Ok – so I said that I was going to pick a project from one of my favorite books and then post my progress on line. So here we go. I’ve chosen as my first project a box from Doug Stowe’s book – Basic Box Making – A sliding top Pencil box. The first thing I decided about this project was that I wanted to cut the fingers on the router and not the table saw. The reasoning for this is that the two ends are very short and to hold the end against the fence I would either have to have my fingers very close to the blade or use a clamp to hold the piece in place. The closeness I do not like at all and the clamp would be very time consuming considering how many fingers there are to cut. So I decided this would go on the router table instead.
Having decided on the router table I needed to make a finger joint jig to make accurate cuts. So that took me to Bill Hylton’s Ulitmiate Guide to the Router Table. Page 45 has a very simple jig and then the box joint fence is described on page 89. So that’s what I’ve done tonight – make this jig. Here are the pictures to show my steps. I apologize for the picture quality – but between my camera and my photography skills—- what can I say.
Having only 2 hands I had to come up with a way to hold the sides onto the sides of the router table in order to attached the front and back fences. I used carpet tape (which I don’t think I’ve ever actually used with carpet.) – I did run into a slight problem with the tape once I screwed the front and back on——it’s hard to get off with tape—- I had to tap it with my hammer to loosen the tapes hold.
When I was looking for parts I was lucky enough to find a few boards just a tad over the length I needed. I did not measure these, rather I laid them out and marked directly on the board the cut line and then used the chop saw to finish it off.
One issue I ran into was that the fence had to be moved back for the second cut in order to use the same stop block setting. Not sure I can explain this but if you lay out your marks on the board and try it you’ll see what I mean.
Well – hope I’ve not bored you to death with this. I welcome any suggestions on making the jig better. I’m pretty surprised that it slides as well as it does. The proof will be in the pudding as they say once I try to make my box with it.
Thanks for looking.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine