Is it possible? Do they make a jig like they do for table saws? If not,
would one of those jigs fit on a cheap $99.99 table saw? That would be
about all I would use the table saw for. I love my RAS and wouldn't part
with it for love or money. It's a Craftsman, about 40 years old and does
Sure, it's possible. Haven't seen a jig made specifically for a RAS,
so you may have to make a custom jig that'll index your previous cut,
and specific to your project dimensions, or it'll have to be
adjustable in height. G'luck. Tom
You can find plenty of plans for a box joint jig online but I don't
see how it could be done on a RAS.
The way they normally work on a TS is the jig rides in the miter slot
and you move the boards after you cut each pin.
don't own a RAS but can't see how you could do this without having the
table way below the blade (the length of the longest side of your
When you're done put your video on youtube.
On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 06:35:16 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor
In the supplemental manual that came with my RAS in 1972 they talked
about an auxiliary table for several tasks. Box joints was one of
them. I made a couple of box joint projects with mine back then, but I
wasn't thrilled with them.
They came out okay, but the operation isn't as precise as it would be
on a table saw or router table. It depends on the pitch of the
elevation screw (each crank of the handle equals 1/8") and the kerf of
the saw blade used. There's an inherent lack of precision in cranking
up or down precisely one revolution, and I don't think there are that
many saw blades whose kerf is exactly .125". Consequently, error is
introduced at each succeeding joint.
I consider myself lucky that the joints came out as good as they did.
But the imprecision bothered me (as well as the "incovenience" of an
auxiliary table) and I never did another.
On a table saw or router, the only precision needed is setting up the
registration pin. Every step from that point is based solely on that
pin, because the actual kerf dimension is immaterial (and the size of
the pin is based on it) and no cranking of the blade/bit is involved.
It's one variable (easily managed) instead of three.
Of course maybe there was something about my RAS I didn't understand.
Having had a RAS I agree that some things are inherently inacurate.
However, I found that the vertical inacuracy was simple to overcome --
Always lower the blade more than intended and then raise the blade to the desired depth of cut.
Horizontal is another matter - usually one has to disassemble the arm to get at and tighten the cams that control lateral play. For me, a real PITA.
Jigs can be made and temporarily attached to the backboard on the RAS to control where the joint is to be cut. For me the real problem was in control of the wood to ensure an accurate location for the cut. It can be done but "t'aint easy McGee".
P D Q
jigging up the RAS may well be possible, but so is attaching glider wings to
a camel. it's not a practicable proposition though I'm sure you could do it
to win a bet..
Get a cheap Chiwanese router, bolt it to the top inside of a box with a
straight bit stuck up through the box top. (plunge it to make a nice
Make a sled that rides on the box top - a pair of sides hanging down from the
sled base so the whole thing can slide across the box top with no lateral
Jig up the slidiing sled on the mini router table you have just made with a
back fence and a pin to "locate the last slot you made" in the manner of any
one of the various box joint jigs published on the 'net.
Make whatever improvements you deem necessary - making the box skeletal with
holes for airflow, collett access etc. may be a good thing in most cases.
-and keep the whole thing as a dedicated box maker OR remove the router if
you wish, but if you are seriously contemplating buying a ts JUST to make BJs
with (!) then I'd seriously consider the dedicated powered box approach
instead and leave the router where it is.
The router doesn't have to be great or have loads of features as long as it
has no appreciable lateral play and has no random auto height adjustment.
Cheaper the better.
On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 17:37:26 +0100, LRod wrote
I'm a big proponent of the RAS, but I'd stick w/ the TS for this purpose
I think...(I've never seriously considered the task w/ the RAS, it's one
that just naturally fits the TS)
On _short_ reflection (only while writing this), I think only reason I'd
go at it w/ the RAS would be for one of the typical reasons the RAS
excels--if the material is quite large so moving it is more difficult.
I guess I'd basically do the same kind of thing as w/ the TS except make
the registration block to affix to the RAS table if were to tackle it.
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