Best bit size for box joints - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default Best bit size for box joints

I've been playing around with a box joint jig that I made that is for 1/4" joints. It works fine on 1/2" stock or less. Also, it gets more difficult to join two pieces when the stock is more than about four inches. So, any thoughts as to a rule of thumb for the best bit size to use in comparison to stock thickness and width?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 11:46 AM
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I've been playing around with a box joint jig that I made that is for 1/4" joints. It works fine on 1/2" stock or less. Also, it gets more difficult to join two pieces when the stock is more than about four inches. So, any thoughts as to a rule of thumb for the best bit size to use in comparison to stock thickness and width?
Hi - Welcome to the forum
It sounds more like an error in your jig indexing than a bit size issue. It doesn't take much of an error as it is compounded in each subsequent joint. Let's see, you're making 1/4" joints and it is OK until you get to about 4" or 8 fingers. To me, that's pretty close, a little sanding might fix the jig.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, John. I should add that I'm having more of a problem when using stock that is 3/4". Then I seem to get wavy fingers with the 1/4" bit.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 06:19 PM
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HI white66

Here's a little rule I use

1/4" wide box joints,, 1/8" to 3/8" thick stock
3/8" wide box joints,,,3/8" to 3/4" thick stock
1/2" wide box joints...1/2" to 1" thick stock
3/4" wide box loints,,,3/4" to 1 1/2" thick stock
1" wide box joints,,,,1" to 2" thick stock

But on your jig it sounds like the indexing pin is not right the button..if you sand one it will change the fit on the others as well..

The one below will not flex (good for 1/8" to 1/2" thick stock)
1 PC 1/2" SH 5 Slots Adjustable Box Joint Router Bit - eBay (item 140497751832 end time Jan-12-11 17:09:17 PST)

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Originally Posted by white66 View Post
I've been playing around with a box joint jig that I made that is for 1/4" joints. It works fine on 1/2" stock or less. Also, it gets more difficult to join two pieces when the stock is more than about four inches. So, any thoughts as to a rule of thumb for the best bit size to use in comparison to stock thickness and width?


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 06:24 PM
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Thanks, John. I should add that I'm having more of a problem when using stock that is 3/4". Then I seem to get wavy fingers with the 1/4" bit.
Hmmm. That sounds like the 1/4" bit may be working too hard, or something else is flexing. Is this a 1/4" or 1/2" shank bit?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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1/4" shank. Thought there might be some flex as well so changed to a stronger base plate on the router. Haven't tried it yet, though.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 01:13 PM
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Adjusting The Fit

If the fit is too tight, tap the fence towards the bit. If the fit is too loose, tap the fence away from the bit.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 02:16 PM
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I've use a 1/4-inch bit for box joints in material as thick as 3/4-inches. I don't cut it full depth in one pass though. I take several passes, each about 1/4-inch deep to reach the full depth. I use an Incra LS fence, so repositioning it is no problem. You could probably do the same thing with a home-built jig too, if it's a snug fit in the miter track.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 01:31 PM
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Select the bit to match the thickness of the stock. Or 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" if using the Incra setup.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses. I made a 1/2" jig and that works much better with 3/4" oak. Still needed to give it a couple whacks with a mallet to get it together, unlike the pine I was used to.
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