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HomeWood RoutersHow to Make Box Joints with Only a Router | Woodworking Jig

How to Make Box Joints with Only a Router | Woodworking Jig


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How to make finger and box joints with only a router. No table saw necessary! Brought to you by Squarespace. For 10% off your first purchase, go to: http://squarespace.com/makesomething

Hardwood from Kencraft:

The red zebra wood box we made in the video is available on eBay: https://ebay.to/30vHUtI

How to make box joints (sometimes called finger joints) using only a router. Making box joints on the table saw requires a dado stack which isn’t available in all areas. The next best method is at the router table but not everyone has the space for a dedicated router table. This tutorial video shows a simple method on making a jig out of plywood for a hand held router that attaches to the base. Once you make this woodworking jig you’ll always be set up for box joints and finger joints. If you choose to change up your box joint finger width you’ll need to swap out the bit and make a dedicated fence for that bit.

Exact measurements can be found on my website: http://bit.ly/2zi8afb

Router Used: https://amzn.to/2Hkl0Oq
1/4″ Router Bit: http://bit.ly/2zAcy9G
Trim Router Not Used: https://amzn.to/322bK9t
Shaper Origin Router Not Used: http://bit.ly/2P7bDbh
Table Saw: http://amzn.to/2k8ODcP
Miter Saw: https://amzn.to/2FDslZw
Drill Press (similar): http://shrsl.com/1lwfn
Yellow Glue: https://amzn.to/2zjRyUg
F-style Clamps (similar): https://amzn.to/2Zw9tGk
Drill: https://amzn.to/2Etcv2r
Pocket Hole Jig: https://amzn.to/2NqPcLD
Bench Vise: https://amzn.to/2ZmOcKI
Yellow Push Block: https://amzn.to/2WCsGR3
Hand Pull Saw: https://amzn.to/31VeJRh
Plywood Source: http://bit.ly/31wwOFH

Finger Joints on a Table Saw: https://youtu.be/nYlA0CRDn3k
Nintendo NES out of Wood!: https://youtu.be/lv4zCOzj_UA
Motorized Drill Press Lift: https://youtu.be/x8-02NrpdV0

Music by Me: https://goo.gl/fgyup2
Patreon Support / Extra Content: http://patreon.com/picciuto
T-Shirts / Books / Stickers / Plans: https://makesomething.tv/
My Other YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/makesomething2
Making It Podcast: http://makingitpodcast.com



David Picciuto
PO Box 2499
Toledo, OH 43606



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  1. If you ever remove and reinstall the router, the slot will almost surely not line up again with the bit.
    Dont glue the fence, instead glue the backup piece and screw the fence to it with oversize holes as necessary to shift the fence left or right.
    Then reverse the fence, off center enough to allow for a larger size bit and box joint. A hole may be necessary in the backup block as the key will interfere. Or flip the fence upside down with the key facing away from the router.

  2. Been trying to build this all weekend. Major problem I'm having is the bit ripping chunks out of the plywood I'm cutting the fingers into. I'm using a 1/2" 2 flute straight bit – I see you are using a spiral spin saw bit – is that the secret sauce?

  3. Best demonstration and explanation of this style of jig. Best part was the running commentary, and clarity and simplicity of the design. Well done Sir!! Thoroughly enjoyed watching the video.

  4. The box joint is very strong due to the large gluing surface. BUT, any force that tries to open or close the joint puts all of that force as shear stress along the glue lines with no wood directly resisting the opening or closing of the joint (this is why dovetail is supposed to be stronger than a box joint since the cuts in the tails and pins are angled and so the glue line isn't parallel with the forces trying to rotate the joint).

    I have always wondered if after the joint is glued and set if a dowel could be driven through from top to bottom so that it passes through all of the fingers. Then for the joint to fail the dowel would have to be sheared by the box joint fingers acting scissor blades as the joint tried to rotate. A simple 90 degree corner jig for the drill press that is clamped to the platform of the drill press such that when the piece is pressed into the jig, the bit passes through the middle of the fingers. This would make drilling a hole in each corner of a box rapid and accurate. If the corner is taller than the length of a drill bit, and assuming that the jig produces accurate enough placement, the piece could be flipped over and drilled from the other side. In fact it isn't important that the dowel go all the way through the joint since the added strength comes from the dowel going through each glue line. So for pieces where the corners are taller than the maximum bit depth, drill almost half way through from both sides and then drive in a dowel from each side. For very tall corners that are more than twice the height of the maximum drill depth, just drill through as much of the corner from each side as possible.

  5. Watched this when it first came out and loved it then but didn't have an immediate need for it. That has changed now (need to make storage for large sheets of paper). Only got 3/4" ply so I'm going to make an insert for the top with a small bit of acrylic I have.
    One question though: the bit you linked to is an upcut bit so will be pulling the dust down into the slot. Would a downcut bit be better? That would tend to push the dust up to the top of the table making it easier to collect it with the setup you had in the video. Sorry if this is a silly question but I'm a complete newbie in the use of routers.
    PS. Ordering my bit this week from a UK company that imports the Whiteside bits.

  6. This is one of those videos that is so interesting and entertaining that I can almost compare it to a really good suspence movie that you think you know what's coming up next but your always one or two steps behind but in the end you don't mind because it had a happy ending and the moral to it left you wondering if you should or should not . Very good video !!

  7. Thanks. Newb question; does the box height have to be evenly divisible by 4 for this to work? For example if box height is 4 3/8 I feel like I will end up with uneven joints.

  8. This is great – I've been looking to put my router to more work. Is this possible with a compact router (DeWalt 20V) – I'm assuming so provided I can mount it to the table the same way it is done here

  9. As far as board width goes, is it as simple as the width has to be in increments of the bit width? Meaning 1/4" bit would have to be anywhere divisible by .25? 2" not 2 1/8". Or does this math above just give an "even" look to the sides? If you were at odds with this it would just have a smaller pin on the edge?

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