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After some practice, i have had success making box joints using a shop made jig described in Shopnotes.com . I got too much tearout using it with a dado blade, but was happy after putting it on my router table using an upcut spiral bit.
 

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After some practice, i have had success making box joints using a shop made jig described in Shopnotes.com . I got too much tearout using it with a dado blade, but was happy after putting it on my router table using an upcut spiral bit.
Hi David, glad you were able to get the results you wanted.

I notice that some jigs are designed for either table saw or router table.
 

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Including a sacrificial backer board will solve your tear out problem. Something as simple as a 1/4" hardboard or wood scrap will do the job. It will suffer the tear out instead of your project. When using a router it sometimes helps to put them on both sides of the work piece. A table saw will only need one on the back side.

For 50 years I've been making box joints with home made jigs and fussing to get them set correctly, but I recently purchased an I-Box jig and have now thrown all of my home made box joint jigs away. The I-Box jig lets you make any size box joint quickly and accurately on either a router table or a table saw, usually with only one test cut to verify that it is set correctly before proceeding with the work. It's a lot smaller than my pile of 8 home made box joint jigs, does a better job, and is a big time saver. Yes, it's expensive, but if you make a lot of box joints it's well worth it. A 1/4" hardboard backer is included in the jig that can be shifted and used multiple times before needing replacement. These replacement backers can be purchased, but are easily made yourself. Just cut the material to the same size as the original with a table saw and then drill 4 countersunk mounting holes at the correct locations. I make about a dozen of these at a time and throw the used ones away after they get used a few times. You will want to use a new backer position for each I-Box setup, so they get pretty chewed up after about 8 setups.
I know the inventor of the I-Box, but have no affiliation with him or Incra otherwise.
I just love my I-Box jig.

Charley
 

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Charley,

Never have had one in my hands, only have seen the demo.'s. But that adjustment principal came from an idea from Shopnotes Magazine way back there in their first publications I believe it was #8. I made on sometime ago and it will cut any size box openings that your TS dado blade/thus fingers of wood (very tight and hard to slide together~ loose easy to slide together ,or (drum roll) inserted different color inlays between the teeth ~ cut and space each and every time all of the way down that side,),,, will adjust out to, because you can hand micro adjust that spacing from finger to finger of that wood to the cut of what ever you want that width of that blade to be. AND with a built in/ zero clearance/ replaceable 1/4" hardboard backing..

Now I realize because of a all kinds of reasonings, some woodworkers would prefer to buy all ready made, but if you are the type to save money and do it your self, and have pin point accurcy,,,, Shopnotes's idea that they originated long time back,,, works !!!!!

http://www.shopnotes.com/plans/box-joint-jig/
 

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John,

The jigs that I threw away were made using those plans. Those were my latest and best home made jigs, before I bought the I Box jig. The I Box works on a similar adjustment principal, but it has a dual adjustment that is more precise, easier to adjust, and holds these adjustments very well. The adjustments remain true, even if you remove the jig from your saw or router table and then replace it. It has two main adjustments and an adjustment locking screw. You set the relation of the jig to your router bit or saw blade by turning an adjustment until the metal spacer fingers just touch the bit or blade tooth. Then you make the second adjustment to set the width of the cut to match the blade or bit width. A quick test cut and you are done. If the test cut is too tight or too loose, you hold the large adjustment knob and turn the smaller knob. There are markings on the small knob that let you change the cut by as little as .001 inch at a time. Rarely is it necessary to make a second test cut once you have a feel for the needed amount of tightness. After the joint tightness has been adjusted, it rarely needs to ever be changed, unless you change the type of material that you are cutting. Soft wood is a bit different than hard wood, composits are different too, so each may need a slight adjustment for joint tightness. Otherwise it will make the same perfect fitting joint again and again without any further effort. Watch the videos on Youtube to see how easy it adjusts and how it works.

Again, I have no connection with Incra. I'm just a very satisfied owner/user.

Charley
 
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