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Project by kiefer posted 04-19-2014 10:15 PM 5809 views 24 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been looking around for a box joint jig lately but decided to design one where I don’t have to set the blade width and opted for a adjustable advance mechanism to match the finger width to the slot cut by the cutter .
This is a simple sliding table with a fence that slides on a dovetail way and a clamping setup that is mounted on a sliding carriage that is controlled by two adjustable stops in travel length .
The parts to be machined are inserted and clamped by the bar clamp at the front of the jig and held square by the end stop which is typical for this type of jig .
The carriage is set for the beginning cut and held in position by the clamp located at the top rear of the jig .
To set the fence for the second cut I hold the fence with my left hand and release the clamp with my right hand and slide the clamping carriage to the opposite stop and lock it on the clamping rail and then slide the fence and clamping carriage over to the other stop and cut the second slot.
This same procedure is repeated until the fingers and slots are cut .
I remove the material from the jig but leave the fence locked in place for the next cutting sequence
To cut the opposing end I simply flip the boards end for end and start cutting the board using the setup in reverse direction .
So far the results are better then I expected and I will add a safety shield and a turret at the adjustable stops to accommodate different sizes of joint width .
This is a proto type and when complete it will likely include some improvements and changes in safety .
I used a stop block to limit the travel of the sled clamped to the saw to prevent the cutter from exiting through the safety block at the back of the jig but it does not show in the pictures or video .
Let me know what your opinion of this is and also any improvements that can be made I would appreciate it .

Here are a couple extra pics of the sliding carriage and a short video .

-- Kiefer

23 comments so far

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3053 days

#1 posted 04-19-2014 10:23 PM

Great job buddy.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26440 posts in 4265 days

#2 posted 04-19-2014 10:43 PM

Kiefer, you are a man after my own heart. I have often needed one of this fixtures and have not stopped long enough to think it out. I will mark yours as a favorite for study in depth to understand where the parts are moving to and from. I like the idea of cutting them on table saw.

Thanks for sharing this superb jig!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4468 days

#3 posted 04-19-2014 11:02 PM

Very nice…you design was definitely well thought out and obviously works quite well judging from the photo of the joints you made with it. I keep wondering what a box joint would look like if sculpted…hmmmmm

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3827 days

#4 posted 04-19-2014 11:26 PM

Thanks Hoss

Jim I posted a short video that may help explain the function .

That maybe a nice design feature Greg and the joint would certainly look totally different when shaped .

-- Kiefer

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5042 days

#5 posted 04-20-2014 12:09 AM

Hey Kiefer, that is pretty sweet.
It took me a couple of minutes to see how it was working, but I get it now. The precision looks remarkable.

Two things that came to me about this was maybe a second clamp that holds the carriage while you move the adjuster/incrementer back. Or maybe the one lever could do both clamping operations – when in one position the carriage can move and when in the other position the adjuster could move. But hey – it seems to work just fine the way it is.

The last time I was playing with box joints, I use a dado that was less width than the desired result. This requires two passes (the first full cut and the second just a little bit wider), but the increment then does not have to match the width of the blade and was easier to set up.

I like this a lot.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3827 days

#6 posted 04-20-2014 12:27 AM

Thanks for your thoughts Steve and I appreciate it very much as this will lead to good improvements .
The idea of locking the carriage while moving the index carriage is one I have thought about also and my solution is to add a second clamp at the left side but so far it seems to be sufficient to hold the carriage steady with my hand .
But you are right as it certainly add more precision and less possible error to the jig operation and that is what I am striving for but I would also like to keep this a simple as possible .

-- Kiefer

View shipwright's profile


8734 posts in 3958 days

#7 posted 04-20-2014 12:33 AM

Very nice jig Klaus but for the life of me I can’t figure out what these jigs have over a simple square peg in a stick screwed to the miter gauge. I love the gadgetry and it’s wonderful to watch but please help me out on why.

This now makes two LJs for whom I have great respect who have made these so I absolutely must be missing something. Is it flexibility? adjustability? The old peg in stick has always worked for me but you guys aren’t making these just to pass time. ......... What am I missing?

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3827 days

#8 posted 04-20-2014 12:52 AM

Hi Paul First of Welcome back to Canada .
Yes this jig has some advantages when it comes to cutting box joints ,the thing that I like is that the debris that can get between the work piece and the jig and lead to errors is virtually eliminated as the work piece stays mounted to the jig and cutting a pack of boards seems a lot easier to handle .
I agree with you and a old Scottish friend of mine made the same observation .
I like this jig because I designed and built it and part of it is that I wanted something that is not overly complicated but precise and it gives me another alternative joint and maybe a way to build a hinge designed by some friend here on LJ’s that I want to try making with this .
We will see where it goes from here .
Take care and enjoy all that precious veneer !

-- Kiefer

View comboprof's profile


277 posts in 2894 days

#9 posted 04-20-2014 02:24 AM

I like this design very much. I think it is better than the screw advanced ones.
I like the comparable simplicity and I will build one ASAP.

I wonder if it would be better to replace the stop “screw” with say a dovetail slot into which a key of the correct stop depth is inserted. This way a set of keys to match a dado set could be pre-made. Have you thought about this?

The keyed stop could if you like have a screw for fine adjustment or the “screw” could be on the opposing face of the sliding carriage.

Just some ideas.

-- -- Cheers, Don K. (Michgan's Kewenaw peninsula)

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3827 days

#10 posted 04-20-2014 03:28 AM

Thanks for the suggestion DON and it sounds like something that I will have to consider .
All the ideas will help to make this jig better ,stay tuned .

-- Kiefer

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4494 days

#11 posted 04-20-2014 07:19 AM

Looks like another winner Klaus.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3568 days

#12 posted 04-20-2014 09:32 AM

Another nice addition to the shop. Good design and great idea.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View doubleDD's profile


10512 posts in 3203 days

#13 posted 04-20-2014 01:32 PM

Another Thomas Edison masterpiece. Nicely done Kiefer.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3672 days

#14 posted 04-20-2014 07:47 PM

Very nice! Kiefer, I watched the video and was wondering is this only for 1/4” joints will it also do 3/8” and 1/2” also is a dado blade required?

I’ve been using my router table to do mine with up up spiral bit using a purchased jig that allows me to do 1/4” 3/8” and 1/2” I’m just lazy don’t want to change the blade on the tablesaw, but if yours works for my my needs heck yeah.


-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4249 days

#15 posted 04-20-2014 11:02 PM

Lovely jig wonderful thinking.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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