Half-blind finger joint box

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Project by KnickKnack posted 01-08-2012 05:12 PM 13820 views 11 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished my router table upgrade, or, to be more, accurate, I built a micro-adjusting fence (uninformative blog about that can be found here).
So obviously I needed to try something where micro-adjustment was required – some kind of “box joint” thing was obvious, but I thought I’d go the extra kilometre and make it more complex by trying half-blind finger joints – you don’t see a lot of them about, but all the “posh” jigs seem to be able to do them, so I thought I’d risk it for a biscuit.
Life is strange – when I started, and for several years after that, I tried so so so hard to avoid joints of any form – now I seem to go searching for difficult ways to put pieces of wood together.
This, generally speaking, went without too much incident – keep turning the screws and the fence keeps moving along – in this case I was using a 6mm bit so 12 turns per cut. That said the slot cuts in the walls came out just a little “fluffy” – the fence placement was correct, but the bit didn’t seem to like cutting the blind holes very much and they are a tiny bit wide – I really don’t know why.
The sides are jatoba, and the front/back/top some wood I found in a dump – believe it or not those lovely bits were the sides and back of a drawer – the front was crap wood that had been painted a wood colour! I don’t know what it is – looks a bit like ash, but I’m fairly sure it isn’t – tight grain with an almost “bamboo like” surface. Perhaps some kind of eucalyptus, acacia? I have a dead (cheapo) garden chair I rescued from another dump that has bits that look a bit similar.

As someone famous didn’t say…
“This is not perfect.
It’s not even the beginning of perfect.
But perhaps it’s the end of rubbish”

You decide.
The wife said “not bad” ‘cos she’s big on praise.

Jatoba and unknown wood. Tung oil finish. 19cm x 10cm x 9cm

This project will not self-destruct, no matter what you say.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

17 comments so far

View EyeOfTheJen's profile


205 posts in 3503 days

#1 posted 01-08-2012 05:24 PM

I have been struggling with joinery and want very much to try something like this. I don’t know what I enjoy more, seeing the project or reading the info on it.. You crack me up. and I love….
As someone famous didn’t say…
“This is not perfect.
It’s not even the beginning of perfect.
But perhaps it’s the end of rubbish”

That is hysterical.

-- Jen ~ Happiness is being covered in sawdust.

View kiefer's profile


5846 posts in 3754 days

#2 posted 01-08-2012 05:30 PM

So what is not to like ?
You did a beautiful job of reusing wood and the joinery is a nice touch .
The knot in the top is a great future giving this box some additional character.
I like it and tell your wife it isn’t as easy as it looks !


-- Kiefer

View peterrum's profile


153 posts in 3766 days

#3 posted 01-08-2012 05:36 PM

I like it, always like seeing contrasting wood in joinery such as you have done.

-- Carpe Diem

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4062 days

#4 posted 01-08-2012 05:38 PM

Really like the look of this one and it does appear that Your efforts for accuracy have payed off, nice work !

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4664 days

#5 posted 01-08-2012 06:49 PM

A cool looking Box ,I like the knot ,well done.


View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4643 days

#6 posted 01-08-2012 08:13 PM

I like how the joints show through, superb fit.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4155 days

#7 posted 01-08-2012 10:18 PM

This looks really nice! Love the joinery.

Have you ever thought how to make one of these with the box joints running up the sides AND across the lid?

The lid could open farther out pas the joint, or even at the edges – that way the joint would run all the way around the box!

And, BTW, you have CERTAINLY passed the rubbish stage and are well on your way up the scale to perfection. :-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3910 days

#8 posted 01-08-2012 10:45 PM

Nice job, plus mother nature did a nice little inlay for you as well :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View jeepturner's profile


946 posts in 3879 days

#9 posted 01-09-2012 12:45 AM

I like it. I like the exposed joinery, but what really sets this one apart is the relief for the door grip.

I like the quote also, I should use it more often and quit beating myself up over the defects.
I also took a look at your blog on the router fence, thanks for pointing it out.

-- Mel,

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 3580 days

#10 posted 01-09-2012 02:51 AM

I always try to avoid knots in my projects, but this looks really cool. I have quite a few pieces of wood with knots on my lumber shelves, so I’ll have to give them a consideration in future. This is a great looking box. Nice work.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3777 days

#11 posted 01-09-2012 03:23 AM

First half blind box joints I have ever seen! Very nice. And you accomplished them with your shop made router table set up which amplifies the accomplishment significantly. I’ll admit when I first looked at your table I was skeptical (to say the least). Never again will I doubt your inventions. Incra better be looking over their shoulder lest you decide to market this. Great job.

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

View boxcarmarty's profile


17437 posts in 3447 days

#12 posted 01-09-2012 05:30 AM

A knot is but an unloved character! There’s nothing wrong with dump diving for salvaged wood, I often stop on the side of the highway to pick up drawers that have blown out just for a nice piece of hardwood…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 3589 days

#13 posted 01-09-2012 06:02 AM

I really like this. The joints are very striking with the contrasting wood. Very neat.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Sanman's profile


78 posts in 3444 days

#14 posted 01-09-2012 10:40 AM

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

-- I'll get it done when I get a-round-tuit.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3585 days

#15 posted 01-11-2012 05:34 AM

This has a rather military bearing along with an “eye in the sky” lid, but you are not a drone. With your, uh, unorthodox router setup, you have brought this in for a rather nice landing, Like the soft opening relief too.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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