LumberJocks

My version of Ed Stiles' Box Joint Jig

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Project by Don Johnson posted 01-23-2017 04:03 PM 1507 views 12 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After researching various versions of Box Joint Jigs – including those by Matthias Wandel, Stumpy Nubs, Darbin Ovar, and John Heisz – I still didn’t think I’d found one that exactly suited me, although they all seemed effective. Then I stumbled on Ed Stiles’ video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYxDXHGRRrk – and it answered a couple of queries I had, and included the ‘clacker’ – something which solved the niggle I had about me getting a screw-driven system handle positioned at the same point repetitively. I already had a 1/8th inch wide flat topped table saw blade, and after a little searching I was able to purchase a 3 ft length of 16 TPI 3/8th inch diameter BSW threaded rod, and also some nuts and ‘T’ nuts with the same thread.

For the table saw guides on the plywood base board I used strips cut from a plastic IKEA Professional Chopping Board, which should be dimensionally stable and – perhaps – self lubricating. Anyway they work a treat!

I though I would save time and use dimensional accuracy of MDF for the functional parts, and this worked well in the main. However, I had to position the blade guard block to help remove a slight bow in the rear fence – MDF can bow somewhat during storage. With the spacer being the same width as the fence, I thought that paper shims would easily give me a sliding fit of the carriage on the fence. This was true, but I’d failed to realise that the mating surfaces of the spacer and the fence would be the ‘fuzzy’ MDF core material rather than the shiny outer surfaces, so there was quite a bit of friction. To correct this, I cut another spacer – again from MDF – but so that the shiny outside DID run on the fence. (I used the same thickness MDF – which was narrower than the specified ‘height’ of the spacer – so to use the existing mounting holes it sits lower in the slider assembly). On the fence itself, I killed two birds with one stone by attaching some self-adhesive metal measuring tape, which lowered the friction and also provided a helpful check on the slider position when handle-winding. As the measuring tape is not vital, iron-on veneer would probably have been just as effective. Another benefit of using a spacer cut in this way is that its sides will be truly parallel – having been cut on the table saw – so will keep the longer sides of the slider nicely parallel even if they had a little bow initially.

One of the comments on Ed’s video was from Joat G, who had produced a Sketchup version of Ed’s plans (search for “Joat” in Sketchup’s Warehouse) which I found helpful. He had positioned the ‘clacker’ on the inside of the left-hand support, so I copied his idea.

With regard to the Stop Piece version in Ed’s plans, I was puzzled by his suggestion that it should be thinner than the height of the ‘teeth’ cut-outs – I think it should be THICKER, and mine is, and it works OK. After cutting the ‘teeth’ on one end of a pair of box sides, Ed states that the Stop Piece should be set against the box sides before they are unclamped, and held in position so that the box sides can be flipped (vertically) and placed against the Stop Piece and then clamped in the correct position. Cutting of the ‘teeth’ can then be done, with the slider moving ‘backwards’ to its original position. My only worry with this procedure was the difficulty of holding the Stop Piece immobile whilst fiddling with positioning and re-clamping the box sides. My solution was to cut a slot in the Stop Piece, and use a screwed knob into a ‘T’ nut on the underside of the base board to clamp the Stop Piece. After initial setting-up, and after re-clamping for the ‘backwards’ sequence, the screwed knob is loosened and the Stop Piece moved aside.

After a few experiments with scrap pieces, and some mental calculations as to how many turns to make to suit my 1/8 th inch blade, I failed to find any suitable wood for my first attempt at a box. Then I spotted an old port wine box being used to store candles, so I decided to reconstruct that. After prising the box apart – it was fixed with wire staples – I cut my ‘teeth’ (to coin a phrase) on the sides and ends, and ended up with parts that fitted together surprisingly well. I’d obtained a 3.3mm router slot cutter so ran that round the inside of the bottom of the box whilst it was clamped together to produce a groove for a hardboard (masonite ?) bottom piece. The width and length of the existing sliding top had to be adjusted so that it would fit in the smaller dimensions of the box. After the glue had dried, the ‘teeth’ were sanded down level with the box sides, and I was quite pleased with the result.

So, my thanks to Ed Stiles, and all the other Jig designers who helped me along the way.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk





10 comments so far

View htl's profile (online now)

htl

2845 posts in 880 days


#1 posted 01-23-2017 05:27 PM

Great job and I love mine!
Here's mine.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

672 posts in 2501 days


#2 posted 01-23-2017 05:30 PM



Great job and I love mine!
Here s mine.

- htl

Yes, yours was one I looked at on the way!

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View htl's profile (online now)

htl

2845 posts in 880 days


#3 posted 01-23-2017 05:36 PM

Been thinking of adding Stumpy’s measuring system to mine, might help when you loss count. lol

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View ScottKaye's profile

ScottKaye

517 posts in 1674 days


#4 posted 01-24-2017 02:45 AM

I wish Mr. Stiles had done more videos than just two. He has the MOST organized shop I have ever seen.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27225 posts in 2587 days


#5 posted 01-24-2017 12:48 PM

Don. this is a very interesting jig. I’m going to make this a favorite and do some research on this jig as well as some of the others. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

672 posts in 2501 days


#6 posted 01-24-2017 12:55 PM



Don. this is a very interesting jig. I m going to make this a favorite and do some research on this jig as well as some of the others. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

- helluvawreck

Thanks Charles – its funny, I never feel that a project is complete until I’ve posted something about it on Lumberjocks!

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

3633 posts in 859 days


#7 posted 01-24-2017 01:41 PM

Very nice Don. There have been many occassions when I would love to have a jig for box joints. I’ll have a look at the video and see if it fits the bill. Your’s looks very well constructed and precise. Certainly no arguing with your test joints on that wine box!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115927 posts in 3298 days


#8 posted 01-24-2017 03:13 PM

That’s one sweet looking jig Don, nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Chris 's profile

Chris

80 posts in 1093 days


#9 posted 01-25-2017 12:54 AM

This is great to see. I am working on one right now. I like the idea of the “clicker” on the inside – i think i will steal that :) very nice jig and thanks for sharing

-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

672 posts in 2501 days


#10 posted 01-29-2017 05:14 PM



Been thinking of adding Stumpy s measuring system to mine, might help when you loss count. lol

- htl

This started me thinking about keeping track and counting, and the result is shown at Position counter for screw-driven joint jigs – see: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/295514 . I put it in a separate project rather than as a comment here, as I think it might be applicable to jigs other than the one I made.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

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