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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am in the market for a box joint router bit to join the sides of small boxes. A couple years ago I bought a Whiteside finger joint Bit, but after one test cut, I realized that it was not what I needed. It was meant to rout a joint to either widen or lengthen two boards.

I had to sell it at a major loss, as I could not return because of it being used for test cuts.
I now want to purchase what I initially wanted, but don’t want to make the same mistake twice. So I want a BOX JOINT BIT and not a FINGER JOINT BIT.


Do any of you have a recommendation of a quality box joint bit, that is easy to setup and use.
I have seen where some of them are adjustable. Would that be difficult to use, or should I buy a fixed, say 1/8” or 1/4” joints?

Thanks for any guidance or direction that you might offer.


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I agree with using the table saw. With a router bit you can get blowout on both front and back (opposing corners) requiring backer boards on both sides. With the TS you just need one on the back side and it stays fixed with miter gauge or jig cantered on the saw blade meaning you can use it over again.

You are at least the second person who made the mistake of buying the wrong bit. If we stayed with old terminology that bit would have been called a splice bit as that is the only job it’s good for.
 

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I agree with using the table saw. With a router bit you can get blowout on both front and back (opposing corners) requiring backer boards on both sides. With the TS you just need one on the back side and it stays fixed with miter gauge or jig cantered on the saw blade meaning you can use it over again.

You are at least the second person who made the mistake of buying the wrong bit..
.

Make that three people.:frown:

Agree that the Freud set of box joint cutters is the way to go.
 

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These shots show my first home made box joint jig and my current one made by OakPark, no loner in business.I often use a spiral bit but and straight bit the same size as the jig is just fine. The box joint is easy to rout, looks good and is very strong.
 

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well, at least you now know the difference between finger and box joints (something MANY people do not!)

If youre making small boxes you want one of these, which for some bizarre reason, is sold as a comb joint set.
https://www.trenddirectuk.com/876x1-2tc

But that only cuts 40 mm high. With a bit of jiggery pokery you can double it up to 80 mm. But if you want bigger, than you will have to cut each slot individually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes SunnyBob, that is exactly what I’m talking about. I have mad plenty of boxes with my shop built box Joint jigs, however, now I want to purchase a bit like the one that you linked. Was just wanting some input on the different brands, Frued, MLCS, CMT, etc, adjustable or not, ease of setup etc.
thanks.


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Fred...
CMT...
Whiteside...

MCLS is junk...
 
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I too have tried doing box joints on my router table and I wasn't very happy with the result. There was just too much tear-out of the edges of the pins even when using backers on both sides of the work. A sacrificial backer strip is needed for both sides of the piece being cut with a router bit to reduce tear-out, because the rotating router bit cuts in both directions as it goes through the work.

I now use my table saw with a Freud SBOX8 blade set for 1/4 or 3/8" box joints and an Incra I-Box jig and get perfect box joints almost every time. I threw away all of my shop made wooden box joint jigs after buying the I-Box jig, because it's so easy to set up and use for any box joint size from 1/8" to over 3/4". It has a single sacrificial strip installed in it to reduce tear-out, but the strip only works on the exit side of the cutter, be it on a router bit or saw blade. The I-Box jig is usable on either a router table or table saw if it has a 3/4 X 3/8 miter slot, and I quickly learned that it does a much better job on the table saw with the blade sets that I'm mentioning. I also use a Freud LM72R008 1/8" ripping blade (actually 0.126" tooth width) to cut 1/8" pox joints. This blade has the flat tooth geometry that's needed to cut nice square 1/8" box joints and it works very well with the I-Box jig, if 1/8" box joints are desired. I have also used my Freud SD608 Dial A Width stacked dado blade set for 3/4" box joints, and it works, although the cuts weren't as perfectly flat bottomed, but this seems to be less visible in larger box joints.

Charley
 

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TS here too...
 
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Jim, I use a regular 1/4" bit to do mine on the router table. I quit doing it on the router table because I was getting blow out from the router bit. You will do better with a box joint TS blade. As far as I know, there is no such thing as a box joint router bit.

https://www.amazon.com/Freud-20T-Jo...78&sr=8-1&keywords=freud+box+joint+cutter+set
Is there any advantage to the blade referenced by @hawkeye10 over the more general dado blade, aside from the $15 lower price? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MJ2V9J/ref=sr_ob_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1539232596&sr=8-6

Also, there are box joint router bits but they do indeed have maximum cutting heights in the 35 mm (1 3/8 inch) range. For example, in addition to the bit referenced by @sunnybob, of brands at least sometimes aproved by @Stick486, Amana: https://www.toolstoday.com/box-joint-set.html
 

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1... Is there any advantage to the blade referenced by @hawkeye10 over the more general dado blade,

2... Also, there are box joint router bits but they do indeed have maximum cutting heights in the 35 mm (1 3/8 inch) range. For example, in addition to the bit referenced by @sunnybob,

3... of brands at least sometimes approved by @Stick486, Amana: https://www.toolstoday.com/box-joint-set.html
1... not all beasts are created equal... this is Freud's box joint blade.. much finer/cleaner cut than a dado...
Saw Blades | Dado Sets | Box Joint Cutter Set

2... lets not confuse finger and box joint bits... THEY ARE ENTIRELY TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOINTS and NOT INTERCHANGEABLE NOMENCLATURE....
BOX...
https://www.toolstoday.com/box-joint-set.html
FINGER...
https://www.toolstoday.com/finger-joint-assembly-router-bit.html

3... Ahhhhh.
Amana made in Israel (very good bits) is worlds different from the Amana made in china junk...
but...
their CS leaves a lot to be desired...

4... Box joint bits do have their place... small boxes as in jewelry boxes and such...
you want big box joints.. go w/ the box blade set...
 

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1... not all beasts are created equal... this is Freud's box joint blade.. much finer/cleaner cut than a dado...
Saw Blades | Dado Sets | Box Joint Cutter Set

2... lets not confuse finger and box joint bits... THEY ARE ENTIRELY TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOINTS and NOT INTERCHANGEABLE NOMENCLATURE....
BOX...
https://www.toolstoday.com/box-joint-set.html
FINGER...
https://www.toolstoday.com/finger-joint-assembly-router-bit.html


3... Ahhhhh.
Amana made in Israel (very good bits) is worlds different from the Amana made in china junk...
but...
their CS leaves a lot to be desired...

4... Box joint bits do have their place... small boxes as in jewelry boxes and such...
you want big box joints.. go w/ the box blade set...
Thanks @Stick486

I agree with your comment about Amana CS


So Is there a reason to have both blades?

2... lets not confuse finger and box joint bits... THEY ARE ENTIRELY TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOINTS and NOT INTERCHANGEABLE NOMENCLATURE....

We must always keep this point in mind when considering small fingered joints. Box joints have straight boxy fingers. Finger joints have tapered fingers.
 

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So Is there a reason to have both blades?
yes...
they are designed to do different cuts...
the box blade give you a finished product and the dado blade cuts may need clean up...
but then again.. we all crave a set of Veritas shoulder planes..
Veritas® Small Shoulder Plane - Lee Valley Tools
Veritas® Miniature Shoulder Plane - Lee Valley Tools

study the tech and capacities...

Saw Blades | Dado Sets | Pro Dado Sets
Saw Blades | Dado Sets | Box Joint Cutter Set
 
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I've only made a couple of boxes using this bit which was very cheap on Ebay and it worked well after working on it to make it precision. It restricts the height of the box of course hence only two boxes.
 

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I keep coming back to the Incra I-box jig and the Freud 1/4-3/8ths blade for general use. For larger fingers, I just use my dado set. The Incra jig adjusts for whatever dado stack I choose and cuts perfect fitting joints. The router bit approach is far less than the $164 jig, and if you add the Bosch blades and/or decent 8 inch dado set, the cost is significant.

If cost is an issue, then a quality, sharp, clean router bit, plus a little cleanup and using entry and exit sacrificial pieces works OK, so long as there's no chipping to ruin the piece.

But there's no question that the Incra I-box jig is a great solution for freuent box makers, or anyone who wants to make a long box joint on larger sized projects.
 
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