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  • Box Joints?

    I an building a cedar chest and plan on using box joints to join the sides to the front and back. I have done alot of reading on them and it seems pretty straight forward on makinfg the jig for the ts. What I need to know what are the pifalls to avoid?
    SSG, U.S. Army
    Retired
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

  • #2
    Test your setup on some scrap pieces of wood the same thickness as that you plan to use in your project. Ideally, this would be pieces cut off the same boards you will use in your project. You want to sweat the details on this, a slight mismatch will show in the final product. so attention to detail is what matters here as with most interlocking joints.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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    • #3
      After doing that would you run opposite sides together or run them one at a time?
      SSG, U.S. Army
      Retired
      K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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      • #4
        I can’t stress enough how critical spacing is, if you are joining 12” sides and your spacing is only 1/64” off with ½” box joints you will be off 3/16” at the end of 12”and that is assuming that your dado or router bit is exact. Also, I would advise the use of a slow setting glue, it takes quite a bit of time to spread it on all the mating sides of the pins and grooves. I usually pour the glue in a small cup and feverishly apply glue with a small brush and still have a difficult time because by the time I get to the last joints the first ones are already starting to set up. I have made quite a few projects utilizing box joints with a simple homemade jig and can assure you the extra time put forth up front to get the setting right is well worth the aggravation it saves in the end.

        Woodslayer

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        • #5
          The sides are going to be 20" tall so guess I need to take my time setting up.
          SSG, U.S. Army
          Retired
          K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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          • #6
            Use a template

            I use homemade jigs made with a template master. I recently made a pie safe for my wife out of oak and I ran a length of 38 1/2" single spaced dovetails on the back. It line up PERFECTLY!

            I made a template 24" wide and just cut it with the router. It took a while to set it up, but it came out awesome.

            No matter what you use...it all comes down to what works and feels best for you. Some like to use a router...others like the TS. I love routers.

            Do what feels best. Don't expect to master it your first time.

            Dave

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            • #7
              Got the joints made. Came out good, but they sure are tight. Now to find a slow setting glue and make some calls for the clamps so I can get it glued up.
              SSG, U.S. Army
              Retired
              K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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              • #8
                Too tight can also be an indicator that your setup is slightly off. If the box joint is so tight that you have to force it together with a little persuasion (hammer or clamps to pull together) then that may be too tight. This is tough to judge over the internet, and no reflection on you but if this is your first attempt at box joints your perception of what is tight or loose may be misleading. If the joints are too tight there will be no room for the glue and most of it will be forced out of the joint when assembled. The joint should go together snug without the need to rap them with a hammer. There should be no gaps in the joint mating surfaces. A slight tap or two is OK, but if you have to beat them into submission then your setup needs tweaking.

                You're still working on scrap pieces at this point fine tuning the process right?

                The various Titebond glues have different 'open' or working times. Don't know the time off the top of my head. I think their Type I is the slowest setting of the bunch, but this information is available on the bottle or their website.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Titebond III is supposed to have double the open time of TItebond II. It is also supposed to be a little stronger and more water resistant. I haven't tried it yet, but my brother did, and liked it a lot. It is more expensive, but what's a couple of bucks on a large project? You might think about putting glue on only one half of it at a time. I did this on several small boxes I made. You assemble the entire box, but only put glue on two corners. after the glue sets you disassemble the dry side and glue and clamp them. It worked well for me.

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