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finger joints on a long panel

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Forum topic by glen posted 03-10-2013 03:44 AM 2086 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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glen

160 posts in 2014 days


03-10-2013 03:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: box joints finger joints

Hey All – I have a feeling asking this question will expose my severe case of HTI (Hand Tool Inadequacy), but I thought I should ask.

I have a project I’m thinking of that will require me cutting 3/4” box joints on the end of a 6’ panel. In the past i’ve done box joints on my table saw and with my D4R jig, but both of those methods require standing the board up on end. To use the TS method, I’d have to have a crazy sled for it and super high ceilings, or stand on a ladder for the jig method. Any suggestions on how I could use a jig and power tools? Or do you think the best way would be to cut them by hand?

Any thoughts appreciated!


10 replies so far

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

850 posts in 1579 days


#1 posted 03-10-2013 04:25 AM

Could you use a router? And then just square up the corners with a chisel? That is the only thing that comes to mind. Maybe make the boards a little extra wide that way you can trim the edges if you need to.

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shelly_b

850 posts in 1579 days


#2 posted 03-10-2013 04:27 AM

How wide will your boards be? You may be able to use a dovetail jig with a straight bit… if you could find one with 3/4in slots.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1738 days


#3 posted 03-10-2013 04:28 AM

+1 shelly_b

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1963 days


#4 posted 03-10-2013 05:20 AM

You could possibly work something out with a router, but you may have to get quite creative on how you do it unless you already have a jig that you can mount on its end.

Otherwise essentially by hand, except that you could probably do a lot of the cuts with either a jig saw or band saw. In fact, I once saw a video of someone who set up a stop block behind the band saw blade to regulate the depth of cut. Then, after doing a few cuts along the grain and cleaning out the joint roughly, he moved the wood from side to side while pushed up against the stop block and that created a pretty goog and clean cut across the grain too.

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

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1738 days


#5 posted 03-10-2013 05:58 AM

+1 Tootles

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View glen's profile

glen

160 posts in 2014 days


#6 posted 03-10-2013 07:05 AM

@shelly – the board will be about 24” wide, so it would fit in my dovetail jig (the leigh d4r) but it would have to be turned on its side and I’d have to run the router on its side as well (parallel with the ground), which would be a little awkward. I might be able to make my own little jig by cutting fingers the right spacing on a piece of hardboard and then using that as a template with a guidebushing on the panel.

@Tootles – I’ve seen cuts (and have done cuts) like that before. It can give a nice finish. I was thinking that if I had to do this by hand, i’d get rid of most of the wood with my jigsaw and then just pare down the remainder with a chisel. Should be clean as long as I don’t over cut my markings.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Anything else?

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shelly_b

850 posts in 1579 days


#7 posted 03-10-2013 07:29 AM

Make a jig on your ts the same width as your boards, make the fingers/slots 3/4in just like you want your finished peice. Clamp it flat on your board and use a patern bit(with the bearing on top). You will still have to clean the corners, but atleast you don’t have to stand the board on end…or cut it all by hand. I hope this makes since…I am not very good at explaining things. If it’s unclear please ask any questions you may have!

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shelly_b

850 posts in 1579 days


#8 posted 03-10-2013 07:32 AM

Sorry, I started writing that then got busy (I am at work) and you must have been writing at the same time,, but must be a good idea since we both thought of it;) I would definately try on a practice peice first if you make a jig, but that sounds to me like the best way to go!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#9 posted 03-10-2013 01:04 PM

Make templates to the match the end of your boards and cut box joints using your table saw jig. Then w/ double side tape attach the templates to the ends of your boards and rout them out using a pattern bit or flush trim bit depending whether you use a router table or not. You will have to square up the corners by hand. This method will work best if these are larger fingers.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1738 days


#10 posted 03-10-2013 01:41 PM

glen .... shelly_b and bondogaposis posted the solution…good luck with your project

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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