I have been working on a “buddy” project to repair a lid for a cedar chest that got broken. Simply dowels and wood glue are fine for most things, but I felt this needed a little more as there are couple of deep cracks in the lid in other areas. Also this lid is a little over 2 feet wide and 4 feet long. So, I decided that I would build a frame that will mount on the underside of the lid so as not to detract from the appearance I got to work. I like using mitered corners on anything like this as it just looks better in my opinion. However it would be a weak joint for something like this. So, I decided that I would use some “butterfly ties” to strengthen these joints, and add a bit of decretive look to them. While normally cedar would be a bad choice I realize, I couldn’t help myself. Then it hit me. I’ve been doing these by hand for years, but I have a Shapeoko 3, why not make life a bit easier for myself. So I did.
I used Vetric Aspire, though it would be simple in Carbide Create as well to lay out, as a basic flat bottom inlay.
As my "frame is 0.5 inch thick I want my butter fly to fit into the frame at 0.250. Different folks do this different ways, I just prefer that mine fit at least halfway down into the inlay material. After practicing on a couple of scrap boards and finding I needed to add 0.003 clearance to the pockets for the perfect fit,I was ready to go. I first cut my butterfly ties in a cedar
board using a 0.250 down cut end mill.
Then on to the “frame”
I cut all the pockets in the frame with a 0.125 straight bit. I used a Bosch router bit that I picked up from a big box store.
After cutting off the excess cedar of the butterfly ties using a flush cut saw, and some light sanding.
Because I want more than wood glue to hold this in place and help keep this lid from breaking I decided that I would also dowel this to the lid as well. Because I am a goof ball, and because I can I decided that I would dowel through the bowties.
The dry fit.
Still have to glue up and do the finish work.
So, this really long post to simply say, this is the fastest, and easiest butterfly ties I’ve ever done. Oh, and zero chisel work needed. Thats right, didn’t have to use a single chisel.