Box Joint Jig from

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Project by Jesse Schutt posted 01-22-2011 04:00 PM 8892 views 19 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Folks!

My dad and I were trying to build some box joints with a simple router jig that I had built awhile ago. Needless to say, that didn’t go well at all! We both spent the better part of the day in the shop and ended with nothing but loose joints, wasted boards, and frustration.

So that evening I spent some time researching options for box joint jigs. I came across these excellent plans from Matthias over at At first I thought it would be impossible to build, but as I worked on it step by step, it really wasn’t that hard.

I’ve only built one 48 tooth gear that is meshed with a 12 tooth gear. Since it is running on a 16 TPI rod, one revolution of the large gear produces four turns of the rod, or 1/4 inch. This is a great jig and makes cutting box joints easy and fun! (Plus the gears are a lot of fun to build and they look cool in the shop!)

15 comments so far

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 3344 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 04:08 PM

I love Matthias’ stuff! You’re giving me confidence to try to build some of his very intimidating projects. Great job!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2913 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 04:12 PM

When I first looked at the picture I though I was looking at a Rube Goldberg machine. Then, after reading the narrative and taking a closer look, I realized this is a pretty good idea and making it would not be as hard as I first thought.

Well done. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 04:34 PM

Matthias is quite the engineer. He has a video on this jig on You Tube; cool to watch. He also built his own bandsaw from scratch among other things. I was going to build this jig myself but was concerned it was a timely project. Glad to see someone tackled it and succeeded. Looks like it worked great. Thanks for posting.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 2532 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 04:54 PM

Looks like you did a great job. Good to know it’s doable :-) I also love Mathias’ site and stuff. You are encouraging us to follow suit. Thanks for sharing.

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View stevef22's profile


35 posts in 2717 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 05:28 PM

Really cool project, Do you have a way to take video of it in action? That would be cool. You can upload to utube for free.

View Jesse Schutt's profile

Jesse Schutt

13 posts in 2526 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 05:29 PM

Thanks for the thoughts guys!

Steve – Matthias has a youtube video of this same jig in action already. Go to and look for the box joint jig.

View DYNO360's profile


151 posts in 2704 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 06:43 PM

Congratulations. I’m glad to see someone make one of Matthias’s box joint jigs. Nice work!

View bigike's profile


4053 posts in 3127 days

#8 posted 01-22-2011 06:51 PM

good work, very nice job.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 2866 days

#9 posted 01-22-2011 07:04 PM

Nice job, Mechanical wood engineering at it’s finest :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 2672 days

#10 posted 01-22-2011 07:47 PM

hey is this project possible without a drill press?
and whats the hardest part about it?
i can’t dimension any lumber very well as well. my jointer needs to be fixed.

-- Ben L

View Jesse Schutt's profile

Jesse Schutt

13 posts in 2526 days

#11 posted 01-22-2011 08:32 PM


I’m sure this could be done without a drill press, although you do drill a lot of holes, especially for the gears. There really isn’t one thing that is super hard. I found that it was important to get the measurements spot on and to align things properly. The plans came with metric dimensions, and it would be pretty tough to switch them to inches as you would have some pretty ridiculous fractions to deal with. So you’ll need a tape that has a metric side to it.

And yes, you do have to do some dimensioning of lumber as various parts require various thicknesses. You might be able to do it with a planer and table saw if your jointer isn’t working.

Overall I was impressed with how easy it was to follow the instructions and put together.

If you notice, mine doesn’t currently have the idler wheel assembly as I felt that the box came together tight enough in the rails to eliminate the need for it.

View Splinterman's profile


23072 posts in 3200 days

#12 posted 01-23-2011 02:48 AM

Hey Jesse,
Sweet job..well done.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 3173 days

#13 posted 01-23-2011 02:40 PM

Hi Jesse. You did a great job on that jig and obviously you are enjoying it. The resulting box joints look good too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile


29192 posts in 2705 days

#14 posted 01-23-2011 02:51 PM

That’s a very interesting jig and you did a wonderful job on it. I love his web site.

-- 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 Sodabowski's profile


2365 posts in 2672 days

#15 posted 01-24-2011 12:41 AM

It’s nice to see how many we are to know and appreciate Mathias’s stuff :)
Good take on the jig Jesse!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

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