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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default help with box joints on tablesaw

hi all,
ive been trying to do box joints again on my router table, but im never successful, i thought surely they would be easier to do on the tablesaw, mind you i dont have a dado set, only my general purpose blade.
i was just wondering if anyone else has any neat ideas about cutting these joints right especially on a tablesaw.
thanks

chris m......
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:49 AM
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Well you need a jig to reference the previous cut to make the next one.

It also becomes more complicated if your blade is not the exact width. The jig then becomes messy.

Have you considered hand cutting them? Easier than dovetails.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:13 AM
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If you don't have a dado blade, I would work on refining your jig for the router table. It may be a little fussy to get the jig exactly right, but once you do, it should make good box joints.

Another option is the incra ibox. It is a fairly new product that makes box joints extremely easy to make.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:38 PM
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Made some clamp racks using the method described by this guy. This method works well for the deep notching needed to hang clamps in lieu of my dado/box joint jig.

Should be able to adapt this techique for box joints with good layout and some practice.

Works best if the drill bit being used is the same diameter size as the width of the kerf (1/8" bit-1/8" kerf for std blade, thin kerf blades probably 1/16-3/32 range)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomE View Post
Made some clamp racks using the method described by this guy. This method works well for the deep notching needed to hang clamps in lieu of my dado/box joint jig.

Should be able to adapt this techique for box joints with good layout and some practice.

Works best if the drill bit being used is the same diameter size as the width of the kerf (1/8" bit-1/8" kerf for std blade, thin kerf blades probably 1/16-3/32 range)
Tom, this method may work for cutting notches in timber to use for hanging clamps, but, the notches are not the same width as the pins. For the notches and pins to be the same width, you will need a proper box joint jig.

There are some jig plans on the net. Use them to make a proper jig.

James
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:48 AM
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Chris......There's a guy in Canada named Matthias Wandell that has made some pretty good jigs. I haven't made any of them yet, but some of them look like something I want to do. He has a couple of box joint jigs on his website. Go to

Woodworking for engineers

and go down to the heading of "Joinery Jigs". Also check out his "contraptions". It's a good time-kill. Jim
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessnut2 View Post
Chris......There's a guy in Canada named Matthias Wandell that has made some pretty good jigs. I haven't made any of them yet, but some of them look like something I want to do. He has a couple of box joint jigs on his website. Go to

Woodworking for engineers

and go down to the heading of "Joinery Jigs". Also check out his "contraptions". It's a good time-kill. Jim
You betcha. The guy's work is really fascinating.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 12:01 PM
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INCRA I-BOX Jig for Box Joints - Amazon.com

INCRA I-Box Jig for Box Joints.mp4 - YouTube

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 01:13 PM
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Today I just finished a jig that does box joints very quickly and more cleanly than with a router. Proof here is a picture of 8mm teeth on plywood used 5 mm. with a normal blade (3.2 mm).
The file will be published shortly on my website (lescopeaux.asso.fr) I can not post it here before , but if you give me your email address via private message, I'd be happy to send you a copy.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 02:24 AM
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I do them on a table saw with an index pin jig that is a common way to do it, with a dado blade set.
Background, or why bother.
I play guitar, both kinds of music, country and western.
Old Fender speaker boxes were made of solid pine and box jointed, made them tough enough to hold up for the traveling picker.
My wife got tired of our living room stacked up with beat up speaker boxes, so I went about making some abit more to her liking, and came up with much better sounding boxes.

I ran into many problems,

Since the speaker boxes are about 12" deep, that makes 24 cuts when using 1/4" slots.
The wider the slots, the easier it is for fit, but I like the look of 1/4" slots. That is nearly 100 slots for a speaker box

Error-- acumlative error will kill the deal, get one slot off, the rest will be off, the sides will not fit together. I will get into that.

Clearance-- you have to have clearance between the pin and the mating notch so it will go together, and for glue. I found .002" each side of a pin works for me.
To do that, I add a .004" shim to the dado stack when doing the sides.
On a short box joint that may not be as much of a problem. Long joints with 48 pins and notches, you need the clearance, or it will not go together.

Glue-- on long box joints, even the slower tightbond 3 will seize up before you can get it together, I use slow dry epoxy, not only will it give you the time needed, it acts like a lube, the joints slide right in.
Also, the water based glues will swell the pins.

Blow out-- when you do one side, one end you cut from the front, the other end of the board you cut from the back.
When cutting from the back, you need a back up board, or the wood will chip out the front, leaving a ragged edge around the notch.
I use thin plywood for backup. I found its best to use a backup at all times when working brittle solid woods, helps prevent snapping a pin off.

Back to "ERROR",

The index pin must fit tight in the created notches.
Since I want .004" clearance, I slighlty tapered the index pin looking down from the top,
this way, I can get the narrow notches, and the slightly wider mating notches to wedge on the index pin with no play, otherwise error will creap in, the parts will not go together.

The wood,---solid woods
The work must sit flat against the jig, a cupped, or crowned surface will cause error.
Since wood twist and humps up, the whole procees must be done quickly.
Furthering that problem, the act of cutting the notches, causes the wood to warp even worse, and faster
So, I joint, plane, and cut the notches, then get it together quickly, within hours not days.

I hope some of that may be helpful, but it does take some practice to get the hang of it.

My simple jig hooked to a miter gage, the back part with index pin is adjustable for side to side.


A couple of speaker boxes,
The one on the left, I was still struggling as can be seen blow out, I had to use shims ect. On the right much better dialed in, both amp head and speaker cab.






In an effort to stretch out the limited supply of this 100yr old salvaged spruce, I jointed some pieces for the cab backs using the same jig.

Last edited by Sawdust Don; 03-07-2013 at 02:42 AM.
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