Before I invest time and money and effort into using my new box joint jig I want to see what it'll do. So what'll I do? I will build a test box. I will toss one together quickly, not looking for aesthetics, just to test the function of the jig. I heard they did the same thing with Tickle Me Elmo. They actually hired people to give him with a test tickle before releasing him to the awaiting market.
Step 1: LUMBER TO MAKE a BOX
I went to my lumber cart and grabbed a piece of wood to make a test box using my newly built BOX JOINT JIG. I found a picket and made my charge. I cut it into two sides and two faces.
Step 2: TELL ME ABOUT THE a B Cs
I labeled each piece to keep track of them. I usually use chalk, but for this I used marker. Easier to see and doesn't rub off.
Step 3: THE FIRST SIDE
I took the first piece and added finger joints, flipped it over and did the other side to match.
TIP: The router is powerful and will move your wood. Clamp it well.
Step 4: X MARKS THE SPOT
By labeling each side and putting an x to indicate a cut out I was easily able to quickly box joint each side. Then this happened...
Step 5: OOOPS
I didn't have it clamped correctly and the cut was too shallow. I redid it and it fixed the problem.
Step 6: TEST ASSEMBLY
OK, it went together nicely. Now for a top and bottom.
Step 7: TOP AND BOTTOM
I determined the depth of cut for the top and bottom then added a rabbet to the top and bottom edges, cut two pieces, glued and assembled the box.
Step 8: THE PROTOTYPE
I set the saw blade a tad above the thickness of the wood, set the fence and gently ran the box through to cut off the top. Be careful, it could pinch on that last cut. I've seen some people put a wedge in the kerf to keep the box from binding against the blade.
Step 9: WHAT DID I LEARN?
My assessment. My jig needs work. The keys have to be finessed a bit more to get a tighter fit. I should add more depth to the cuts. When rabbeting for the top and bottom, do a plunge cut so the rabbets can't be seen from the side. Be more accurate when measuring and cutting the pieces for the top and bottom. Mine were too big and pushed the box joints apart. And most importantly, do a test before you try with expensive wood.
Step 10: BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
So I knocked out the fixed key and finessed new keys, lined them up and adjusted the height of the router bit.
Step 11: I WAXED THE JIG
I do this to lots of surfaces and even tools. It makes for a smooth slide.
Step 12: A MUCH TIGHTER FIT
All right, getting there. Now to try it with better wood. The stuff used for this test was a piece of pressboard I found.
Step 13: TO BOLDLY GO...
These are the voyages of the apprenticeship of Kink Jarfold. His continuing mission: to explore strange new woods, to seek out new methods and new customizations, to boldly go where he has not gone before.
This was my final try since the joints fit snugly.
Thanks for hanging with me on this journey.