WWND- What would Niki do? #2: Mitered foot jig for small boxes

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Blog entry by Douglas Bordner posted 07-08-2007 08:25 AM 2775 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Jigs and Fixtures. Creating something that makes work safer, easier, repeatable and on a budget. Part 2 of WWND- What would Niki do? series no next part

This is the jig that really should have been the first of the series. I have to lay out the story a bit. Let’s just say that I am 3-D challenged. I started off to make a batch of mitered feet for jewelry boxes. I used the table saw and jointer to make a long strip of wood with a 45° chamfer on one edge, about 36” long x 3” wide x .5” thick. I laid out the edge opposite the chamfer with an approximate 30° taper, each foot section about three inches long. Having cut each out to the approximate length, I cut a little wedge of the appropriate length and angle and had planned to used a top-bearing trim bit to clean up the edges after rough cutting close to the line with the band saw.

The pieces were tiny – scary, and before I even got to the router I decided to just see how they would fit together. Guess what. I had made eight left side pieces. Whoops. That’s when I said to myself, what would Niki do in this circumstance?

Side A


Using 1/2” mdf I made this jig which forced my feeble brain to create both sides of the miter. The chamfered edge of the wood rides the chamfered edge of the jig, butting against the stop block. Using both sides of the jig to draw the layout lines (4 each side this time!), I rough cut outside the lines. The pieces are then placed on the jig, Sandpaper holds them in place with a little finger pressure up by the stop blocks. I found that using a pattern cutting bit (bearing on the bottom) causes the bit to more tightly force the work pieces against the stops. A cutter length of an inch provides just enough cutter to do the job without leaving too much screaming carbide above the work and too near the fingers. I used a starting pin to ease the cutter into the little bit of overhang. The router leaves the clean edge desired at the appropriate angle. Flip, mount the other side of the foot to the jig and repeat.

Side B


I cut triangular glue blocks of identical length using a stop block on the table saw with the miter gauge.
I glued them in place with a rub joint, then cut them to length. For the project I had in mind they were cut shorter than the jigs provision for 3” high feet, but 3” length making the feet from scratch keeps the size more manageable around the blades and cutters. I will glue and dowel them to the box when I decide to use them.

Here are the finished feet.


-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

4 comments so far

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4117 days

#1 posted 07-09-2007 05:46 AM

Thanks Douglas. It took me a few reads but I get it now. The pics helped. (It’s late and I’ve been working on the house all weekend…) I’m sure I will be able to use this in the future. I want to start adding feet to my stuff and ya just never know when you will need a tapered one.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days

#2 posted 07-09-2007 10:36 AM

Thanks Jeff. I got to thinking (actually the little product liabilty attorney in my head started shouting at me), that what I consider safe, based on my familiarity with my router setup etc, might not be safe for someone else. I have a book by Doug Stowe that shows him doing work close to the cutter that positively curls my toes. So here goes.


The safest way to go about this would be to make two jigs, one for each side of the miter. Then a person could mount a De-Sta-Co clamp on the jigs, that would apply downward pressure. This would insure that your hand would be a minimum of 4-6 inches away from the cutter at all times. I don’t want anyone getting an unintended manicure on my account.

I didn’t feel unsafe being 2-3 inches away from harm on my setup. But I would feel better if the thing was fool proof. So there it is. Use a De-Sta-Co. I don’t want anyone needing to change their name to Lefty, or Stubby on my account.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4117 days

#3 posted 07-11-2007 05:08 AM

I hear ya. I was cutting some stuff tonight with a 45deg block against my miter gauge (set at an angle too) so I could get the angle of cut I wanted. I was curling my toes and just stopped. I’ll rig something later I told myself. The dumb things a person will attempt…

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4350 days

#4 posted 07-11-2007 05:20 AM

Yeah, I’m with Jeff… this is gonnna take a bit to sink in. ...and I’m not geometrically challenged – I was good with the “picture math” back in school. algebra – that’s another story.

I like the series though, keep going with it!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

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