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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Simple really is so much better - box joint jig

    Humble pie time for me - yes, I always sneered quietly at those SIMPLE box joint jigs and a few years ago made my own 'screw advance, fancy pants jig'

    Got a commission this week to make a stand for a high tech bit of audio kit. Decided on box joints joining parts at 70 degrees, partly for style and partly function.

    So turned to my Ed Stiles box joint jig (decided on that a few years ago as I couldn't be bothered making the gears in Matthias Wandel's) and tried to modify it to get 70 degree support while cutting on the table saw.

    Well after days of faffing around and failing about 7 or 8 test cuts, I relented and whipped up this VERY (and I mean VERY!) simple router table jig in under an hour. It's got a two part fence for fine adjustment of the peg position and so I can swap out to a 90 degree fence when needed.

    Second attempt = perfect box joints, and fast. Lesson learned once again, simple is so often the best.

    So for you new guys, don't be an ass like me and waste heaps of time making those 'wonderful, whizz bang jigs' you see on YouTube - keep it simple.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dungog
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    Default

    Well done, KISS principle comes to the fore again. At least try the simple one first, if that doesn't work then try the fancy one. That way you waste less time as you say fluffing around.
    A good lesson tha comes from experience not a text book

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dinosour View Post
    Well done, KISS principle comes to the fore again. At least try the simple one first, if that doesn't work then try the fancy one. That way you waste less time as you say fluffing around.
    A good lesson that comes from experience not a text book
    So true, could add YouTube to that textbook quote dinosour

    Here's the finished product, pretty happy for first time using that 'basic' jig. (a stand for an Ableton Push electronic music gizmo) Still to do some finish work, Qld Maple.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Melbourne
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    25

    Default

    I tried something similar the other day (my first time making box joints), but it wasn't as successful. In the end I managed to put them together, it just wasn't as good as I hoped. One thing I learned from your jig was to make the peg shorter - mine was long and was moving too much. I also had trouble making it so that it fits snuggly in the fence hole, but so that I don't have trouble when making the actual joint (i.e. I can put the board over the peg without issue). I'll give it another go soon

  6. #5
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    May 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by igalic View Post
    I tried something similar the other day (my first time making box joints), but it wasn't as successful. In the end I managed to put them together, it just wasn't as good as I hoped. One thing I learned from your jig was to make the peg shorter - mine was long and was moving too much. I also had trouble making it so that it fits snuggly in the fence hole, but so that I don't have trouble when making the actual joint (i.e. I can put the board over the peg without issue). I'll give it another go soon
    The first thing I did was to cut the slot in the base (after making the base and fitting runners of course), I then ran a small hardwood strip through the thickie with really shallow passes till it fit in that slot perfectly, no slop but not tight. That way I now know that the peg is the exact size of the router bit. Then I held the secondary fence approximately in the position where the peg should go and routed the gap to receive the peg so that it would fit well. In the end I had to shim it with one layer of cellotape to force it in tight. You really don't want it even with the tiniest movement, nad make sure it is seated well back in the fence, an inch or so at least.

    I do note that the router bit is not quite the 1/4 inch of the spec, so using precise 'hoped for' measurements is no good. Did you note too that I am using a 2 part fence? They are held together with small bolts, the holes have enough clearance to nudge the fence a wee bit to get it just right, then tighten up the bolts. I can take better pics if you need too.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Melbourne
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    It all makes sense, thanks. I think next time I'll make a shorter peg and take lighter passes on the thicknesser to make sure the fit is perfect. And also make it sit deeper in the fence - I used 18mm plywood as secondary fence and had it sit in that only, which I think was too short and couldn't support it well.

    I did use the secondary fence but I just clamped it to the primary one, couldn't find any suitable bolts. That part wasn't problematic though, it was just the moving / not fitting peg.

    Great ideas, looking forward to giving it another go

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