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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When cutting box joints on my PC4216 Dovetail Jig, I am looking to keep my board orientation cut in the correct order so that the grain I choose for the outside of a box will be as planned/marked. Believe it or not the manual leaves a piece or two of information out. I have searched and searched and the closest I have come is from Rockler's Dovetail jig manual referring to through Dovetails.... Tails out, Pins in in reference to the inside of the box and how it's orientation to the jig.
 

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That confusion is why I gave up on my Rockler dovetail jig. Don't do it often enough to remember. I bought a Sommerfeld jig you use on the table, Leigh makes one as well. Much simpler, and they have a video on how to use it that includes markings you add to the jig itself to help you recall what goes where. I suppose you'll find some informaiton on YouTube. For example Norm Abrams has an old video on using that jig. I suspect there are other videos on there. Just haven't searched them out since I'm not using that jig. This vid might be helpful:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Tom... I haven't seen a video or detailed instructions on any dovetail jig to make it a Non-PITA. Those there included. I believe it was suggested to re-gift the jig and save yourself the headache.

Against better judgement I am going to (beat the dead horse) work that jig until I get it for both through dovetails and Box joints. Years back JLORD was on here and was a whiz at it... I PM'd him but I guess he is on a hiatus.
 

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@Marco - if I understand correctly you're confused about the orientation of the workpiece in the jig. My belief is that the inside faces of the front/back/sides always face out or up????


Try this video to see if it helps - Mark Eaton was a demonstrator for Kreg tools and attended many woodworking shows. The jig he demos is a Busy Bee but it should be no different than the PC jig.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5pjgg7
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Vince. I watched the video and Mark did well informing but he was detailing the half blind dovetail joint which almost all "Jig" videos cover.

On my quest to revive my PC 4216 Dovetail Jig I was surprised that I had bought almost 9 years ago and that I had used it for a while then stopped. I knew it was confusing for set up and operation but after being covered in shavings with my first cut I remembered how big a mess it made. Seems like I had to make a "milk jug dust collector" to help with the mess and have 2 routers to save time and aggravation.

Let me grab a stick and find that horse.
 

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A much simpler (for me anyway) method is a simple jig like this one made by the original owners of this forum works like a charm and is so easy to make out of wood, plastics or even metal. The jig you show with the correct comb is fine for dovetail joints, they were made in China and sold throughout the world under many different names and qualities.
 

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The first question I would have is can you do box joints on the PC dovetail jig without getting a separate template. I have a the PC Omnijig and you can't do box joints without getting as separate template.

Second, I would recommend making or buying a box joint jig (not Rockler) and doing them on the table saw. It's so much easier. I know this doesn't answer your question but your dilemma would no longer be one with table saw box joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The first question I would have is can you do box joints on the PC dovetail jig without getting a separate template. I have a the PC Omnijig and you can't do box joints without getting as separate template.

Second, I would recommend making or buying a box joint jig (not Rockler) and doing them on the table saw. It's so much easier. I know this doesn't answer your question but your dilemma would no longer be one with table saw box joints.
Randy thanks for the input. The Box Joint is the same template as the Dovetail on the PC 4212 so the question of orientating the sides would be the same for both. I am near the end of re-doing my shop and the exterior of the house and when done will be taking yy big hard head and beat it against the jig until I get my answers and come closer to mastering the jig.

I had planned to make or buy a box joint jig for the table saw but refused to after I had spent $180 for one for the router years ago..... Hard headed and cheap are not a good combination.
 

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I think your question is how to make by jig work for box joints. Sometimes the correct answer to to toss it and get something else. These type dovetail jigs do a good job of dovetails but are lousy at anything else. I have an I-Box from Incra and it makes flawless box joints. I also have a 25" Incra positioner that can make them but the I-Box is so simple and elegant. You have an initial adjustment but after it is set up you just put it on the table saw, adjust the blade height and bam you are making box joints. There are many ways to skin a cat and in the end you have a skined cat. But usually the real question is what is the most efficient way to skin a cat. In the case of box joints your skinned cat is the I-Box.

If you really want the PC jig to work then cut some plywood the same width as your project, mark your inner and outer sides and number the sides to see how to get your grain match the way you want it. When you perfect the operation with the plywood you will be a master of the jig and can make it on your good project work. There is no better teacher than repetition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you really want the PC jig to work then cut some plywood the same width as your project, mark your inner and outer sides and number the sides to see how to get your grain match the way you want it. When you perfect the operation with the plywood you will be a master of the jig and can make it on your good project work. There is no better teacher than repetition.
I really appreciate your input and now that my shop is re-wired and the house exterior work complete that was and is my plan, 'perfect the operation of the jig" I will Post and relay the information so those cutting through dovetails and box joints on similar jigs will have that to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think your question is how to make by jig work for box joints. Sometimes the correct answer to to toss it and get something else. These type dovetail jigs do a good job of dovetails but are lousy at anything else. I have an I-Box from Incra and it makes flawless box joints. I also have a 25" Incra positioner that can make them but the I-Box is so simple and elegant. You have an initial adjustment but after it is set up you just put it on the table saw, adjust the blade height and bam you are making box joints. There are many ways to skin a cat and in the end you have a skined cat. But usually the real question is what is the most efficient way to skin a cat. In the case of box joints your skinned cat is the I-Box.
Guy I don't disagree with you but hear me out (short version). Speaking only for myself, if your not careful your spending most all of your "Shop Time" building jigs If you can) or your buying the jig that you didn't want to take the time to build in the first place. Now if you have a lot of "Shop Time" or a lot of money to buy the next shiney jig then more power to you. My shop time is limited as well as my shop money.

In this particular case "dovetail jig" I spent $180 9 years ago for a multi joint nice PC 4212 jig. After a year or 2 I had stopped using it. Now in 2019 I decided to pick it back up for the same reason I bought it... to have the choice of multiple joints to use in making boxes. My question in Posting was about the orientation to end up so the grain would line up. No one had the detailed answer but you took the time and kindly answered the smart rational way for me to find the answer, again thank you.

Just a little bit more. In late 2018 I wanted to replace my shop made table saw sled with a brand name sled and one with an extremely accurate miter. The final 2 choices were Incra or The Dubby and (Right or Wrong) I went with the later mainly because I was using it for Frames it came out cheaper in the long run. Now Incra is jam up and its jigs have the same quality. If I had gone with Incra I would have gone with the best one(5000?) and added the box joint and I think they have a wooden hinge accessory. So with money in mind I went with the $180 Dubby and Did not spend the $329 for the 5000 decided to use my PC 4212 for box joints, through dovetails half blind dovetails and not buy Incra's for $170 but put the wooden hinge thingy on the wish list.

Is Incra the best fastest way to make box joints? Yes you are right. Are there better through dovetail jigs yes especially for the router table absolutely.

For me If I don't watch myself I end up taking way too much time building jigs which many are not often used or buying new jigs one after the other.
 

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Purchasing tools is a very individual thing. Up until 2017, money was available for buying stuff, but today I'm having to watch my spending much more closely. I want to spend my money now on wood since I now have time to make stuff. So I understand what you're saying very well. Fortunately, I got the I-box during flush times, now I need to sell off my Rockler jig (with dust collection attachment) because my brain is no longer good at figuring the damn thing out, and I don't like doing anything freehand with a router.

I just downloaded the instructions for the Rockler jig, which includes some hints on laying out the box. I also downloaded the instructions for the PC 4212 as well as a supplemtal instruction book. Hope these are helpful.
 

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When cutting box joints on my PC4216 Dovetail Jig, I am looking to keep my board orientation cut in the correct order so that the grain I choose for the outside of a box will be as planned/marked. Believe it or not the manual leaves a piece or two of information out. I have searched and searched and the closest I have come is from Rockler's Dovetail jig manual referring to through Dovetails.... Tails out, Pins in in reference to the inside of the box and how it's orientation to the jig.

Apart from the 'Router Workshop' jig, the best dovetail, box/finger joint jig is, IMHO, the Gifkins jig.


They used to have an agent in USA?
 

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Randy thanks for the input. The Box Joint is the same template as the Dovetail on the PC 4212 so the question of orientating the sides would be the same for both. I am near the end of re-doing my shop and the exterior of the house and when done will be taking yy big hard head and beat it against the jig until I get my answers and come closer to mastering the jig.

I had planned to make or buy a box joint jig for the table saw but refused to after I had spent $180 for one for the router years ago..... Hard headed and cheap are not a good combination.
Marco,

Guess I didn't see your response. When I see videos of box joints being made on a table saw and how simple the jigs are to make for the saw, I always wonder why I continue to make box joints with my Incra tools on my router table. I've always liked doing things on the router instead of the table saw when I have a choice (dadoes, half lap joints, box joints, etc.)
 

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Know this is late but my guess your question is which side faces the jig and which side faces up? Outside against the jig and inside faces up. My half-blind dovetails aren't turning out so good and i know I need more practice and I'm starting to hate the Porter Cable jig. Coming from 30 years of nailed or screwed butt/miter and pocket screw joints.
 

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go w/ a Leigh jig for a rewarding experience..

I use to have a PC jig..
regifted it...
it has since been regifted multiple times...
 
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Ibox jig is wonderful, obvious layout for pieces. Don't have to mess with endless blades and shims, Precise as heck. https://www.amazon.com/INCRA-I-BOX-...169&sprefix=incra+boxjoint+jig,aps,251&sr=8-2 ($177)

for the router and dovetails, I'd rather move the workpiece and jig over the fixed router than the other way around. I happen to have the Sommerfeld Katey jig. You can use fixed fingers or buy separate ones to make any spacing you want. Leigh makes a similar design, well regarded jig as well.

The Katey jig includes a lot of videos, and suggests using a market to ID where wood goes, orientation, etc. Here's a link to the first of several segments on using this jig.
. It can also be set to make box joints using the same method. I'm partial to Sommerfeld tools, and his videos show excellent router technique and are on YouTube.

I've got a Rockler jig that is about the same as the PC, and I just hate the darn thing. OK if you use it a lot, but I don't. That's one reason I really like the ibox and Katey jig--downright intuitive.
 
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