LumberJocks

Screw-Advance Box Joint Jig

  • Advertise with us
Project by Peter Oxley posted 12-10-2010 09:49 PM 10467 views 41 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This jig is based on the box joint jig designed by Matthias Wandel at www.woodgears.ca . If you haven’t seen his site, you should check it out – a ton of great ideas for shop machinery you can build yourself.

I made a few modifications to the original design to fit my work style:
  • I moved the crank mechanism to the right and oriented the primary gear vertically, which I thought would make it more comfortable for me to use.
  • I use fractional inches in most of my work, so I designed the system with that in mind. The screw pitch is 16 TPI, so one turn advances the jig 1/16”. The primary gear is four times the size of the drive gear, so a full turn on the crank gives me 1/4” advance. I designed the primary gear assembly so it could be changed to different size gears, but so far I’ve only used the one size.
  • I didn’t trust myself to always turn the crank exactly a full turn (and I’m the sort of guy who can lose count between one and three), so I added a scale to the fixed fence and an indicator on the carriage. For additional accuracy, I added an indicator by the drive gear and colored the indicator and “zero” tooth red. This also gives me the flexibility to make joints in increments that are a multiples of 1/8” and even multiples of 1/16” without building additional primary gears, but would require making partial turns on the primary gear. However, the smallest joints I have made are 1/8”, which requires 1/4” advance – one full turn of the crank.
  • The carriage rides on two sliding dovetails. I’m a little fixated on sliding dovetails, and even make full-extension drawer slides out of them sometimes. The carriage is tight enough between the dovetails that there is no noticable movement.
  • In an effort to save a couple of dollars, I used a seamless sleeve instead of a bearing for the screw. That was a mistake, as the side load on the gear creates quite a bit of friction. I’ll replace it with a bearing soon.

The last two pictures are the largest and smallest boxes I’ve made with the jig so far. The big box is a book-return drawer for our local library with ½” x ¾” box joints. Yes, I cleaned up the glue before installing it! The little box is for my dial calipers and has 1/8” x ¼” joints.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --





23 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1597 posts in 1653 days


#1 posted 12-10-2010 09:57 PM

Nice work. I have considered building this myself. Did you find the plans easy to follow?Did you cut 4 ends at a time when making the fingers?
I will second peter in saying that www.woodgears.ca is an awesome site and he posts a new article every monday.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View wseand's profile

wseand

2321 posts in 1707 days


#2 posted 12-10-2010 10:15 PM

Well that is just Fricken incredible. I have to say it is great to be able to build your own tools, I wish I had the talent, one of these days, months, years, etc…. Thanks for posting it.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#3 posted 12-10-2010 10:18 PM

very nicely done. this will save you a lot of headache in the long run if you do a lot of boxjoints.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2198 posts in 1702 days


#4 posted 12-10-2010 10:46 PM

I too bought those plans a while back. They are AWESOME! But, like many others, I have yet to build it.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View dannymac's profile

dannymac

144 posts in 1681 days


#5 posted 12-10-2010 10:49 PM

totally cool just added woodgears.ca to my favs

-- dannymac

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11550 posts in 1771 days


#6 posted 12-10-2010 11:07 PM

Far out, man!!!!!!!!! That is one nice machine!!
Thanks for showing it to us all!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AttainableApex's profile

AttainableApex

338 posts in 1498 days


#7 posted 12-11-2010 12:25 AM

man i want one of these

-- Ben L

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2540 days


#8 posted 12-11-2010 02:13 AM

Thanks for the comments! I actually didn’t buy the plans (sorry Matthias), but just read the blog and designed from there. However, given the clarity and depth of information on the website, I bet the plans will be great.

@BeeMan – yep, I cut all four boards at once, so you only have two setups to cut all the joints for a box. It’s pretty slick.

If you’ve been thinking about building it – get to it, you’ll love it! I almost never use my dovetail jig anymore.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2440 days


#9 posted 12-11-2010 01:10 PM

Very impressive design. You did a great job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1970 posts in 2130 days


#10 posted 12-12-2010 05:06 AM

Thanks this and the website are going straight to favorites.
I like box joints and this may just get me use more of them.
BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6200 posts in 1466 days


#11 posted 12-13-2010 01:25 AM

I’ve bought the plans for the bandsaw, box joint jig and horizontal mortiser. I’ve built all three 90% and may even finish them some day!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2628 days


#12 posted 12-13-2010 03:35 AM

Ho, Peter!!! I see you’re still at it in a grand way. Great jig and probably as useful as all get out. I’m thinkin’ of ya while enjoying the warm here in south California. Only got to 83 today. DANG!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2540 days


#13 posted 12-13-2010 04:55 PM

I’m getting ready to build a batch of 20 drawers, so this thing is going to get a workout again really soon. It’s really not too hard to build, and the increased productivity is definately worth the effort.

@Thos – great to hear from you! Maybe I’m crazy, but I like my Idaho weather. There is just something wrong about 83 degrees in December. Of course, I might feel differently after a few winters in Jordan Valley!

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View AttainableApex's profile

AttainableApex

338 posts in 1498 days


#14 posted 12-14-2010 02:31 AM

hey how much did you end up spending on this jig

-- Ben L

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2540 days


#15 posted 12-15-2010 04:47 PM

@Attainable – That’s a good question. I didn’t really calculate the cost. All of the lumber was on-hand. If you had to buy a full-sheet of good ply to make the base, that would really drive up the cost compared to the cost of the few sqft I actually took from stock. I would estimate materials at about $30-40 on this. If you purchase the plans from woodgears.ca that would put your cost closer to $50.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase