How I made a finger jointed box. (The Red Gum Box)

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Rob posted 08-26-2007 08:22 PM 1436 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all,
Douglas, unfortunately some nasty ate my HDD and I lost a number of files. I had to retrieve this one from another forum I posted it on. The inside of the box is the same as the outside, i.e. sanded to 400 then oiled with Scandinavian oil then sanded through to 4000g. The hinges are small brass butt hinges (40mm from memory). As it turns out, the box has been lined and glued shut. All that mortising…

The box is constructed using the finger joint comb on a Leigh D4R jig, using the 1/2” section. I originally wanted to do 1/4” fingers, but the timber is 1 1/4” thick and I could not find a 1/4” upcut or straight bit long enough that could be used safely. Incidentally, wherever possible, I now use spiral upcuts for joints as they give such a clean cut at the bottom of mortises and sides of dovetails and finger joints.
The beauty of the D4R is that it has a bush guidance systm, which allows very small changes in the joint width, so that the router can be set to deliver precise results for fitting the joint.
I used a Festool OF2000 Router for cutting. You need grunt to process 1/2” cuts.
Once the fingers have been cut and matched together, I dig the dado for the base. To do this I use one of two methods, depending on material to be used for the base and thickness of the side panels.
I routinely use a Festool Domino to cut the dadoes now. People think you are restricted in how you use the domino and are locked in to the dominoes made by Festool. In fact, when you think about it, the Domino just digs holes and its up to you as to how long (as in the dado here) or how wide (you can make a 32mmx10mm domino and it will work well) depth of cut is restricted to 28mm, but I have created through tenons using this system I can show you this if you wish, but maybe in another project. Simply put you just dig one hole, move along and overlap a second hole and so on until you reach the point at which you want to stop. (Note that when using Dove Tails this has huge advantages over having to set stops for a router. The Domino can be used in timbers upwards of 10mm thickness by adding a slice of round plastic electrical conduit fitted loosely over one of the pistons cut to a width equal to 28mm minus the final depth of cut required. In the case of timbers upward of 3/4 of an inch, the basic 12mm depth cut provided on the Domino suffices.
The other method I use, particularly if I’m using ply or (shudder)MDF is to mount a 4mm slot cutter on the router table set height and depth and go for it.
Once the base is cut to size, the box itself can be assembled and clamped across the four sides. I use yellow glue such as Triton or other PVA glue.
That leaves putting on the lid and that would be at the discretiion of the maker. In this case I used a solid piece of Red Gum.
I should mention that I do as much preparation as possible before assembly. That includes oiling and sanding the inside of the box.
I think thats it.
Hope you find it useful.



2 comments so far

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 5354 days

#1 posted 08-26-2007 10:34 PM

Very useful info, thanks.

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5405 days

#2 posted 08-26-2007 10:57 PM

Rob, thanks so much for the detailed write up. Now I want a Domino more than ever.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics