No, I didn't consider the multiple templates needed and I've never seen a
joint made like that. It does have some obvious advantages - like no
racking, exact alignment, more glue surface, etc.... Perhaps it is best left
to the CNC routing technique and that may be the only market for it but I
Not everyone has access to the big boy toy's (CNC router...) so it seems to
me that if you could figure out how to make these joints easily and
relatively quickly - you would have a winning jig. Look at the other jigs
that are out there - their complexity and functionality - then note their
pricing. Is it worth it to the user? Also note their target market. You
can make dovetails by hand but yet I have Leigh D$ (pun intended) so if
there's perceived value - we buy.
Before you start cutting aluminum, I would do some research
(head-scratching) and see what other uses this joint would lend itself to
and why it would be better, quicker, more economical or what you need to do
to make it that way. Can it be combined with anything and made part of a
system of routable joints?
If I was a manufacturer - would this be useful? Let's say I make compost
bins (which are nothing but boxes) and I pre-cut everything and had it
bundled for you at the borg's. All you had to do was to snap the pieces
together and insert two screws/dowels/lag bolts to hold it together - that
would be an easy sell. No measuring, nothing to do to make it square and
it's solid as can be once assembled - perfect!
My brother used to be in charge of the shipping/receiving at a large
manufacturer that made electronic component insertion equipment. This
equipment is big, heavy and awkward to ship. They built their own crates. I
remember him saying they had to use thick plywood along with 2x4's or the
boxes would not stand up to the racking forces of shipping. Thick plywood is
$$$. If this joint could be done easily by just about anyone and would
allow for thinner materials to be used since the joint itself
prevents/reduces racking - then there's a market.
Anyone in production of making benches, large frame boxes and the like would
be a potential user if the joint is substantially better and no more
difficult to make. So issues such as template alignment and how it's held
in place need to be worked out - all of which I'm sure you're aware of.
Market for the average woodworker would probably be slim unless the jig can
be used to make other joints. Commercially, you probably have a better
I would look at both and see which one would could be addressed by what you
have now (a good idea for a CNC routed joint) and how you could market that.
Ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own and evolving, so while
this initial market may be a program on a CD and an instruction booklet sold
to other CNC users - making templates and making it multi-functional could
be the next steps for a niche market.
When you initially designed this you probably thought about how this could
be used. Well, you have the collective intelligence, experience and
expertise of the wRECk at your disposal to draw upon. Patent the idea
first. Another story - My brother patented and idea for adding a chemical
to a wash solution that is used to clean soldered boards. The problem was
that the solution they were using would foam up and created a big mess if
the operator used to much. His magic chemical - salt! He remembered our
mother telling him to add salt to the wash water if you got to much suds in
the washing machine. He patented the idea (cost $3,000) and sold the patent
to the manufacturer that made the wash solution for a nice chunk of change.
I think you have a great idea and it seems like it's worth exploring if you
have the time and inclination to do so. If not, someone else will.