Splines vs Biscuit Joiner #7: The box joint drawers

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by RonPeters posted 09-12-2010 12:37 AM 7837 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Quick drawer question for the more experienced! Part 7 of Splines vs Biscuit Joiner series Part 8: Finally it is FINISHED! »

Continuing my progress I decided that the box joint, per the plan, was the way to go. Instead of 5 drawers I did four. I had all 5 cut, but figured one extra big drawer would be more useful than 3 smaller, so I used the biscuit joiner to combine one of the two big ones with one of the small. It saved me from buying more wood and gave me more practice with the joiner.

I checked around for plans for a box joint jig and decided that the one from (PlansNow) was the better of the two. In retrospect, next time I’d go buy a Porter Cable type dovetail jig for a couple hundred and save myself a ton of time, but I had fun putting the kit together – ‘kit’ meaning I happened to have a piece of oak laying around and had to scrounge for the parts all over town. The best place I found for pieces parts is ACE hardware. They really have it all. Maple was ‘recommended’ – Oak is terrible to drill.

The bottoms are 3/16” underlayment. Really inexpensive and mahogany veneer!

front of jig

back of jig Note the bigger side knobs? I modified the plan. Much more torque and easier to turn than those recommended.

Here’s one of the 3 3/4” drawers.

closeup of the box joint

Clamped to dry

The 2nd largest drawer (3 3/4”) on the left with the 6” drawer waiting – note the two-tone joined pieces? A combination of the two.

The box joint jig worked great. It’s a lot slower than using a commercial type router-jig however. Surprisingly, it’s very accurate. Is most promising feature is that it’s adjustable. Just dial in the size joint you want, this from 1/8” to 1 1/4” – or larger, if you constructed the jig to accommodate the size desired.

What would I change if I make drawers again? I’d choose a 3/16” (or larger) box joint instead of the 1/4” especially for the big drawer. It was a struggle getting it together with all that friction – they were fairly tight joints. The 1/4’s look nice on the boxes I’ve seen made here though.

I would also make the cut a hair deeper to make certain the joint ears flushed with the sides. I’m only a gnat’s ear proud, but ya know!

I have some of the 3/4 birch ply carcass left over that I’ll use as fronts on the drawers. I’m framing them 1/4” with some of the bench maple to hide the laminate to match the front sliding face on the left half.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

3 comments so far

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 3719 days

#1 posted 09-14-2010 12:25 AM

looking good there cap..

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4592 days

#2 posted 09-15-2010 06:09 PM

That is the most complex box joint jig I have ever seen. I am doing a project using box joints now and made a simple jig from scrap lying around. It takes a couple of passes on a test piece and you’re lined up and ready.

What does the sliding piece on the end of the jig do? Does it set the width of the cut?

I too have found that it is best to cut the joints about a 1/32 proud and sand it flush to insure a flush finish even when the material is not dead flat.

Thanks for the post, very interesting.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3686 days

#3 posted 09-17-2010 08:54 AM

Yes the side piece sets the width of the joint.


-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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