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I am a novice woodworker without much practical experience. I have some tools and do the best I can when I need to. I have picked up a couple of routers and a table to mount one but really do not know what I am doing to even start some projects.
So here I am with some equipment and very eager to learn how to use it for some generally basic projects. Yesterday I realized I don't even understand the correct way to use some bits. I have watched endless You Tube videos and learned some safety tips along with very general concepts.
At this time I want to make some bee boxes for my sideline beekeeping hobby. Most boxes are made with box or finger joints along with a rabbet on each inside edge of the box to support frames where the bees build comb.

So are there any basic and thorough tutorials I can access to learn more? I am not afraid to try new projects as long as I can be safe and see some progress. Let me know what you think and feel free to give it to me straight. I am 70 years old and can handle honest and constructive advice.

Here are pictures of my two routers and some bits. The Craftsman is the one mounted to a Craftsman table and the Porter Cable I have not used yet.

Thanks in advance

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Box joints can be made with both the table saw and a home made jig and with routers using a jig as well. One very good source for instructional video is WWOGA.com George is very through and covers most subjects well. Lessons and video series are good ways to learn. Another good choice if close to you is taking classes at some of the local woodworking stores like Woodcraft and Rockler. I've done this a number of times even though my closest store is over an hour away. Sometimes hands on and in person is a better experience.
 

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The easiest way to build a box or frame or even a cabinet is using a pocket hole jig. Invest in a good one like a Kreg K4 and it will do just what you want. You will want to use the type you clamp the wood in and not the type that you clamp or hold on to the boards. If you need dados in it for dividers then use your table saw.
 

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Hi, Videos are great, so long as they don't cut away before you take in what and how something is being done.

Knew a bee keeper some years ago so I know what kind of boxes you are wanting to make. They are not particularly tall, which makes the cutting of box joints much simpler.

By now you've heard or read some about jigs. Jigs make it much easier to do tasks. And for Box joints, there is a jig I would consider getting because it really makes box joints simple. It is used with a table saw and a Dado set of blades. It is called an IBox jig, see pix, and it adjusts to the width of the dado blade setup you choose. Home made jigs are similar in theory, but are exacting to make.

You use this wit a table saw, and if you have one that accepts a dado stack, (not all do) then you will find this very easy to use. There is a knob on one end which you fit to the blade, and which positions an exact same width stop. You cut the first slot on one end, move it forward to the stop, cut the second slot, and so on. The fingers and slots are all exactly the same size so assembly is pretty easy. The jig has gone up in price, $230 on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/INCRA-I-BOX-...ild=1&keywords=ibox+jig&qid=1616011288&sr=8-2

If you are making a lot of boxes, this is the way to go. The table saw is also the best way to use a dado set to cut the grooves for the wax frames in the box, and it can even be used to make the rabbet (or lip) to make a tight fitting top and bottom, and even the slot for the bees to enter and exit.

If you don't have a table saw yet, make sure you get one that will take a dado stack, some of the smaller, portable models don't. An 8 inch dado set is not particularly expensive. Also, you will want to buy some sheets of 1/4 inch masonite you can cut into backer strips so the saw doesn't create a ragged edge that will mess up your joints.

There are rigs you can use to make box joints on a router, but you must clamp the workpiece down, cut, release the clamp, move the piece, reclamp...And if you don't clamp the piece, the rotation of the bit will cut at an angle and ruin the piece. If one finger is crooked, you start over. The dado stack cuts straight into the workpiece, which makes the cut, move, repeat really simple.
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If you want to use the Pocket Screw method, a simple K-4 kit is about $130 and is ultra simple to use. If you add a water proof glue, it will probably work for you, and you can use your router to cut the slots for the wax frames. Pocket screws work best in 3/4 inch stock. These are much stronger than you'd imagine and with glue in the joint, it won't break down. One cautionary note, when you cut the side, end and top/bottom pieces, be certain that your cut is a perfect 90 degrees. Again, with a table saw, make sure blade, miter slots and fence are perfectly parallel. If you use thinner wood, you need a different attachment.

As you'll learn as you go along, a decent table saw is an essential for any shop. It wasn't until I got a decent table saw that my projects started coming out right every time. Oh yes, and there is a little gadget called a Wixey digital angle gauge ($30) that lets you set your saw blade to a perfect angle every time.
 

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Take a look at the Leigh Beehive Jig Leigh Beehive Jig (Rockler has for $99, free shipping if you sign on for their e-mail notifications) which will let use use the routers that you already have. You will still need some way to cut the boards to size, but a circular saw and straight edge guide will let you get started if a table saw isn't available at this time. With care, the circular saw and guide can be as accurate as a table saw, although much slower. Good luck.
 
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