Box joints on the cheap???

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Forum topic by DanoP posted 01-13-2012 11:07 PM 10560 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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135 posts in 2366 days

01-13-2012 11:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: box joint table saw jig question

Hello LJs,
I’m just getting started and would like to start expanding my skill set and my horizons… and I don’t have a lot of $.
So, here’s the question; how do I get a decent box joint using a cheap table saw, cheaper blade (no dado set) and a “developing” skill level?

Thanks to your help, I was able to make a nice spline jig for my miter joints which produced really nice results but I would like to move on to something stronger for drawers and more utilitarian boxes.

Thanks in advance for all your help and patients.

-- We've got enough youth. Let's search for a fountain of smart.

6 replies so far

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4015 days

#1 posted 01-14-2012 06:55 AM

Get hold of a set of the Woodsmith plans for their homemade adjustable box joint jig. You can use it on a table saw or router table, and you can build it for about $10.00 max. I’ve got one that I use all the time … takes about 5-10 minutes to set up if you change width of the fingers, and it holds it’s setting forever if not disturbed. Works great.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 01-14-2012 07:15 AM

Here, here, and here are but a few of the many examples of simple jigs like the one I use can be found by doing a simple internet search for “homemade box joint jig”.
Or if you want to build something truly awesome, here is where you can get the plans for a screw advance box joint jig.


View KnickKnack's profile


1090 posts in 3593 days

#3 posted 01-14-2012 10:13 AM

I recently built a micro-adjustable fence for making box/finger joints – it costs next to nothing.
I built it for a router table, but, as long as you can attach it, fence is fence, so the idea of it might fly for you.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2528 days

#4 posted 01-14-2012 11:22 AM

I need to do a project post on this, with better photos, but I have recently made myself a box joint jig for my saw onto which I am not able to install a dado blade. Mine works like a kerfmaker so that I do not need to measure anything. Everything is set from the thickness (T) of the wood that I am working with. Three tricks though. First, the pin (aluminium on mine) must be the same thickness (t) as the kerf of the blade. Second I do need an extra aluminium spacer to set up two fo the cuts. You can see this in the first and second photos below, but it is removed in the third photo. Third, you need to keep your wits about you to make the first few cuts – it is very easy to stuff up.

I’ve included a few pictures below. Send me a PM if you want more detail before I get around to posting it as a project, and probably also a blog about how to set it up and use it.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View 03gtvert's profile


4 posts in 2349 days

#5 posted 01-18-2012 05:43 AM

Do you have a router? if not, I would suggest looking into that. I built myslef a jig similar to the oak park and love it. Now my router broke and being a poor college student, I will have to replace it after I get my books. You can google it to figure out how that jig works. Good luck in your projects.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3077 days

#6 posted 02-01-2012 11:38 AM

Go to, purchase the plans for his gear advance box joint jig for $14.00 and never look back. It works perfectly. Just make the gears carefully. Watch all his videos for understanding. VBersitilemm repeatable and cool.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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