Adjustable Box Joint Jig

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Project by CottageDreamer posted 09-10-2011 06:01 AM 10625 views 25 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Adjustable box joint jig built from oak. This is the jig as found in Shop Notes magazine from sometime ago. Built this to enable me to build 12x draws for some shop storage units, another project in progress. Now the jig is built I can do the drawers!

It has adjustments that enable you to dial in the width and spacing of the slots and pins. In theory I could set-up to build pins and slots 1/8” to 3/4” and anything in between. I added some T-Track to enable the jig to be used at my router table with the appropriate bit, or with my table saw using a dado blade which is my preference from the first couple of tries. There is a sacrificial backer and the work piece sits on it’s own material rest to prevent it having to ride across the table surface on end.

The first try using the router table with some Baltic birch test pieces was far from satisfactory, lots of tear out in fact so much that it blew out the whole piece (even with the backer) probably due to too high a feed rate, or too high a depth of cut. I was specifically feeding slowly, using a 1/2” straight bit. (non spiral)

Second try, using the table saw and dado was far better. The only adjustment to the jig was the distance from the already set 1/2” key\slot to the blade. Very happy with the result.

Thanks for looking.

-- Anthony

9 comments so far

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 4378 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 01:28 PM

Great looking jig! I made the exact one myself a few years back and never tried it out! I found it just the other day in a cabinet and told myself I would pull it out and use it before Xmas this year. Glad to hear that it works so well, now I might have to make some boxes and drawers myself.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View patron's profile


13717 posts in 4397 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 01:36 PM

very well done

and adjustable dado jig
is sure to have many applications

will have to see about making one this winter

great post

thank you

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4244 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 04:44 PM

Nice job on this looks like some great joints!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4842 days

#4 posted 09-10-2011 05:05 PM

Good Post, this is one I will copy!

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3746 days

#5 posted 09-11-2011 03:32 AM

I built this same jig from ShopNotes a year ago. It works OK but the ledge the workpiece sits on limits you to cutting one piece at a time which is tedious if you’re making a bunch of drawers. It also limits how deep you can cut your joints [especially with the router table]. I think my next one will have a much wider base piece made of 1/4” material. Not to throw cold water on your project, but suggestions for all the people who are yet to build one.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CottageDreamer's profile


7 posts in 3732 days

#6 posted 09-12-2011 12:42 AM

That’s a really good point, extending the ledge would definitely accommodate multiple pieces. I was actually toying with adding a small extension to the rest and backing piece as there’s only 1/4” backed up in the current arrangement. I think I’ll extend the width of the ledge too, per your suggestion. It’d be good to get two or even four sets cut at once if they are ganged together.

Will let you know how I get on.

-- Anthony

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4017 days

#7 posted 09-13-2011 03:39 PM

Thanks! Looks like the answer to a question I’ve have had for a long time. “How do I do it?” Saved on Favorites for future reference.

View ClayandNancy's profile


532 posts in 4071 days

#8 posted 09-13-2011 04:28 PM

I built the same one and am very happy with it. The idea of extending the ledge is great, it’s always a pleasure to hear new improvements to jigs, projects, or whatever here on LJ’s. Thanks guys

View slickSqueegie's profile


94 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 12-17-2011 01:52 AM

Another good idea for this jig. I like mine too. but the ledge is just too small!

-- Come check out more of my projects at

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