I am new to woodworking. I built this jig over the weekend, and it
works. What I can't figure out is how to use it correctly; I spent the
better part of Sunday trying to make a box joint. I read the pdf a
dozen times and it does make sense on paper. Until I try applying this
stuff. For some reason I end up with notches/teeth of variable width.
Does anyone have a "system" of counting when they cut?
You don't say what kind of jig, but I use one like this, and the thing
couldn't be easier. Junior High students mastered it in short order.
Principle is the same as the tablesaw version. The notch is the width of
the blade or bit, the fence or "tooth" in your tablesaw jig determines where
the next is cut. They tell you how to adjust to make the fit looser or
If you want the numbers to come out evenly, you make your stock a multiple
of the bit or blade. Not that it makes any real difference in strength to
the joint if you end up with a fraction at one end.
Assuming you are using 3/8" - 16 rod, here is an example. Say you are
working with 1/2" stock and 1/2" dado blade raised about 9/16" above
the table. Each turn would move the piece 1/16" to the left or right.
So, first cut into the wood, then 8 turns would move you over 1/2" but
do not cut yet, another 8 turns moves you and additional 1/2" and
ready to make your next cut. So, your cut equals 8 turns, your male
part of the box joint is equal to 8 turns.
Simply put, cut, do 16 turns on the jig, cut again, repeat as
Take a look at a comprehensive view of the jig in action here, and in
the first box there is a hot link to a PDF that you can download that
gives detailed instructions on the use of that particular jig:
Lew - I'm not advocating this jig one way or another, but it is a
pretty spiffy little setup for those that don't have the scratch to
buy a dado setup (this only needs a sawblade on cheapie saw) and the
table saw to run it. It allows you to cut much larger box joints than
you with less work than you would on a router. Note that he is using
a small Ryobi cabinet saw on one of his pics.
If you will look at the "photo intensive link" he provides, you can
see that the time you spend cutting is probably made up by cutting two
sides at once.
This jig was made (like the Incras, Jointechs, etc.,) with the intent
to not have the cumulative effect that sometimes shows up with the
"board with a peg) method of cutting box joints, although I have seen
them with adjustments as well since this jig became popular many years
Some magazine had an article in it many years ago where the author
used this to make variable spaced box joints. He put his piece of
paper down next to the jig (just like I used to do with the Incra I
have) with the plan for cutting on it. Instead of looking at the tape
gauge like I did, he laid his out based on number of turns.
The end project of variably spaced joints looked unusual, and pretty
I guess the best part of this little jig is that you can make the
tiniest little box joints you can imagine. With almost no effort, you
can make jewelry box sized joints with the fingers the thickness of
your sawblade. Now that's something that might make this jig worth
> Maybe I'm missing something, but compared to Fred Bingham's method
Bingham's method uses a table saw, a board screwed to the miter gage
and a square pin the width of the joint sticking out the front of the
Sides are cut in matched pairs, so any cumlitive error is eliminated.
Granted you need to make a jig for each joint size, but that's a 10
Guess I'm from the KISS school.
Now that sounds interesting.
That's a possibility, but I can't imagine needing anything other than
1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 & 3/4.
That variable version is probably a version of one of these:
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