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Author Topic: Box Joints  (Read 695 times)

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Offline Larry

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Box Joints
« on: October 03, 2021, 10:45:46 PM »
I accepted a commission to make a little but very special box a few days ago.  The wood and joinery is supposed to be plan Jane to not distract from the artwork which will be laser engraved by another craftsman.

We decided box joints would be fitting and make a strong box.

I keep a box joint jig set up with a dedicated router.  Not much of a router, a Craftsman I bought about 50 years ago.  About all I could afford at the time.  Takes about 2 minutes to get the jig ready to cut joints.  It's made hundreds of small boxes and the joints are always tight.

I can also make the joints on the table saw but I have to change blades, put the jig on the sliding table, adjust it, make a test joint, make another test joint, and finally cut the joint.  Probably takes 20 minutes to get in action.









I've been playing with my new camera taking lots of shop pictures.  I set the self timer and programed it to take a picture every 3 seconds while I cut the joints.  Picked the best three.  Looks like it takes 3 seconds to cut a slot.   


Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 07:35:12 AM »
I like that jig @Larry 

I made one for the table saw following John Heisz plans on Youtube.  Wishing I had one that could utilize a router table now as I may be running head to head table saws and one of them has a different miter slot configuration, so the jig won't fit it.  I do like that I can cut multiple pieces at a time though.

Have you tried that with your jig?
HM126

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 08:53:50 AM »
I made one for a second table saw that is a dedicated mortise cutter.  I made it from scraps thinking it was for one job, it held up, so have used it often.



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Offline Larry

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 09:31:26 AM »
I've never tried cutting more than one side at a time.  Don't think it would work well with the alignment pin.

I found the John Heisz jig on utube.  Wow, that's like the space shuttle of box joint jigs!
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 10:28:03 AM »
Its a fun little project if you're up for a little precision woodworking as the tolerances have to be pretty tight.  I think the only thing I had to buy was the appropriate threaded rod.  Cuts very well and I like to buy plans to support the Tubers I like.


 

 

 

 

I've got a lot of projects planned for it, but these pictures are just messing around with some scrap plywood.  I'm ashamed to say I built it last year and its been hanging on the wall waiting.  In my defense, I built it early on so it would be ready to go when I need it LOL

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 11:28:41 AM »
That is a fancy jig, VB-milling!

Ive been thinking about box joints lately, too. Ive been wanting to upgrade my Cutie job boxes to something a bit nicer. But with so many to be made, I was thinking more along the lines of a gang saw. Maybe utilizing inexpensive 6 circular saw blades, doubled or tripled together with spacers between the sets of blades?

One pass and the entire joint is made!

This isnt even a third of the job boxes I have in the shop. 



 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 11:54:45 AM »
Thanks @metalspinner 

How many "fingers" would you want on your joints?  The more, the better as far as strength in glue surface area.  If you don't need much strength, then you could do far fewer "fingers" and greatly speed up the process.
HM126

Online Don P

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2021, 02:18:03 PM »
@metalspinner
 at that kind of volume you need to find an old hauncher.

One place I worked was trying to make a go of their own furniture designs. It was red oak ripped and glued into long 8/4 thick butcherblock panels. The furniture was basic slab construction with fingerjoints we did with a jig and the big Porter Cable router. It was kind of neat but after each of us had been on a delivery of that humongous stuff we were not crying when the boss pulled the plug  :D.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline 21incher

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2021, 07:23:26 PM »
I built my CNC router with a 6 inch overhang and vertical end table for cutting them but need to upgrade my software to be able to easily program the slot cuts. Hopefully this winter I will try some.
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a logrite cant hook.

Offline Larry

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2021, 09:26:44 PM »
Ive been thinking about box joints lately, too. Ive been wanting to upgrade my Cutie job boxes to something a bit nicer. But with so many to be made, I was thinking more along the lines of a gang saw. Maybe utilizing inexpensive 6 circular saw blades, doubled or tripled together with spacers between the sets of blades?

One pass and the entire joint is made!

At one time another member and I had a conversation about producing bee boxes in large quantities.  I thought we could retrofit this arbor I have from a purpose built gang rip.  I was thinking we could use 7-1/4" circular saw blades.  The project never got off the ground but I still think it has possibilities.

This is my old arbor. 



Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2021, 09:50:47 PM »
Searching "hauncher bee box" on youtube shows the operation DonP mentioned. It is an impressive machine.

Thinking through this more today, I'm considering milling machine slot cutter blades with appropriate sized spacers on an arbor set in pillow blocks. But I'm worried about the tooth angle? A sled sliding across this saw gang with a stack of parts will make short work of the joinery.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Box Joints
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2021, 01:11:42 PM »
@Larry I made a box joint sled for my table saw.  I used a square key instead of a pin.  The hardest part was getting that key positioned perfectly so that the first finger was the same width as the slot.

That is a great idea having a sled for the router, especially when I have a router table integrated in my delta unisaw cabinet saw.  It would be much faster to set up as you said, not having to change sawblades for the dado set.

Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!


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