There is much debate about which is better, dovetails or boxjoints. Well I like them both and want to be able to use them both easily. So after building Stumpy's Dovetail Machine, I decided I also wanted the Box Joint machine he designed. For once in my dang life though, I’m jumping right in without procrastinating.
First thing on today’s list was to do some shopping for supplies to get his thing started, then I was back in the shop.
The carriage part of the machine was simple enough.
Then I attached the sides.
I wanted the longest slide I could find for this project, you know, just in case. The longest I could find was only twenty two inches. They are full extension though in three sections instead of two, so they go way out there. Because of this, I attached my slides a tad differently than Stumpy’s design. With these three piece slides, I just had to play with it to figure out the best placement for them to work and still get the maximum extension of the carriage.
On the base, I used a trick I learned a long time ago for truing up runners when using both miter slots.
All you have to do is square one runner to your base. Glue it and attach it however you want, being extra careful that it is square. I used glue and some small screws.
Then, place some quarter inch washers into both miter slot.
Place your other runner into the other miter slot on top of the washers and run a small bead of glue on top of it. The washers will hold the runner slightly higher than the table.
Then, making sure the washers in the first miter slot are under where you’re setting the base down, set the base down with the slot that’s already attached into the slot and line up your other runner, front to back, before the glue sets.
Now go have a cup of coffee, cigarette, whatever you want, and let the glue set up for about twenty or thirty minutes.
Come back, carefully remove the base with the runners now in place. Turn it over and put screws into your second miter slot.
I’ve never had this method fail me. You now have a smoth running base that rides in both miter slots perfectly.
Then I attached all I’d done earlier to the base.
I had planned on doing more on this today. However, I don’t have my bronze bushings that go into this setup for the rod that runs through it. The only place open today was Home Depot. I tried explaining to the sale people there what I was looking for and all I got was these weird looks like they maybe thought I was retarded. So it looks like tomorrow I have to run back to town to a real hardware store and get some bushings.
If any of you are interested in this machine, or more specifically, building your own, HERE is where you can purchase the plans at.