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Also the above have been covered but what would this one be called?
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Hackjob spline ?

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In Yeung Chan's book, "Classic Joints with Power Tools", he does not differentiate between key and spline. He does name each spline though. He has 10 pages showing how to do each one. Great book btw.
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29 minutes ago, shaneymack said:


 

 


Hackjob spline ?

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Good try Shane. But there are no words in the English language that could describe that dumpster fire.

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I’d have called both of your pictures splines, and even the ones with dovetails just dovetailed splines. I think what is important is that you define things the first time you discuss them, then be consistent from then on. Some troll will criticize what ever you use, heck some people still argue if the correct term is orc or goblin. Can’t wait for the book.

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1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

LCD (lowest common denominator) term for entry level readers:

 

"thingies"

 

The proper technical term is actually miter transverse thingamajobber, so that's pretty close for the newbies.

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10 hours ago, thewoodwhisperer said:

I think you may have touched on the real issue here, with "spline" being the generic term and a "key" being a specific type of spline. So while some may call that simple corner piece that's cut into the frame after glueup a key, it's actually just a specific kind of spline. So then to define a "key" it would be a type of spline that's added after the frame is already glued up. Technically, you can add them during the glueup process but I can't find a single instance where someone does that. Whether it's a corner key or a dovetail key, those are all done after the miter glueup. I feel like we're honing in on it now. 

I might be misunderstanding you, but this is an instance where I cut these in before any glue-up. To be honest, I had never done them before, nor had I seen them done, so I just guessed this was how people were all doing them. I assumed this was the method because I found they assisted in the glue up and alignment considerably.

My method involved a simple sled for the table saw and flipping each piece to cut all 4 grooves. The one thing I didn't account for was how the grooves cut face up vs. face up would achieve different depths of the cut, which is why they have the alternating pattern.  That being said, it is a perfectly symmetric pattern that works its way around the box, so not without some redeeming qualities. 

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Also, just to be clear, I'm not sharing this as an example of master craftsmanship or advanced woodworking, just in response in your comment. Maybe the exception that proves the rule? Look hard enough and you can always find some goof paddling upstream. 

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15 hours ago, Bombarde16 said:

One last thought: pretty much every source you'll find for the jig needed to hold a glued-up frame on its corner as it passes over the table saw describes this as a "spline cutting jig".  If someone can point me to a source that describes it as a "key cutting jig", I'll be happy to take a look.

I know Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery refers to it as a Key Miter Jig

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On 2/25/2018 at 9:49 AM, thewoodwhisperer said:

A key is something that is cut and inserted AFTER the miter joint is glued up.

A spline is something that is cut and inserted DURING the miter joint glueup. 

 

Looks like a hierarchical definition.

On top is the class "spline" -- treated as a general type of connection.

then there are the sub-classes of "spline" and "key" as specific types, as you noted.

This principle holds true in other areas and would not be inconsistent with what others have uncovered per the examples given.

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Just to throw one more example in:  "The Practical Woodworker" (undated but apparently printed around 1920) has contributed chapters - 9 on different kinds of jointing.  Only two of them mention "keys", none mention "splines".  Keys are, by both authors, mentioned in the context of mitred joints and both mention their use when it is desired to hide the key from view.

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15 minutes ago, Pondhockey said:

Just to throw one more example in:  "The Practical Woodworker" (undated but apparently printed around 1920) has contributed chapters - 9 on different kinds of jointing.  Only two of them mention "keys", none mention "splines".  Keys are, by both authors, mentioned in the context of mitred joints and both mention their use when it is desired to hide the key from view.

Google has an explanation for that:

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Marc, I think you may have to write a chapter to put in front of this chapter to explain the evolution of how you came to call one a key and one a spline.;)

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No matter what definitions are chosen it is a standard part of any quality philosophy work (and this is a philosophy of woodworking) that terms be defined in the beginning.

Readers may not agree with your definitions. That's a secondary matter. What is more important is that your definitions fit consistently with the body of your work. Then the readers can follow your argument -- your work -- with understanding. Clarity yields understanding.

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On 2/27/2018 at 8:51 AM, Pondhockey said:

Just to throw one more example in:  "The Practical Woodworker" (undated but apparently printed around 1920) has contributed chapters - 9 on different kinds of jointing.  Only two of them mention "keys", none mention "splines".  Keys are, by both authors, mentioned in the context of mitred joints and both mention their use when it is desired to hide the key from view.

"Modern Practical Joinery - George Ellis" which is reprinted from a 1908 edition. It doesn't mention splines at all.

What we are calling (for the most part) splines are referred to as tongues.

The differentiation is that a key goes across the grain, while a tongue goes with the grain.

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