LumberJocks

Slotting jig for small boxes

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Project by LoydMoore posted 05-17-2013 08:43 PM 1705 views 7 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is not really a new project but one I thought might be of interest to my fellow Jocks. In my younger years I purchased several cheap Craftsmen routers but as I was able afford “real” routers these things ended up in the junk cabinet. Since I prefer thin kerf blades, cutting slots for the top and bottoms of my boxes was a router table chore using multiple setups. One day I noticed a 1/8” three wing slot bit that had been gathering dust for several years.

It was simple to make a mini router table using existing parts and around $10.00 worth of MDF. Now I have a small machine that performs all four cuts without any setup time – well I guess it does take about a minute to set the unit on the workbench and clamp down the friction boards. Best of all, I can test all of my major dimensions on the Baltic Birch before making the cuts on the top panels. It is an ugly jig but saves time and makes accurate cuts. If I want to make cuts in a 1/4” box tray, I simply clamp a piece of 1/8” to the fence.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX http:www.moorewoodenboxes.com





16 comments so far

View jeff robinson's profile

jeff robinson

100 posts in 2478 days


#1 posted 05-17-2013 11:05 PM

i would like to see more pics of jig

-- jeff robinson, panama city, fl

View abie's profile

abie

612 posts in 2522 days


#2 posted 05-18-2013 02:14 AM

Ditto: Your pictures lack something…..

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View easiersaidthandone's profile

easiersaidthandone

72 posts in 875 days


#3 posted 05-18-2013 03:52 AM

Where does the router fit in to all of this?

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1328 days


#4 posted 05-18-2013 08:58 AM

Nice job!
Slot cutters are way underused in woodworking IMHO.
They have quite a bit of versatility.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

831 posts in 1816 days


#5 posted 05-18-2013 11:44 AM

I’m not truly sure I understand or have seen in the pics what it is you’re creating using the jig. Don’t go by me as I don’t build these types of projects so I’m still flying blind when I look at most of the things posted here. I like the tension board idea, have seen this once before and think I’llmake myself a couple.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View LoydMoore's profile

LoydMoore

96 posts in 707 days


#6 posted 05-18-2013 02:30 PM

So here are a few more pictures.

This is not a jig for your best router. All the router does is hold the bit in a fixed position and spin it at a high rate of speed. This router cost around $30 25 years ago and hadn’t been used for at least 15 years.
Slot cutters can get nasty with some rough tear out but I set this up with zero clearance so that is not an issue. I did have to bugger out the back side of the fence to clear the pilot bearing.

The fence pivots on the left and has an adjustable stop block on the right. I used the stop block, calipers and feeler gauges to dial in the depth of cut to around .230”. I set the cutter height using a 1/8” gage block and hit the proper height on the first try. The other picture shows the 1/8” Baltic Birch shim clamped in place for working with 1/4” thick materials.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX http:www.moorewoodenboxes.com

View PaulLL's profile

PaulLL

158 posts in 727 days


#7 posted 05-18-2013 02:49 PM

Your additional pics make a world of difference! ha This looks like a great little set up

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#8 posted 05-18-2013 02:58 PM

Good Idea to have a special table for slots. Who would ever guessed a old sears router would be good for something :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1187 posts in 1066 days


#9 posted 05-18-2013 03:48 PM

Interesting off on switch …
So, you cut the slots for the box bottom on this guy, The added photo’s really helped.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View LoydMoore's profile

LoydMoore

96 posts in 707 days


#10 posted 05-18-2013 04:23 PM

The switch has a removable key that hangs from a lanyard when not in use.

I usually make a couple boxes a week, mostly for charity auctions and raffles. This jig simply saves a lot of time and gives repeatable results. I do sell a few but it is difficult to find customers willing to part with the kind of money I need. I’d rather give me away than work for $5 an hour.

Yes I cut the slots and rabbets for the bottoms. I also use it for offset top like the two boxes shown.

I have also used this jig to install backs in some medium sized cabinets. It has a much cleaner look than a rabbet.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX http:www.moorewoodenboxes.com

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

831 posts in 1816 days


#11 posted 05-18-2013 06:06 PM

Loyd, thanks so much for the extra shots they really helped me see what the whole project was used for. I went to your website and looked at some of your other pieces. If I could ask when you cut the wedges into the corners they look like they are at least 3/4” long and the material it is cut into is only 3/8” how do you keep from cutting thru or do you and then trim the wedges on the inside as well??
On the humidor that’s posted on LJ’s are the corners all mitered, including the small upright pieces? Do you use a motorized miter saw to make these small cuts? Thanks Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1328 days


#12 posted 05-18-2013 06:55 PM

Beautiful work on your other boxes on your website btw.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View LoydMoore's profile

LoydMoore

96 posts in 707 days


#13 posted 05-18-2013 07:20 PM

Give me a chance to be a smart azz and I will take the bait everytime.

First – 7/16” is the thinnest wall dimension I use for my boxes. That is more due to the hinges available than anything else but even at 3/8” I could still use a ½” wide lock, since the hypotenuse of each miter is 9/16” with an overall length of around 1”. I always shoot for ½” wall thickness but that is really determined by how much cleanup is required after re-sawing.

I do occasionally put on my idiot hat and cut to deep which means a lot of cleanup. Those pieces go into the kinfolk Christmas/birthday gift pile.

On the humidor I cut a ¼” x ¼” rabbet all around, after installing the miter locks. The wedges are set as deep as I could make them without cutting through. That is not the traditional method for joining the corners of humidors but I was more interested seeing what it would look like. I really like the look of the corner mold with the miter locks.

I built the first one two years ago and have kept a bowl of water in it all this time. I’ve put it in the freezer and then moved it into the direct west TX sun for extended periods of time. I also have left it in the bathroom where it gets a couple doses of shower steam twice a day. It has held up well, nothing to make me think that joint is going to cause problems. I gave the second one to my son just to see if he could find issues with it.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX http:www.moorewoodenboxes.com

View NormG's profile

NormG

4537 posts in 1755 days


#14 posted 05-19-2013 05:07 AM

It works that is the most important thing

-- Norman

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

831 posts in 1816 days


#15 posted 05-19-2013 02:16 PM

Loyd, I follow all your info except how you attach the little corner uprights. I searched for the miter lock as I was not familiar with that. This is what your talking about, right? As for tossing up the softball for you to be a smarta$$ glad I could oblige. LOL When I ask a question its just that I don’t know or think it thru enough to understand. I appreciate any info the more experienced woodworkers care to share. Thanks Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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