I have been asked to do a tutorial on how I made my Box Joint Bracelet
I will be trying to go Step-By-Step and not leave anything out. I know I am missing a couple of pics but will try and explain things as good as I can.
The first thing I would like to address is SAFETY There are many ways to do almost any process, depending on how you were taught/learned. Please be VERY carfull when useing your tools. I would hate to see anyone get hurt.
Onward: I only used one piece of wood for this because I was not even sure I could do it. Didn’t want to mess up my small stash of purpleheart or ebony etc.. You can use one type of wood or like Ampeate suggested use multiple woods for a good contrasting collection of colors. My next one WILL be made with different woods for a more stylish look. ( it might even have some inlay or segmentation ).
I found a design for a Box Joint Jig on the WoodWorking Channel Video Library It is a very informative site.
As you can see, it is nothing more than a piece of plywood with a 1/4 wide by 3/16 tall stip of whatever you want to use for your jig, run down the center. It has a hole for the router bit to stick up through and you set it up by spaceing the bit the same distance from the Strip as the strip is wide ( also the same as your bit size. )
You could use a different size bit and make your jig to the same scale ( 3/8 bit, means a 3/8 strip and space…etc)
If you have never made a box joint , what you do is cut a series of slots in your corasponding corners that are the same width as what your spaces are. You alternate the slots so that the top and bottom of your sides will be even. You do this by starting one piece with a “peg” and the other piece with a “slot” In order to get your slot at the edge of your board you need a spacer. The easiest way to make your spacer is to take a piece of squared off lumber and run it against your Strip putting a grove all the way down it. Turn it around over your Strip and the edge of it is flush with your bit. In the picture below you can see my spacer board sitting over the Strip in place.
With these pieces being as small as they are, DO NOT TRY TO HOLD THEM BY HAND WHEN CUTTING! Your fingers will be WAY too close to the router bit. Safety First!
I made a small jig to hold the pieces.
All this is, is a piece of wood with a notch on the end the same width as your pieces ( mine is 3/4 inch) It has a hole drilled in the end to accept a bolt. This tightens up against the block and your material to hold it in place.
Lets talk about your material size. In my bracelet I used a standard 1/4 inch bit and space to make the sections. This means that the piece of wood starts out at 3/4 inch wide. THIS MUST BE VERY ACCURATE! If not your joints will NOT fit. Also used 1/4 inch thick, this can very depending on how thick you want your bracelet. Made my starting strip of wood 1/4 X 3/4 X about 12 inches long. Depending on how big you want your bracelet will determine how many links you will need.
Then cut the piece off at 1 inch long. Insert into cutting jig with the notch up.
Remove the link re-insert into holding jig with center notch up again, nut with last cut away from the router bit. this will make your last cut on the opposite corner.
When done your pieces/links should look like this.
Make as many of these links as you need for your length. HINT if you are using one piece of wood….KEEP THEM IN ORDER! that way your grain will run around the length of your bracelet. ( beleive me it is harder to line them back up later.) You can even number them to help keep them in order.
At this point is where I drilled the holes for the pivots. Put 2 pieces together in a vice and drill your hole for the pin to go into. I have some 1/16 inch brad nails that are just perfect for this. DO NOT INSERT YOUR PINS YET! They are VERY hard to get back out. You might even have to make a new link. ( I did ) haha
With the square ends on the links they will not pivot with the pins in place. You need to sand the edges and ends of your links to make them clear. I keep putting my pin PART WAY IN ONLY. and checking for clearance. Remember, If you are useing a finish that “Builds Up” n the srface of your wood you will need clearance for this also.
You can shape your pieces as much or as little as you want providing you have enough play to allow movement.
At this point I applied 2 coats of hand wipe poly to all pieces.
When dried I tried the fit and sanded where neccesary to ensure ease of movement. ( tried to get this to act like a loose chain. Wanted it to feel like a real chain would.)
Inserted pins and added clasp.
Your clasp can be whatever type you prefer. Mine is a simple “lobster claw” type. I ran the pivot pin through the ring on the end in the midle of the notch. On the other end I placed a ring to hook to.
You Are Done!
I know I could have had better pics of some of the steps. Please feel free to ask for more detail if you do not understand a step. PM me or leave question here for everyone that might need an answer.
I hope everyone enjoyed this tutorial. And I hope everyone tries this out. There are a lot of ways to very this design and make a veriety of styles, colors, sizes….. etc. Please feel free to change my design!
Please leave all comments, concerns, questions and critiques. I would like to be able to help all those out there that are wanting help. So please don’t be afraid to ask.
-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!