You might want to look into the Veritas Right-Angle Saw Guide.
I have one of these and the Veritas Dovetail Saw as well. Like you,
I'm not very good at cutting straight with a hand saw, so this
little tool works very well for me. I've also got the 1:8 dovetail
guide as well.
That's how I've done box joints, cut by hand. I do mine in a similar
fashion to the way I do dovetails. I'll start by cutting all the
pins/fingers on say the front and back sides of the box. Now that I've
got the front and back sides cut, I'll use those to lay out my lines
on the left and right sides of the box.
When you're marking things, it also helps to have some type of
numbering/label system so that you can keep track of the front side of
a piece, its orientation and which is the left and which is the right
side. If you don't all ready have a system worked out, here's what I
For the front piece I number the left side 14 and the right side 12.
The first digit 1 represents the first piece. The second digit
represents which piece it connects to.
The right side gets labeled 21 on its left side and 23 on its right
The back side gets labeled 32 on its left side and 34 on its right
The left sides labeled 43 on its left side and 41 on its right side.
Thus you would use the pins/fingers of 12 to mark out the 21 side and
the pins/fingers of 14 to mark out the 41 side. Then the pins/fingers
of 32 are used to lay out 23. Then 34 is used to lay out 43.
For the orientation part, I just draw an arrow on the piece to
represent which direction is "up". The sides that have marking on
them are the outside of the box. I mark the outside because it will
be easier to scrap/sand those markings off later after they've been
When you're doing your mark ups. It also helps to put an 'X' or other
mark in the waste section. I forgot to do that on a couple of pieces,
got distracted and wound up cutting into the wrong areas and ruining
one of my box sides.
If you want to reply via email, change the obvious words to numbers and
Cutting both pieces together will be, ah, interesting, as the cut needs to be on
one side of the line
for one piece and the other side of the line for the other piece.
Best to mark them out together, but cut them separately. If you make a balls,
its then only one piece
messed up, not both.
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