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This is an interesting video on a simple method of making box joints on a router table. This guy is fearless and has a lot of personality! LOL

 

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No jig, but he's using spacer boards the exact width of his router bit. It works great, except his joints are too tight for glue.

Charley
Charley, I am no good at working thos out in my mind: would i help if th blocks were a smidgeon wider than the router bit, e.g. by a strip of paper? Or would that just offset the cuts without altering the fit? The method look too enticingly simple to simply discard without attempting to fix its shortcoming.
 

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Not bad...but more impressed at the cutter cutting rather than making just sawdust...
 

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I see no advantage over the box joint jigs of the type I saw on the Router Workshop, knock offs of which are sold bt MLCS/Eagle America, probably elsewhere. Those jigs could be made in any size.
 

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Theo
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Interest ing. It struck me that if the bottom protruded maybe 1/4" or so it would be possible to stack boxes. I have a few things that would work well for. And if glued the bottom in that might be sufficient to hold the box together, with no need to glue the joints. On the other than if you only needed a box for temporary use at one time they should stay together with just friction, and then could be taken apart and stored using less space until next time needed. Could drill a hole down thru each corner then glue a small dowel in.
 
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Interesting concept. I kept checking his hands to see if any fingers were missing and in fact the tip of his left index finger did look slightly odd.
 

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Making the spacer boards a few thousandths wider than the router bit would increase the width of the pin, but the router bit and it's cut would remain the same size, so the joint would become tighter, or not fit at all. Reducing the width of the spacer boards by a few thousandths of an inch would narrow the pins and the router bit cut would remain the same width, so this should work, if all of your spacer boards are exactly the same width and just a few thousandths smaller than 2X the size of the router bit. The joints won't need to be pounded together, and there will be just enough room for the glue.

Notice how the work pieces all seem to have been glued together before cutting too. He had to pull them apart before he could assemble them. This is actually a good idea to keep them from moving during the cutting. I'm wondering what the glue choice was, since they were so easily pulled apart after cutting.

Watch the video closely and you will see that the spacer boards are being added between the fence and the work for each of his passes. I have tried this method, and much prefer my Incra I-Box jig on my Unisaw with Freud SBOX8 blade set for making easy and repeatable box joints with nearly no tear-out. You will notice that he doesn't show the back side of his cuts. All you can see is the front side of the work pieces, and he is using pine, a very soft and flexible wood.

I just completed making some "Apple Boxes" from Baltic Birch plywood late yesterday. This is the movie industry name for them. They were made to be used in my photo/video studio. With the capability of making them in my shop, I was not about to pay $2-300 for a set of them, and I made 2 sets for 1/3 of the out-of-pocket cost of 1 purchased set of poorly made and nailed together "Apple Boxes". All of mine, except the 1" high, have box jointed corners that were made using my Incra I-Box jig on my Unisaw, using a Freud SBOX8 blade set to make the 3/8" box joints and all of the joints are very clean with no tear-out. I'll post photos and more detailed information about these boxes later today in a new thread.

He isn't one of the more safety minded woodworkers either. I cringed when I saw him hand feeding the boards through his sliding table saw.

Charley
 

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Making the spacer boards a few thousandths wider than the router bit would increase the width of the pin, but the router bit and it's cut would remain the same size, so the joint would become tighter, or not fit at all. Reducing the width of the spacer boards by a few thousandths of an inch would narrow the pins and the router bit cut would remain the same width, so this should work, if all of your spacer boards are exactly the same width and just a few thousandths smaller than 2X the size of the router bit. The joints won't need to be pounded together, and there will be just enough room for the glue.


He isn't one of the more safety minded woodworkers either. I cringed when I saw him hand feeding the boards through his sliding table saw.

Charley
I read that and thought that reducing the shims slightly (or bigger) would result in a compounding error That eventually would cause the pins to not line up. But maybe if you used one shim that was slightly off size and then kept all the others the same size as the bit then that might work.
 

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Theo
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I'm wondering what the glue choice was, since they were so easily pulled apart after cutting.
The only two adhesives I can think that might work for that would be paste, or rubber cement. Thin stripes of either.
 

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Notice that he sized the spacers to their exact width using his planer. What he didn't show was how carefully he made this dimension. Decreasing the pin width a few thousandths relative to the fixed dimension of the router bit, will make the pins fit looser in the cuts. When the spacer is the width of the cut plus the pin, making the spacer a tiny bit narrower will reduce the pin size and change the spacing of the next pin/space pair. The next identical width spacer will then determine the dimensions of the next pin and router bit cut. You can't change the cut width of the router bit, but you can change the increment of the pin/space slightly to achieve a slightly narrower pin.

This is more easy to demonstrate than to put into words. This is also why I bought an Incra I-Box jig.

Charley
 

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The spacer are twice the diameter of the bit. They have to be, but to make the boxes go together more easily, they have to be a few thousandths less that twice the diameter of the bit, so the pin portion of the box joint is a tiny bit (a few thousandths) narrower than the bit diameter. this will make the pin slightly smaller and the next cut and pin a tiny bit closer to the first pair, but since you are repeating this with additional duplicate spacers, the result will be a better fit joint that doesn't require beating together, and with room in the joint for the glue.

Now, who is going to be first to try this?

Charley
 

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Paul
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Stacking the sides to cut is nice: saves time, reduces tear out, makes identical parts. I don't have a planer to give this a try though. I think that the size of those spacers is critical.
 

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Interest ing. It struck me that if the bottom protruded maybe 1/4" or so it would be possible to stack boxes. I have a few things that would work well for. And if glued the bottom in that might be sufficient to hold the box together, with no need to glue the joints. On the other than if you only needed a box for temporary use at one time they should stay together with just friction, and then could be taken apart and stored using less space until next time needed. Could drill a hole down thru each corner then glue a small dowel in.
I’ve made a few boxes this way - so tight - no glue. Just the bottom and a lid top.
 

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I can't view the video from here, it says to go to YouTube !
 

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I can't view the video from here, it says to go to YouTube !
Yes, when you get to that screen, just click on that link provided just below where it says that you can't watch it from there. The link posted on that screen takes you to the YouTube video.

I think you could make these spacers using a table saw with a glue line ripping blade, or a good sharp high tooth count carbide blade, but you will need machinist calipers, preferably dial or digital calipers, or similar to measure both the bit cut and the final width of the spacer, then you will probably need to make several sets of spacers, dialing in the saw fence until you get the exact spacer width needed. A bit of a challenge, but it might be fun to try. Using a router bit to make the cuts will always produce the same width cut, but it won't be exactly the width of the bit. Make a test cut in the same kind of wood and measure it to find the dimension needed. The same bit cutting different woods will produce slightly different width cuts in each kind of wood. Saw blades do this too.

Once you know the exact width that the router bit is cutting in that kind of wood, making spacers that are 2X the width of that router bit cut may take a few tries, but is doable. After a few test attempts at making a box, you will know how tight or loose the result is. If tight, lightly shave the width of the spacers using the table saw at the original setting, but with a piece of thin paper between the spacer and the fence as you pass the spacer past the blade. It should shave off the spacer an amount equal to the thickness of the paper. If the next box joint is still too tight, use two sheets of paper and shave the spacers again without moving the table saw fence.

When I'm doing precision cutting, I use spacers quite frequently like this, even though I have a DRO on my table saw fence. Unlocking the fence and moving it over 0.003" doesn't always work as well as just adding a 0.003" thick piece of paper between the work piece and the fence. The 0.003" paper spacer is way more reliable for this. I have favorite pieces of cardboard, playing cards, blank credit cards, and several kinds and thicknesses of paper in my box of shims. Each has a slightly different thickness, and when I want "just a little" shaved off of a work piece, I always reach for my box of shims for help. Just use a precision caliper or micrometer to measure a bunch of shim candidates and write their thickness measurement on them. Then, when you need one, it's there in the box waiting for you. I frequently cut off and use small pieces, but sometimes the whole piece is needed. It will depend on what you are doing.

You don't need fancy cutting tools, but you do need good measuring tools, plus some tricks and techniques for getting the cut accuracy that you sometimes need. Using shims when you can't move your fence accurately enough is a great way to get more cutting accuracy out of your existing cutting tools. Use them for your routers, table saws, drill presses, or wherever you need to sneak up on an exact measurement.

Charley
 

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Mohawk that guy is hilarious ! ty for linking the video.

it had me scratching my head at first but then realised what he was doing....it goes to show ya your never to old to learn new tricks LOL
 
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