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Box Joint on Router Table

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  • Box Joint on Router Table

    I made a jig to make box joints on a router table, and I ran into a problem: the wood piece is terribly difficult to hold in place when the cut is made. As soon as the wood makes contact with the router bit, the wood kicks off to the side (see pic).

    Is this a common problem with making box joints on a router table?

    - djb
    Attached Files
    sigpic

    A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

    Restore the Republic.

  • #2
    Re: Box Joint on Router Table

    OK, my very first box joint...

    The first cut is really tough to make, gotta hold the piece against the pin pretty good or it moves. After the first cut the pin helps hold the piece in place. I'm using plywood to monkey around with, maybe solid wood will be easier(?)

    Considering this is my first attempt, with a crude jig I whipped up, I'm reasonably satisfied.

    - djb
    Attached Files
    sigpic

    A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

    Restore the Republic.

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    • #3
      Re: Box Joint on Router Table

      Try relocating the index pin to the opposite side of the bit, that way the board will be pushed against the pin, not pushed away from it. If you look at the rotation of the bit the cutting edge is moving away from the index pin when you make contact.
      Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

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      • #4
        Re: Box Joint on Router Table

        Originally posted by Roadrunner View Post
        Try relocating the index pin to the opposite side of the bit...
        Right, it's a design consideration of the jig I didn't think of (bit rotation). I'm going to make a ¼" backboard for the jig sled next, and I'll put the pin on the other side of the bit on that one.
        Thanks, RR.

        - djb
        sigpic

        A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

        Restore the Republic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Box Joint on Router Table

          Originally posted by djb View Post
          OK, my very first box joint...

          The first cut is really tough to make, gotta hold the piece against the pin pretty good or it moves.
          - djb
          Don't hold, use clamps, it will work great.

          Woodslayer

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Box Joint on Router Table

            A Q for all of you box joint experts. When the width of the box isn't evenly divisible by the width of the joints do you start in the middle of the piece and work toward the edge with the last joint on each end being a little smaller? Anything that I think of for starting an unequal joint from the edge inward requires a special offset tacked onto the rail (pin).

            TIA,
            Chiz
            Last edited by ironhat; 03-05-2007, 05:13 PM. Reason: clarity
            Later,
            Chiz

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Box Joint on Router Table

              I've cut about a half dozen box joints now, so I'm no expert... But unless the width of the box joint is designed to be a multiple of the width of the pin, there's going to be an offset cut, and I don't mind having the last cut smaller than the rest of them. That may be an unorthodox opinion, but I've been accused of much worse.

              I've had a difficult time making box joints with plywood. I tried to cut a ¼" box joint with ¼" plywood, and pieces of plywood chipped and flew off when I was cutting the slots. Half the wood was missing after the cuts were made.

              But I did successfully make a ½" joint with scrap ½" pine I have. Made a drawer organization box for my shop cabinet (see pic). The ¼" top tray was more difficult to make than the box. I haven't figured out a good way to connect the ends of ¼" plywood to form a box...I used mitered rabbit joints on the tray, but it was hard to clamp, it's so flimsy.

              - djb
              Attached Files
              sigpic

              A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

              Restore the Republic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Box Joint on Router Table

                That looks very nice djb, good job.
                Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                http://www.contractorspub.com

                A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Box Joint on Router Table

                  Originally posted by djb View Post
                  I've had a difficult time making box joints with plywood. I tried to cut a ¼" box joint with ¼" plywood, and pieces of plywood chipped and flew off when I was cutting the slots. Half the wood was missing after the cuts were made.
                  You could maybe stop the plywood from chipping out by sandwiching the piece between extra plywood. Those pieces will chip out but it should leave the inner piece intact.

                  You may still have a problem come assembly time because 1/4" pins spaced 1/4" apart in 1/4" plywood will still be very fragile. Hardwood ply would be stronger than softwood ply (not sure what your using). You could try a variation and cut the pins a little wider, maybe 3/8" or 1/2"...

                  Good luck

                  PS. Nice job on the pine box joints
                  Last edited by jbergstrom; 03-06-2007, 09:45 PM.
                  Cheers! - Jim
                  -------------
                  All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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                  • #10
                    Re: Box Joint on Router Table

                    Thanks for the positive comments guys. I'm just getting back into woodworking, and what woodworking I did in the distant past did not include box joints, dovetails, etc. So I'm having fun here...

                    woodslayer - I moved the pin so the router bit rotates toward it instead of away from it, and that made a world of difference. The workpiece is much easier to hold for the first cut now.

                    jbergstrom - Sandwiching the small ¼" piece may work, I'll have to try that. The sandwich medium (MDF?) could be part of the sled, and not have to be moved every cut with the plywood.

                    - djb
                    sigpic

                    A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                    Restore the Republic.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Box Joint on Router Table

                      Two tips on box joints. Using a spiral cutter will help "some" with the chipping.
                      When glueing up, put masking tape on the inside of each piece, right next to where the deepest part of cut is. This will keep the glue from goobering up the inside corners.
                      Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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