Follow-up on Kehoe Jig

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Blog entry by Jack Dalton posted 11-16-2009 06:49 AM 6851 reads 7 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A Novice Woodworker Meets the Kehoe Jig

Some of you will remember when I asked if anyone could tell me how to make the dovetail splines in the corner of a box I had seen on a Rockler cover. Well, a fellow member of Mason Dixon Woodworkers, Karson told me he had a Kehoe jig to do just that. A number of you were familiar with this jig and wrote about it. Imagine my surprise when Kevin and Terry Jaynes, owners of the Kehoe jig saw my post and offered to GIVE me a complete jig set.

I had some cedar form the grounds of a local museum and wanted to make some candle boxes from it for the museum. I am fortunate to Have Karson Morrison and Bill Jefferson to guide me in my woodworking education. Bill said I should first make a box out of pine to be sure of my design.

Well, I built the boxes and got ready to try the Kehoe jig. I called Karson to come over to see that I got things right. The jig was very easy to use; simple spring clamps hold it to the work piece.

The jig is built so that the splines are tapered by one degree so they lock into the dovetail. The jig for the miter saw is also tapered so the splines have to same one degree taper. All I had to do was cut them and slide the in the slots.

Karson and I were doing very well with the pine box when Bill had to stop by to make sure we were doing it right. Well, for those who don’t know Bill, he has to constantly kibitz and comment on what is going on. Well, when we looked at what we had done while he was there we saw that we had attached the jig out of line on one of the corners and one dovetail was cut wrong.

We used walnut splines to contrast to the pine and the prototype box came out pretty good.

Feeling confidant, I moved forward and built the cedar boxes. They came out very good and the maple splines contrast well with the cedar.

Then Karson showed up at my shop with a beautiful sapele board and reminded me that we did not have an item for the raffle at our club’s annual dinner next week. I had complete confidence in the Kehoe jig and jumped right in to build another candle box (#4).

I used the same maple for the splines and it looked good with the sapele. I was now so confidant using the Kehoe that I decided to make a candle box for each of our daughters for Christmas.

This time I used mahogany and the maple splines look good with them. Don’t you know that while I’m in the middle of this my wife tells me she needs a Christmas present for a neighbor. Here goes candle box number 8.

Now I want to try getting fancy and even try to put contrasting splines inside each other. Two months ago I didn’t even know what it was and now I’m getting fancy with the jig. If you want to add some pizzas to your projects I recommend you get the Kehoe jig; it’s accurate and easy to use and your projects will take on a whole new look. Thanks so much to Kevin and Terry for their wonderful gift.

-- I leave behind little bits of beauty to compensate for for my impact on this world.

13 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#1 posted 11-16-2009 01:28 PM

Jack, this looks like an interesting tool. And you made some gorgeous boxes with it.

What a nice way to spend the day- getting in some shop time, trying out a new tool and having Karson and Bill over to watch.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3882 days

#2 posted 11-16-2009 02:47 PM

They look great. It is fun to play around. So many times you learn something in the shop, never to be used again. Looks like you figured that one out.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3906 days

#3 posted 11-16-2009 03:11 PM

Nice boxes. Nice story.

View dustyal's profile


1294 posts in 3475 days

#4 posted 11-16-2009 03:56 PM

Wow Jack, you keep practicing like that you might even get good… now if I can just win that raffle…

Beautiful work. Hopefully, you’ll bring some of the boxes to the meeting as we’d like to see them. Now Karson will expect me to really step up my box making. I thought I was doing good to get to the simple spline miters. Where’s my mentor, Pete, when I need him? LOL.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4401 days

#5 posted 11-16-2009 04:02 PM

Jack: Great job on the boxes. And as President of the club I want to thank you for the item that will be used for our raffle.

The spline cutting jig for the chop saw works great and It is a lot easier than the table saw version. If you need to make a lot of them then the table saw version might be faster.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 3815 days

#6 posted 11-16-2009 08:34 PM


Terry and I are glad the jig has worked out so well for you! Those are beautiful boxes and I bet your daughters are going to love their Christmas presents. Thanks for posting this, you have reminded me I better get busy on making Christmas presents myself!

Kind regards, Kevin and Terry Jaynes

Kehoe Dovetail Spline Jig Co. Ltd.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3121 days

#7 posted 11-16-2009 09:57 PM

Very nice boxes and a way cool jig


-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3631 days

#8 posted 11-18-2009 01:36 AM

Great work! I’m glad you posted this, I really like the look of the dovetails !
Know I know what I can ask Santa for Christmas .

You did a Great job!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3983 days

#9 posted 11-18-2009 02:34 AM


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3355 days

#10 posted 11-18-2009 02:49 AM

BelIeve it or not I just ordered one only a few minutes ago.
I should have guessed that someone on here would have one… I am looking forward to using it… and hope I can make a box as good as yours..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3270 days

#11 posted 11-18-2009 03:07 AM

That is an interesting tool the results are very nice….I have made splines using a homemade jig and cutting slots with my CSM saw….but never something as elaborate. Great idea….I will have to see one in action….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Grumpy's profile


23928 posts in 3851 days

#12 posted 11-30-2009 04:50 AM

Great jig Jack & nice work.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2836 days

#13 posted 02-18-2011 12:48 PM

Very nice! I am a great fan of beautiful joints.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

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