Quickie box-joint jig

  • Advertise with us
Project by Douger posted 03-26-2011 05:30 PM 3312 views 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a box-joint jig I made and used to cut the joints on the tool box I posted a few days ago. It is set up for 1/8” joints (the width of my saw blade kerf, because I don’t currently own a dado set), but by replacing the plate that holds the 1/8” registration key, I can use it to cut box joints of any width (once I get that dado set). I based this on a jig that was featured in Woodsmith magazine some years ago (maybe 20 years ago, now that I think of it). I made one back then for my dad’s saw. The little vertical backing plate with the hole in it slides in and out in a kind of dovetail groove—it’s replaceable, too. The idea is that it reduces tear-out on the back side of the cut, so having different plates for different widths is a good idea.

It was sort of a quick-and-dirty job (as you may be able to tell, I only countersunk one of the adjustment bolt heads, partly because I didn’t anticipate cutting a joint that wide), but it gets the job done. I also didn’t have a drill press when I made this, so the slot for the width adjustment bolts is pretty sloppy. I will probably make another one at some point—there’s not much to it.

This one is made of maple and 3/16” tempered hardboard.

-- Doug, Kansas,

9 comments so far

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 2781 days

#1 posted 03-26-2011 05:45 PM

Looks good. I like the idea of having a backing plate that can be changed out with regards to tear-out. Simple and functional, can’t beat that. Thanks for posting.

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

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3308 days

#2 posted 03-26-2011 05:51 PM

quick and clean
i like simple

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10367 posts in 3396 days

#3 posted 03-26-2011 05:57 PM

Ditto Scott’s and David’s comments.
Not being a rocket surgeon, I too, like simple.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3469 days

#4 posted 03-26-2011 10:01 PM

Nice One Doug, Thanks!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View steliart's profile


2595 posts in 2655 days

#5 posted 03-27-2011 01:37 AM

i like quickies

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View EnchantedAcresDesign's profile


43 posts in 2587 days

#6 posted 03-27-2011 09:27 AM

Simple is good….. I like simple. Jigs are a must in any shop especially homegrown. :)

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3048 days

#7 posted 03-28-2011 07:01 PM

Looks good, but did you use Curly Maple to make this? My wife would kill me if I used nice wood like that to make jigs. lol. I had a 3”x5”x3/4” cutoff of walnut and she asked, “You’re not going to throw that away, right?” My budget is more in the pine or alder realm so when I get to buy actual nice hardwoods, she makes sure I’m not wasting any. Although I try not to anyway. Well, to get back on topic, I do like the idea of a replaceable hardboard piece like you have. Well done.

-- Matt -

View Douger's profile


74 posts in 2653 days

#8 posted 03-29-2011 08:38 PM


Yep, it’s curly maple, reclaimed from a cabinet door that a friend gave me many years ago—there’s a glue joint right down the middle of it, and it sat in my garage for 20 years and got water-stained, so it’s really not quite as nice as it might appear in the photo. It was the only bit of hardwood I had laying around that was roughly the right size and reasonably flat and square…

I had a friend years ago—an architectural grad student—who was a woodworker and lived in the same apartment complex as me; he started on a cabinet project for someone, but the project fell through and was never completed, so he gave me a bunch of the parts he had made but never assembled—rails and stiles and raised panels, all hard maple like this. I’ve used most of it up over the years, making gifts for family members and such, but this particular piece wasn’t as nice as the rest of it, so it’s been in the scrap pile for a very long time :-)

-- Doug, Kansas,

View mcgriffith's profile


87 posts in 2364 days

#9 posted 12-02-2011 05:06 PM

That is a nice jig. I am going to look at what you made with it – the tool box. I am new to making and using jigs and so many times I cannot see how it works from the pictures I see.

Tahnks for sharing this one, it seems it will be useful when I can make one.

I have a very tight budget, so I suppose I will jsut have to make it from what I can get – usually a few scraps from the construction sites around town. So far nothing special, but I hope some day I will run into so hardwood scraps when I look. I dont look too often since I dont have a lot of space for wood. My brother-in-law can get old palets that I am hoping will be a good resource for me, even if they are a pain to clean up to use. I will experiment a little.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

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