Since simple joints and modern furniture have risen in popularity, miter folding has become more and more necessary. Proper miter folds take time and attention to detail. My favorite way to accomplish a proper miter fold is to use packaging tape. A lot of woodworkers like to use painter’s tape. While this works well, it is not the best option. Packaging tape allows you to see the joint through the tape to ensure a clean, closed joint. If your wood is slightly off, you can pull the parts together with the tape’s stretching ability.
I like to stretch a piece of tape across the joint every 6 to 8 inches to get a consistent joint and then apply a piece along the run of the joint. Press the tape with a rounded over piece of 1x scrap wood, preferably a hardwood species, to ensure proper adhesion. Flip the parts over and run a bead of glue along the joint.
Removing the packaging tape is the important part. If you rip the tape off, the fibers in the wood will split apart and make sanding much more difficult. A heat gun or acetone is the best way to remove the packaging tape. This method takes slightly longer than painter’s tape, but is the most effective option for a clean and successful miter fold.
This tip was written by Matt Boley of Richfield, MN. Are there any tips or tricks you've picked up on around the shop that you would like to share with our growing community of woodworkers? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy woodworking!