box joint on LONG board

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Forum topic by saltworth posted 03-02-2017 02:45 PM 895 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 648 days

03-02-2017 02:45 PM

I need to make roughly 2,000 pieces at 7’ long each, both ends box jointed. (1×8 material).

I do not have 10’ ceilings, nor would I be comfortable standing that tall a board upright.

I am honestly thinking about mounting my TS on the wall, and running the material through on the horizontal!

I don’t really care if it takes me a week to set-up, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around any good ideas to get this job done. If anybody has a tip for making box joints on long boards I would appreciate it.


16 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3173 days

#1 posted 03-02-2017 02:56 PM

2,000! WOW.

Some type of jig/template setup with router??? Maybe a 2 step process, first template and pattern bit with router held in “regular” vertical position to cut fingers but that will leave rounded corners. Then another setup with router held horizontal to square up corners.

View AZWoody's profile


1413 posts in 1421 days

#2 posted 03-02-2017 03:24 PM

Is it worth it to go look at machinery auctions to find a machine that’s made just for that purpose?

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2774 days

#3 posted 03-02-2017 03:30 PM

View llewel's profile


14 posts in 649 days

#4 posted 03-02-2017 03:45 PM

How about rigging up something like a slot mortiser using a router (mounted in a horizontal position) that would cut vertically as opposed to horizontally, leaving you with nice square corners and no need for multiple steps to get there? 2000 pieces sounds like it would be worth the effort. There are plans for a slot mortiser on Woodgears that might give you some inspiration.

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain

-- Llewel, Texas

View jimintx's profile (online now)


853 posts in 1781 days

#5 posted 03-02-2017 03:48 PM

This certainly sounds like a tough one. If you can share, what will these be used for?

What is the time frame for getting this done? At a rate of 200 per day, it would only take 10 days! (I’m guessing there wasn’t all that much competition for this job!)

Anyway, if I had that to do, I think I would scheme up some sort of jig and just do it with a handheld router. It seems to me that with the router drive shaft in a horizontal orientation, the board could be fixed to a bench or horses, and the router passed downward, through the board.

A question for me would be how to do this if I was only going to do a small amount, say 4 of them…

Using nominal 8-inch wide material, how many fingers, or slots, would there be – maybe 5 or 6?
Thus, 5×2 x 2,000 = 20,000 slots

Let us know what creative means you come up with.

Edit: while I was typing and drinking coffee, I see llewel offered a similar approach, with more details.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2774 days

#6 posted 03-02-2017 03:52 PM

Farm it out to a CNC shop

View jimintx's profile (online now)


853 posts in 1781 days

#7 posted 03-02-2017 05:24 PM

Farm it out to a CNC shop
- waho6o9

Probably the best idea yet. Seriously.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View saltworth's profile


2 posts in 648 days

#8 posted 03-02-2017 05:45 PM

thx for the advice…

I suppose yes a router would work with a template bit…

and yes I would buy a machine if there was one…

and now it looks like the guy at wood gears has something promising… thank you both.

they are going to be used for building caskets and yes approx 5 fingers each end…

i will “likely” put my saw on the wall before it goes to CNC, but taken as good advice and will consider.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


1631 posts in 1411 days

#9 posted 03-02-2017 05:54 PM

I was going to suggest a solution with the CNC, but you have made up your mind. Good luck putting your saw on the wall

-- Desert_Woodworker

View ChefHDAN's profile (online now)


1170 posts in 3047 days

#10 posted 03-02-2017 06:18 PM

I had to do a boatload of 8’ shelves with a 1” notch every 18” for the shelf brackets, I stacked & clamped the boards and used a router and dado jig along the edge grain, I think you could do the same and cut several of them at each pass. You could stack 12 boards to get a 9” stack and slip them into a sleeved jig with a fence on one side and then cut spacers for each subsequent cut, if the bit size and your spacers are right the cuts would go very fast

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View AZWoody's profile


1413 posts in 1421 days

#11 posted 03-02-2017 06:24 PM

and yes I would buy a machine if there was one…

- saltworth":

View Lazyman's profile


2608 posts in 1584 days

#12 posted 03-02-2017 07:23 PM

Checkout the Milescraft dovetail template master. It can be used to make finger joints as well. You use it to make a router jig that can be clamped to the edge of any sized board and make a dovetail joint of any length. You cut one section and use the last cut to line up for the next section. It comes with the necessary bits so all you need is the wood to make the template. Practice on a piece of scrap before you cut the big piece.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Redoak49's profile


3657 posts in 2186 days

#13 posted 03-02-2017 09:13 PM

I just did a search with Google for box joints on horizontal router. There are a couple of really good ideas that would work and you can build the horizontal router yourself.

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

723 posts in 2089 days

#14 posted 03-03-2017 12:32 AM

Maybe mount your saw on your garage door and that way if you have a garage door opener it will go quicker.

-- Daniel P

View Jimintomahawak's profile


73 posts in 673 days

#15 posted 03-03-2017 02:05 AM

Dan, I about choked on my beer while reading this one….

-- Laziness drives creative thinking...

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