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Discussion Starter #1
I know I'm running before I walk, but in my attempts to make nice edges on boxes, I have bought one of these cutters.

Trend 876X1/2TC Comb Jointer Set Cutter | eBay.

Trend have a very large range of cutters, and a lot of good instruction videos on you tube, but nothing about this particular cutter.

I've had a written reply from trend after my cry for help, but a picture saves a thousand words, and I cant quite get my head around the correct way to use this.
Anybody?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yup, the dimar one is exactly the same as I have.

i dont quite understand how to feed it into the router. whether to slide it along the fence from the right, or use a 90 degree mitre sled.
Sliding it from the right gave angled cuts (which would hidden but didnt look right) and feeding it in from dead ahead made the wood chatter. I cant clamp the wood to the mitre sled to stop the chatter, because then I wouldnt be able to feed it in.
And I made one test piece that when I joined the two pieces, there was a couple mm sticking out of the joins on both sides. Not a really big deal, but I just dont feel I have mastered the useage. A video, or even some still shots, would put my mind at rest.
The reply from trend was fairly detailed, but it would be so good to watch it being used.
 

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Bob; do you have a disc sander? Taking that 2mm down shouldn't be difficult? Having the fingers too short on the other hand... :)
 

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The boxes have to be fairly short as this bit has a limited range. I would use a 90* sled/ push block to cut the fingers and try to reduce tearout with a backer board incorporated into the sled/push block.

I don't care for end grain that much so I personally would try 45* mitres on the ends and join them with a spline.
 

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Yep that is a finger joining bit.
I have a couple of these (cheap and higher quality). Currently I am building a deck and using the bit to end join my boards, gluing up with Tite Bond III.
What you need to do first is set up the stack to match your timber width. The bit on eBay is made for timber up to 40 mm. Then practice cutting a piece of scrap, first running it along the long grain (cross grain cutting needs more skill). Then I cut a piece from the end, reverse it and see if it matches. To get it to match raise and lower the cutter (by small amounts only as it is double). Repeat until tests give you a good fit then a light sand is all you should need. Properly glued up the joint is quite strong.
I use my bits quite a lot. Side joining to make a wider boards I find is better and easier than mucking about with biscuit joints. In the case of my deck I wasn't able to buy the lengths I needed, so instead of lots of smallish waste I finger join then cut to length. Technically I could keep joining into one long length cutting of as I go then I would have zero waste. These bits save a lot of waste in my shop.
Cheers
John T
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bob; do you have a disc sander? Taking that 2mm down shouldn't be difficult? Having the fingers too short on the other hand... :)
Yes, as I said, an overhang realy is an easy thing to solve, but I feel its there because I'm doing something wrong, and I want to do it right.
The boxes have to be fairly short as this bit has a limited range. I would use a 90* sled/ push block to cut the fingers and try to reduce tearout with a backer board incorporated into the sled/push block.

I don't care for end grain that much so I personally would try 45* mitres on the ends and join them with a spline.
Thats exactly what I want it for. I am learning to make small boxes, and quite enjoying that but want to make different corners than 45 degree mitre as I am using wood less than 12mm thickness and want stronger joints. I also have concealed comb joints on my "to do" list.

Yep that is a finger joining bit.
I have a couple of these (cheap and higher quality). Currently I am building a deck and using the bit to end join my boards, gluing up with Tite Bond III.
What you need to do first is set up the stack to match your timber width. The bit on eBay is made for timber up to 40 mm. Then practice cutting a piece of scrap, first running it along the long grain (cross grain cutting needs more skill). Then I cut a piece from the end, reverse it and see if it matches. To get it to match raise and lower the cutter (by small amounts only as it is double). Repeat until tests give you a good fit then a light sand is all you should need. Properly glued up the joint is quite strong.
I use my bits quite a lot. Side joining to make a wider boards I find is better and easier than mucking about with biscuit joints. In the case of my deck I wasn't able to buy the lengths I needed, so instead of lots of smallish waste I finger join then cut to length. Technically I could keep joining into one long length cutting of as I go then I would have zero waste. These bits save a lot of waste in my shop.
Cheers
John T
Even the name is confusing, The UK calls this a comb joint, the rest of the world call it a finger joint (which in the uk is the tapered multi outline for sideways jointing like you are doing. This cuts square sections.

I want to cut end grain for corners, not with the grain for side joints.
So 40mm is a good width for me. I can always side join two 40 sections if I want a deeper box.

I will have a days practice today, and see what I can improve on.
 

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Bob; do you have the alternate bearings (as accessories)? Slightly larger ones than you have installed should limit the depth of the cut ...I think, he says rashly.
 

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In general, box joints are made just a bit proud so you can sand them down.

I use my Incra LS positioner and a straight bit to make box joints as this gives me control over every aspect. It also allows me to make fairly large boxes up to 12" (about 300mm) tall.

On tear out - in plywood, you may want to use not only a backer but a sacrificial "fronter" as well. I bet that bit really tears the cr*p out of the first piece of wood.

Note that there is some ambiguity in the term finger joint. In some cases it refers to a box joint but in other cases it's used to join two shorter boards to make a longer one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bob; do you have the alternate bearings (as accessories)? Slightly larger ones than you have installed should limit the depth of the cut ...I think, he says rashly.
I've had another play today, starting to get the hang of it. But the instruction sheet supplied is really poor. One of those where the instructions are meant for people skilled enough not to have to read them, and pass completely over a rank beginners head.

I have three bearings with the kit, and I've found the wood width is critical to get a half decent cut. The bearings supplied are only for wood up to 9.5mm thick (nine POINT FIVE? are they serious, measuring POINT FIVE of a mm?)
I made a 90 degree sled running on a T slot across the front of the table. That appears to be the best way to put the wood to the cutter.

Anyway, I've cut enough to make a small box out of some scrap walnut pieces, and its glued and drying right now. It wont be fit for display, thats for sure, but I am starting to work out how it should be used.

The more I use the router, the more I realise just how much it can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
In general, box joints are made just a bit proud so you can sand them down.

I use my Incra LS positioner and a straight bit to make box joints as this gives me control over every aspect. It also allows me to make fairly large boxes up to 12" (about 300mm) tall.

On tear out - in plywood, you may want to use not only a backer but a sacrificial "fronter" as well. I bet that bit really tears the cr*p out of the first piece of wood.

Note that there is some ambiguity in the term finger joint. In some cases it refers to a box joint but in other cases it's used to join two shorter boards to make a longer one.

My router table and accessories are home made and very, very basic.

I'm not committing to big money on this yet a while.

In the UK (thats me, English) the box corner is called a comb, and the tapered edge joint is called a finger (cos it looks like intertwined fingers). But i know you yankees do things differently (lol)

The seperate cutters have to be staggered around the circumference, to lessen the impact. Now I have them that way, theres not very much force needed to slide the wood past the cutter.
 

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OK, I can work with that! Two countries separated by a common language...

You can make a decent box (er comb) joint jig that uses a straight bit. Plenty of plans out there. Before I got my LS, I used one. You have to fuss a bit but once you get it dialed in it works pretty good. Then you don't have to worry about the wood thickness and you can set the amount of overhang.
 

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I recognized the picture. It's from the Leigh Jigs website and it's meant to display the smallest and largest joint possible with their box joint jig.

Charley
 

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There is 2 ways to use these finger joint bits. One is to make the box the same height as the bit will allow and number two is to cut the joints then turn the box over and make sure of the alignment then cut the second set of joints giving you twice the height of the bit.

I have a couple of the bits and have only used them a couple of times but they do make an attractive joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There is 2 ways to use these finger joint bits. One is to make the box the same height as the bit will allow and number two is to cut the joints then turn the box over and make sure of the alignment then cut the second set of joints giving you twice the height of the bit.

I have a couple of the bits and have only used them a couple of times but they do make an attractive joint.
I've been sidetracked by upgrading my home made router table. Once I have the mark two version done, I shall get back to this cutter.
I did try to cut fingers on the side of a piece of wood, to give a flat joint, but quickly discovered the wood wasnt strong enough to have sideways cuts.

Another steep learning curve.
 

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"I did try to cut fingers on the side of a piece of wood, to give a flat joint, but quickly discovered the wood wasnt strong enough to have sideways cuts."
You mean like edge joints on two planks to make a wider plank? Running vertically?? That would be a neat joint but way out of my pay grade! :0
 

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Discussion Starter #20
no, I was experimenting, tried to make a 90 degree joint with two pieces of wood 3" x 1.5", so one piece was cut the normal way, and the other cut into the flat side. It might have worked with better wood, but I was using soft timber.

Theres a lot of future fun with this, just got too many other things to do first.
 
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