First Box Joint with my new jig - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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First Box Joint with my new jig

Made a box joint jig from FineWoodworking video. Looks straight forward and relative simple to use.
Took a while to get the technique down but I finally got it adjusted just right.
I cut the pins on the sides of my drawers. 3/8" They fit snug over my spacer pin. Went well ... looked great.
I cut the pins on the front board .... HUH? they grew and don't match the side pieces. What happened?
The only thing I changed was from right to left on my jig.
HELP .... wood cost to much to waste
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 12:24 AM
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Pictures would help a lot here. you cutting these on the table saw with a dado set?
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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pictures

I'll post pictures tomorrow as it's dark now. Yes, table saw with stack dado head. Spent a lot of time getting the blade thickness just right.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 02:19 AM
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Check to make sure your stack didn't become loose. That's baffling
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't run as a stack. I ran each board separately.
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 12:01 PM
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But you just said you used a stack dado... So did you or didn't you?

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen video of multible boards being run through the jig. I thought that was what he was referring to as the "stack". NO, my blade stack is tight. Had it not my slot would have been loose on the guide pin.
Thank you for your comment. I just rechecked and YES, my stack is tight.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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It's really hard to suggest without knowing all the details, but is your jig completely homemade? As in the guide runners and all? it could be just not quite perfect, so when you push the jig forward it kind of angles to the right, then pull it back and it angles to the left. This will make your cut wider then wanted.

Even store bought miter gauges can be a bit loose. If this is the case there's a couple of ways to tighten it up
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, completely home made. I appriciate everyone's comments as I'm trying to figure this one out.
My track guides are quite long and tight in the slots. I fit each one as I was making them. Then I set it with a carpenters square. I don't think that's the problem. I can see how an out of sqare jig would make the finger slots to wide. The finger slots remain tight on the guide pin.
It seems like each slot grew .001 or so so by the end of 10 fingers they don't line up.
Here's the strange part. All the drawer sides I cut line up with each other, otherwise I would have discovered the problem earlier.
It only happed when I started cutting from the left to the right for cutting the end piece. ..... same set-up ... nothing moved except for the guide pin board to the other side of the saw blade.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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pictures on my blog

I've posted pictures on my blog.
The address is: http://chasingsummer-s42.blogspot.com
Thanks for checking out my sailboat project.
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 04:36 PM
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Let me start by saying I haven't done box joints before, but I've been reading about them for a while. They seem easy and I'm sure I have a grasp on them. That being said i'm just trying to help you brainstorm this issue. So if I sounds like am idiot i'm sorry lol.

With your pictures it looks like all if you're cuts are exactly the same, but your fingers are growing on you. The only cause for that is that your pin is increasing distance from your blade. Several things can cause it. to me it looks like the culprit is your clamps holding the fence with the pin. they probably work fine, but as you push the piece against your pin, your fence can slightly move. I've had the same problem with my router fence, I used to clamp it onto my melamine top and it would shift. I fixed it by taping sandpaper in between the fence and top. It seems to have fixed it, plus I don't push so hard against the fence. I suggest resetting your fence, then screwing it together, you can use slots and wing nuts so you can adjust it, or just screw it. Double check the measurements, and recut your pieces.

You can save your boards too. either make small pieces and glue them into your dados, or just recut as it is (being extremely careful since it won't sit tight on your pin this way), fit it together, then fill in the gaps. I would do it the first way though. the fix won't be too noticeable. It doesn't look like all of your boards/cuts are bad though, so go through carefully measuring them all. You may only need to fill in half of your cuts.

Woodworking isn't about being perfect, the joy is learning from mistakes and finding ways to fix them. I do it all the time. A few minutes ago I realized I miss measured a mortise. I lengthened it then will fill in the gap after its glued together.
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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box joint jig

Concerning the shifting of the pin board on the jig. I thought of that, it's not in the picture. As I final adjusted both the right and left positions I drilled 2 pin holes from the back side so the board can not slip also so the cuts can be easily repeated. The clamps are there to hold the board I'm cutting on the first cut.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 07:55 PM
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How is your pin attached? I see that its dadoed into the fence, but is there any type of movement to it or is it pretty firm? Also how are your runners attached? Any way for them to move? If they're just nailed in with pins or staples maybe it shifted? Also check your arbor, if its worn and if the shaft can wiggle in and out, or at all in any direction for that matter.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 07:57 PM
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By the way, nice boat. What's the specs on it? Length, year, etc? It looks like you're doing a total overhaul on it with a lot already done. i'm sure when its done you'll love it for years!
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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The boat

Thanks for looking at the boat. I need to add more pictures as I've been working forward.
It's 42 ft Spencer built in 1969 at Spencer Boats in British Columbia. I got a great deal on the hull because it had been abandon in a boat yard for over 10 years. I'm getting to own and work with all the woodworking tools I've dreamed of having for years. .... Trouble is, after the boat's done and I set sail what do I do with all my cool toys?
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-20-2012, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasing Summer
Thanks for looking at the boat. I need to add more pictures as I've been working forward.
It's 42 ft Spencer built in 1969 at Spencer Boats in British Columbia. I got a great deal on the hull because it had been abandon in a boat yard for over 10 years. I'm getting to own and work with all the woodworking tools I've dreamed of having for years. .... Trouble is, after the boat's done and I set sail what do I do with all my cool toys?
I can take care of them for you
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-21-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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OK .... replace the sink in my motorhome project complete .... time to go back to work on my box joint problem.
It dawned on my yesterday that the blade assembly in my tablesaw, eventhough it's completely tight won't align straight with the fence and therefore out of line with the guides slots. Currently the boards go through the jig on the following board, and are cut left to right. If I turn the jig around and put the boards on the forward side I can cut the proper angle and they will still be cut from left to right. I'll let everyone know the outcome tomorrow. Everyone cross there fingers .... but keep them out of the saw.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-21-2012, 10:07 PM
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I hope it works for you! You can cut both on the same side. But the first one up to the pin, and use a spacer for the second one. The last finger on your last board works for this
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-21-2012, 11:23 PM
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I have been cutting finger joints for speaker boxes and have had error problems.
When I cut plywood, no problems.
Solid woods is where I started to run in to the slots not matching.
The problem I was having was clamping the board tight against my fixture until the board was held flat.
Since most boards ar not perfectly flat, like plywood can be, and error that just keeps compouding itself as you go, can develope.
The boards I am doing are pretty long, too hard to just hold in the fixture by hand.
I arranged a clamp out of wood, that goes in front of the board being cut, with a small raised piece that holds the board just above the blade, only contacting in that small area with minimal pressure.
Trying to keep the board absolutely flat against the back of the fixture was the culprit.
A minimal clamping pressure right above the blade in a small area, letting the board be relaxed made it work for me.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-22-2012, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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cupping boards

You're exactly correct. The direction the boards are against the jig they can rock a bit on the board cup. I tried to be careful to roll the board so where the blade was the board was flat to the jig. I only clamped the very first cut where there was no pin support. I think you may be on to something. I'm still going to turn my jig around so I'm cutting the box end board from left to right like I did the side boards. Remember I can't just turn boards at random because I have to take into consideration a 15 degree angle on the drawer.
The back of the draw will be even a bigger nitemare because not only will there be a 15 degree angle but a 45 degree tilt so the back conforms to the hull. I know ... I'm asking a lot for this being the first box joint I've ever cut.
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