Box Joint Jig for the Tablesaw

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Project by mtkate posted 10-06-2009 04:06 AM 14645 views 15 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After looking through all sorts of resources to find a box joint jig to build for my tablesaw (and finding so much for routers…. but I can’t build one yet as I hate my router and need to build a table…and get a new router) I had first built the jig from Taunton’s jigs and fixtures book. I hated it, and pitched it out. The problem is that it relied on my miter gauge and I found it too wobbly.

I found this plan in ShopNotes (#62, Vol. 11) which uses the miter slots in the tablesaw. It gave so much more stability. I saw a similar design for one posted by Scrappy – ( and the results he had looked great so I figured I had to try it.

It took me 5 hours to make – using 3/4 plywood, some old pieces of floating floor (they are perfect as 1/4” hardboard) and a small piece of maple. I probably measured 20 times before cutting once. First results were “ok” but the jig was a bit off. 1mm off in fact. It made quite a difference – the pegs were bigger than the holes so the joints did not fit right – they were way too tight.

I needed another 1/2 hour after a day of thinking to re-adjust the bottom piece.

This jig is great because the front fence piece is removable, and I can make pieces for any size box joint I want.

Great project, and making good box joints is not an easy thing!!! I appreciate the difficulty of something that looks so simple.

The third pic shows the result in some scrappy pine. The jig is created to make 1cm joints (that’s about 3/8” in the non-metric system). Admittedly, it would look better if the pine was planed to exactly 1cm thick but it was approximate – just for a test.

Fourth pic shows you the underside after some trials.

Fifth pic – you can see on the left side of the trial the first results before I adjusted the jig. As the pegs were larger than the holes and the pine just broke. The right hand side is after the adjustment.

The last picture is a shot of my favourite little pushstick. It’s my only other real “jig” I ever made that is worth keeping to me.

This new jig makes me feel like I am moving up in the world! I used so many different power tools to make it (tablesaw, miter saw, drill press, band saw) that I even impressed myself.

10 comments so far

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 10-06-2009 04:17 AM

I’ve seen this also in Shopnotes and it seems awefull complicated for a finger joint jig. My last one was nothing more than piece of scrap screwed to the miter and a screw for the stop. I made a lot of boxes with that old thing. I’m planning on making this jig sometime as I have tools with no storage container and I’m hoping that it makes getting the setup a little easier.

I still have my 3 push sticks from 20+ years ago. Although I did just retire one to the round file. It was chewed up something awful.


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View a1Jim's profile


117627 posts in 3965 days

#2 posted 10-06-2009 05:38 AM

good job

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4410 days

#3 posted 10-06-2009 02:47 PM

Your perseverance definitely paid off here.
That will do a fine job for you ,
Enjoy it.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View map's profile


98 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 10-07-2009 02:42 AM

Nice jig! I have a similar one, but I really like your idea of adjustment. Also, I see that you are using floating flooring. I’ve found that to be a very good (and cheap) component for many jigs.


-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4465 days

#5 posted 10-07-2009 02:49 AM

this is great…going in my favorites…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Bud's profile


191 posts in 4326 days

#6 posted 10-16-2009 12:55 AM

great project.

-- Bud -

View stefang's profile


16705 posts in 3722 days

#7 posted 10-19-2009 12:10 PM

Hey Kate. Great jig and a good result. If your miter gauge is wobbly in the the slot, you can hit the side the the miter gauge runner on the edge with a steel center punch once on both edges on one end and once on both edges at the other end. That will cause a little divot to raise up and should tighten things up. If it’s still loose just hit it again in the same places until the wobble is gone. Hope this solves the problem.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3562 days

#8 posted 04-10-2010 07:45 AM

Tonight, I cut all the wood for a jewelry box that I’m making for my Grandmother.

Considering my options for the joinery, and started looking at box/finger joints.

Came across this one. Really nicely done, Kate !!

In theory, my Porter-Cable Dovetail Jig will do this sort of thing, but … I may get adventurous, anyway ;-)

-- -- Neil

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3713 days

#9 posted 04-24-2010 01:59 PM

Thanks for the comments. Making jigs simply results in the need to make more cabinets to hold the jigs! Never at a loss for projects….

View Eddie G's profile

Eddie G

44 posts in 1963 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 11:51 AM

Well done. Okay, you convinced me. This is my next project.

-- Ed G., Hillsboro, Oregon, U.S.A.

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