Some time ago, I bought a mitre fence with a box joint jig. Today I thought I’d learn to use it.
I need to make a whole bunch of box or box like structures. Drawers for kitchen phase 2. Boxes for storage, organisers, etc.
So some time back I bought a posh mitre fence. One of the attractions (aside from the large brass handle) was that it came with a rudimentary jig for making box joints.
It’s very rudimentary. Essentially just two pins sticking out. You adjust them to be exactly the same width as the router cutter and offset from the router cutter by exactly the same amount.
The principle is that you can start off with a piece of wood right up against the pins, cut a slot , then use that slot to cut the next slot etc. Then before you know it, you’ve got a box joint.
And here you can see the result. I was using a welding clamp to hold the wood firmly to the fence. It was awkward, but generally worked OK. Adjusting everything turned out to take many iterations. Eventually I used some precision 10/20/40mm blocks (like 1-2-3 blocks but metric and tiny) which were perfect for the 10mm cutter I was using.
So rather a faff to set up, the results were OK – I was reusing some slats from a bed I scrapped a couple of years ago and they were quite splintery. I was satisfied, but not really very pleased with the results.
I’ve seen videos on YouTube which have simpler (and better) jigs made for probably less effort than it took me to setup the jig on this Mitre fence. I like the fence, but I don’t think box jointing is it’s strong point.
However, I showed the box joint to my partner, and all of a sudden I’m making a couple of crafting supply trays that can be stashed under items of living room furniture.
The ends were jointed, similar to my test piece above. Then they went through Alex (the sander)
Bases were cut and then glued and clamped together.
l shall leave her to finish sanding the corners and treating the wood. They look sturdy, but I reckon that the problems getting things set up and the general fussy nature of the jig means it isn’t very practical for larger jobs. I shall explore other alternatives.
So.. what did I get from this… Firstly it’s fun making things with other people. It’s been a while since we’ve cooperated on something together. Even though we ended up cutting a groove in the wrong side of a couple of pieces it’s all OK. Plus the reuse of material is quite satisfying. So far I’ve bought nothing at all for all my Makevember activities. I’m finishing a lot of previous projects or ideas off and that is a good feeling too.