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I purchased the smaller box joint jig from Rockler recently. I have been making some test cuts to get this down before I try it on a project. I have been having a lot of problems with chip out. At least that is what I am calling it :) What is happening is that each time I move the wood to the next key, I am losing the tooth that preceded it. So when I am done, all the teeth have been knocked out. In looking at the comments on the Rockler website, I think I saw at least one comment that said you need to use a spiral bit, which I am not. I was also wondering if it was a simple matter of my going too fast with the cut ? I am using 1x4 pine if that makes any difference rather than a hardwood. I have also found that the Rocker jig, being very light weight is not real easy to keep in the track, so I am finding it difficult to get the same height on each rout also. But that is more me than anything else.

Gary
 

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If you are cutting the fingers in the side grain then that is why you are having trouble. Box joints should only be cut in the end grain of boards. If the grain is squirrelly then you may still have some chipout even when cutting the fingers in end grain.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Side grain...yes, I was doing that. I will try the end and see if that works better. What I was doing was routing on the long edge to make a "guide" to see if I would have full fingers on the end of the board using 1/2" box joints. Thank you.

Gary
 

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each time I move the wood to the next key, I am losing the tooth that preceded it. So when I am done, all the teeth have been knocked out.

Gary
Does this mean the bit is cutting the pin out when you move it or that it is chipping a small piece of the wood...?

If the bit is cutting the entire pin out it sounds like a positioning error during setup. The spacing should be 1/2" for the bit (assuming that is the bit size), a space equal to the bit diameter and then the guide. Is this the way you set it up...? If the bit winds up right next to the guide, it will cut everything out as you described.
 
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Gary, you can make dovetails, finger and box joints with the grain on an angle but not parallel.

Solid carbide spiral up cut bits make a huge difference in your results. Be sure to use a backer board to help prevent tear out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am going to have to go back and double check to make sure it was set up ok. Thank you for pointing that out.


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I went and doubled checked the setup, it seemed fine according to the setup guide from Rockler. I am using the 1/2" key that Rocker supplies and I have a 1/2" gap from the router bit for the finger. I also looked closer at the grain. I noticed that ends that are breaking out had what I would call a swirl or sort of circular grain that leads to a knot. This seems to be hugely prone to chip out. As luck would have it, 3 of the 4 boards I have cut out for this purpose have that type of grain. So I am thinking that I need to go to plan B...as soon as I think of what that is lol Maybe pocket holes.

Thanks guys !

Gary


P.S. Yes, I was using a backer board. Would it help to also put a board in front of my piece for support ?
 

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No Gary, a spiral bit cuts cleanly but the back edge needs the support to prevent tear out. You should invest in three solid carbide spiral up cut bits; 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". MLCS offers a set of these three for a reasonable price.
 
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Backer board and spiral up cut bit of Carbide will end many of your problems. If you think about it, you can see that the area swirling around a knot gets more dense and harder, a little like glass. So when you cut into that zone, it is likely to chip or break chunks away.

Nifty hobby, woodworking is.
 

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Yes, it is a nifty hobby and definitely has a learning curve. But having a resourse like you guys does take a lot of the frustration out. Except the budget committee is getting a little unhappy with me. :)


Gary
 

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Yes, it is a nifty hobby and definitely has a learning curve. But having a resourse like you guys does take a lot of the frustration out. Except the budget committee is getting a little unhappy with me. :)


Gary
...budget committees are generally interested in return on investment...

moral of the story...?

...make something she might want and use that as a "reason" to buy tools (notice I didn't say "excuse")

...this method is described in one of the early chapters in "Man's Book of Things"
 

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Excellent point. I am making something for her with this project. I am not exactly sure how to describe it, but it is a rolling shelf that will go on the floor of the pantry we have. Getting things that are on the floor has gotten a bit more difficult as we have gotten older LOL. So I am making a rolling "shelf" that is 28" x 28". I routed a rabbit on the outside of the shelf and will put up a 1/4 "box" around the outside to both help keep things on the shelf and to have some place to pull and push it back and forth on the pantry floor. It isn't going to be the prettiest thing in the world, but my wife doesn't care about that. She plans on painting it green anyway.


Gary
 

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...budget committees are generally interested in return on investment...

moral of the story...?

...make something she might want and use that as a "reason" to buy tools (notice I didn't say "excuse")

...this method is described in one of the early chapters in "Man's Book of Things"
>:)Some time ago, my wife stepped up to my shop door, looked around and asked me if I would be making any money with all that stuff. I replied that it would be about as much as she made quilting. I only recently spent more on tools than she'd spent on quilting. Have you ever priced a top of the line BabyLock sewing machine for quilting?
 

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>:) Have you ever priced a top of the line BabyLock sewing machine for quilting?
get your wife a Brother PR1000C only to find out the plate is to small, she declares it handicaps her and what she says she really needs is this 4 head 16 needle class 3 self threading 100MM x ∞ machine...
and the sequin machine and several other 4 needle BabyLocks and and...

a guy w/ 9 table saws shouldn't complain... or 4 band saws... or....
 
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My wife has, fortunately, never questioned any tools I've purchased... but I know ALL about quilting costs!! :(:eek: I gave up questioning why she has to have more material than the local quilt shop.
 
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My wife is really good about tools. She understands how much money I have saved this household and others over the years. Okay, maybe all of the things I do are not woodworking related, but you start adding up what it costs for electricians, drywall repairs, painting, lawn care, plumbing, flooring, tile, automotive work, yard work, home repairs, etc. and I would have to say that my tools, for the most part, have paid for themselves over the years.

Thank goodness my wife does not have any hobbies!
 

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use.. think of all the money we didn't spend because you did the work...
you didn't pay margin, overhead and profit..
zero on labor...
and everything was done for cost...

get prices on a few jobs and compare what is bid vs what you will do your own for...

Tom asked for help on refacing his kitchen cabs, new doors, drawer fronts and changing out all the hardware including glides...
we came up w/ 9K...
his wife hit the ceiling and and said I was ripping them off even though I was in instructional only NC role and Tom was going to do the work...
she got somebody in to do the work.. 28K...
can I come and help Tom...
No...
 

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Hah!

I have the perfect wife. She doesn't ever question a tool purchase. In fact, she doesn't even question shop time (even when it's like 10 hours in a day). Of course, this will be true as long as I keep up a steady stream of things coming out of the shop. And, she LIKES to sand. What a keeper!
 

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use.. think of all the money we didn't spend because you did the work...
you didn't pay margin, overhead and profit..
zero on labor...
and everything was done for cost...

get prices on a few jobs and compare what is bid vs what you will do your own for...

Tom asked for help on refacing his kitchen cabs, new doors, drawer fronts and changing out all the hardware including glides...
we came up w/ 9K...
his wife hit the ceiling and and said I was ripping them off even though I was in instructional only NC role and Tom was going to do the work...
she got somebody in to do the work.. 28K...
can I come and help Tom...
No...
Yeah, I've seen that sort of thing. A lot of people really don't respect your time. Whether it's for money or just wasting it. My SIL saw the live edge entry table and has been pushing for me to make her one. I told her that if she can find a slab, I'll use it to build a table. "they can be pricey". I suspect that's the last of it though I'd actually enjoy doing another one.
 
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