drill press to cut the bungs, controlling depth so as not to go all the way through. Then use masking tape to cover the top of your cuts, to hold them in place. Flip your stock 90 degrees and rip them free, either on the tablesaw, or for wide rails the bandsaw. You end up with a sheet of masking tape with bungs oriented on it the exact same way they should be placed when plugging your countersinks. The advantage is, they will shrink and swell the same way as the rail, remaining tight year around.
From contributor W:
I'd have to agree with the above posts, plenty of soaking and rough cut epoxy applications should do the trick.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?