Step 3: Perform Test Cuts
Every time I do this I always do test cuts on the stock I plan on making boxes out of. The kind of wood it is, the various adjustments, dado width, and blade height, all have to be dialed in to work with each other. Joints should fit together without being too loose, or too tight.
But if we're going to be doing test cuts I guess I have to tell you how this whole cutting box joints thing works now don't I? This is the abbreviated version, the full version will come later when we're making our actual boxes.
Take your two scrap pieces and set them standing up on your bench like they are the corner of a box.
Put an X or some other sort of a mark on the top edge of each piece where they come together.
Take one and butt it up against the side of the pin on the jig. Run a notch into it. (red in the graphics)
OK now this is the tricky part so pay attention:
Take that first piece (red) you just cut and put the notch in it, flip it over and put it's notch onto the pin. The one tooth should fill the gap between the pin and the notch on the jig. Now take your other piece (blue) and butt it to the edge of the first piece mark to mark. You should notice that if you pass the work over the saw blade your second piece (blue) is going to get it's corner notched out. If that is how it looks to you go ahead and do it, make the cut.
Now you're going to gang cut the two pieces together. Take the first piece flip it back around and put it's notch over the pin of the jig. Put the cut notch of the second piece onto the pin. Make a new notch through both pieces, then put that new notch onto the pin, notch, move, notch, move until you've gone the length of the pieces.
Now line up your marks again and put the pieces together. Don't tell me you marked the second piece where the saw cut the mark off. ha ha I do it all the time! We'll learn to back that mark off someday.
This is harder to explain in text than in pictures, so try to follow along with the amazing graphics I drew. Because it really isn't as hard as it sounds.