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All Replies on Finger joints...why can't I do these?

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View Tom's profile

Finger joints...why can't I do these?

by Tom
posted 07-30-2017 08:44 PM


28 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2209 posts in 2161 days


#1 posted 07-30-2017 09:32 PM

Is that collar thing you mention the kind that sticks down around the bit and has a ring that screws down holding it to the router?
If so then maybe you don’t have it centered around the bit.
Just guessing here

-- Aj

View Tom's profile

Tom

180 posts in 1424 days


#2 posted 07-30-2017 09:53 PM

It wasn’t centered…but still not right. the pins/openings are not the same size. I’m done messing with it for the day.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

20180 posts in 2220 days


#3 posted 07-30-2017 09:56 PM

If the bit is not centered in the collar and you don’t orient the router the same each time, then the slots will all be at least 1/4”, but some may be bigger due to the router and collar orientation.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

22770 posts in 3047 days


#4 posted 07-30-2017 10:13 PM

Afraid I am not much help….as all of mine are handcut…

Just a backsaw and a chisel…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5240 posts in 2673 days


#5 posted 07-30-2017 10:24 PM


Afraid I am not much help….as all of mine are handcut…

Just a backsaw and a chisel…

- bandit571

That must be hard on you hand. I would have though you’d use a maillot or something to strike the chisel with.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8639 posts in 2940 days


#6 posted 07-30-2017 10:50 PM

Pop corn time

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8639 posts in 2940 days


#7 posted 07-30-2017 10:51 PM

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5240 posts in 2673 days


#8 posted 07-30-2017 11:03 PM



Pop corn time

- waho6o9

Why?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3100 posts in 2536 days


#9 posted 07-30-2017 11:06 PM

There is a little bit of slop in the collar on the PC dovetail jig. You can adjust it out when cutting dovetails. but you can’t get rid of it for box joints.
I just make a jig for my table saw or router table and cut them . It takes about 5 minutes to make a jig for the table saw or router table.
One of the early woodsmith magazines had a very simple one board jig. I have used that ever since they published it.

The above video is a good one. You don’t need the sled. You can use a miter gauge and screw the jig to the miter gauge. It will make some very fine box joints and a lot quicker and tighter than the PC jig. I have the PC jig and only tried it once on box joints. It does make nice dovetails but not so nice box joints.

You can use the same jig on a router table with a miter gauge.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 745 days


#10 posted 07-31-2017 03:06 AM

Easy to make jig:
https://youtu.be/AiPzFNsuN2k

View Robert's profile

Robert

3374 posts in 1844 days


#11 posted 07-31-2017 03:02 PM

Tom,

I’ve been frustrated by them too. Partly because I so rarely make them its a learning curve every time.

I bought the Incra jig same thing – every time I use it I have to get the manual out.

I would suggest you regroup, watch some videos, like William Ng. Yes, they all make it look easy, but I think the TS method is the best way to go because you can fine tune it.

If you’re doing a lot of box joints, you might want to invest in the Incra Jig. Probably the cheapest thing Incra sells.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tom's profile

Tom

180 posts in 1424 days


#12 posted 07-31-2017 03:09 PM

I don’t do a lot of boxes at all…but I have some metal coins used for boardgames coming in and I wanted to make a box to store them in. I think I’m going to try the router table jig first since I haven’t tried that and it may work…if that fails I’ll try the TS jig again. I do remember from one video that the guy cut all 4 sides of the box at once on the TS jig and that may help.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 745 days


#13 posted 07-31-2017 03:19 PM

Tom, did you watch the video that I posted above? Whatcha think? Can’t get any easier than that.

View Tom's profile

Tom

180 posts in 1424 days


#14 posted 07-31-2017 03:27 PM

I did and watch Steve’s stuff and I’ve also seen the William Ng video. Both are basically the same type of jig I’ve tried in the past and it failed but I’ll try again. Might have to find some free scrap wood just to try this again.

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

5971 posts in 1076 days


#15 posted 07-31-2017 03:47 PM



https://wnwoodworkingschool.com/make-an-accurate-box-joint-jig-simple-fast/

HTH

- waho6o9

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1849 days


#16 posted 07-31-2017 04:49 PM

I made a sled with 2 runners but only 4-5 long so it could be dedicated for a 3/8 box joint. I dialed it in and screwed the backer with the finger to it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2639 posts in 1586 days


#17 posted 07-31-2017 05:34 PM

I’ve had “issues” with box joints, but I now know how to tune in a jig and get good results.
The one “best” thing I’ve done of late is buy a finger joint blade set. It eliminates one of the variables and is useful for far many more types of cuts. I haven’t used my dado set in many months since the blade set gets me perfectly flat grooves.

I can do finger joints with my Incra fence on the router table. The fit is excellent, but I just can’t justify the wear/tear on router bits when the TS does the job just as well.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 745 days


#18 posted 07-31-2017 05:51 PM

Is a “Finger joint blade set” the same thing as a dado set without the shims?

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5240 posts in 2673 days


#19 posted 07-31-2017 08:07 PM


Is a “Finger joint blade set” the same thing as a dado set without the shims?

- Gilley23

I believe the main difference is the tooth grind on the set are flat ground so they don’t leave bat ears on the work.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5918 posts in 3177 days


#20 posted 07-31-2017 08:50 PM

I was frustrated with box joints at first. I tried the tablesaw jigs and got good fitting joints, but tearout too.
So I got the Leigh superjig with special aluminum finger joint template. It made finger joints alright, but the fit was inconsistent. Some fingers fit snug, some were too loose. No amount of centering or e bush adjusting would fix the problem.

I already had an Akeda jig, so I bought the special box joint cutter.
Wow, does that jig make nice box joints.
No tearout, and the fit is dead-on.

I hope you find a technique that works for you.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2639 posts in 1586 days


#21 posted 07-31-2017 09:42 PM



Is a “Finger joint blade set” the same thing as a dado set without the shims?

- Gilley23

Almost. These are the two blade sets where depending on how you stack the blades, you get either a 1/4” or 3/8” slot.
Very clean, flat cuts unlike with a typical dado set.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

631 posts in 1112 days


#22 posted 07-31-2017 09:58 PM

For box joints/finger joints, I prefer the table saw method. I built a jig for the table saw, used it, trashed it. Built a second one, and it was better. The third one was like the porridge, being just right. I can set up and do the joints pretty quick now. And, I wrote instructions on the jig itself, to remind me to do this and that.

Another option, if you have the P-C 4211 or 4212 jig, download their supplemental section on doing dovetails and box joints with just the fingers section of the jig. Sort of like a Keller Jig. To me, that approach is much more repeatable and understandable than using the full jig. My P-C is limited to 12 inches, and I had a blanket chest to make that was 14 inches, so I had to set up the fingers using that supplemental section, which allows the joint to be of practically unlimited length and not fixed at 12 inches max. Now that I set up like that, and understand it, I’ll never use the full jig again.

Kirk

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1365 posts in 1180 days


#23 posted 07-31-2017 11:57 PM



That must be hard on you hand. I would have though you d use a maillot or something to strike the chisel with.
- AlaskaGuy

Maillot definition: a close-fitting, one-piece bathing suit for women, simply styled and usually having a scoop neck and shoulder straps.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

22770 posts in 3047 days


#24 posted 08-01-2017 01:15 AM

Nah..I just use a mallet…..

Doesn’t take all that long…

Just sitting at the bench for a while..

Maybe add a few grooves for the bottom and top to sit in….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Tom's profile

Tom

180 posts in 1424 days


#25 posted 08-05-2017 10:26 PM

I made the Steve Ramsey jig…and after playing around with the pin/board and making an insert for my saw….

they work. I actually got snug fitting joints with no gaps. I may want to upgrade my Dado blades…the ones I have are Harbor Freight and dont’ leave a flat top on the openings.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1900 posts in 967 days


#26 posted 08-05-2017 10:46 PM

If you abandon the jig u have just remember that an imprecise jig will yield imprecise results so no matter what you build , be meticulous.

But it seems to me that if you are almost there with a jig that worked in the past then tweaking it might be the way to go (since u know it worked before) as you are probably going to have to tweak whatever you build too.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5240 posts in 2673 days


#27 posted 08-06-2017 02:14 AM

I made this simple little jig in not much more that an hour. I used William NG’s recommendation of making the pin 4 thousand of an inch under/narrower than width of my dado slot. Then I use some left over pin stock to set the distance between the blade and the pin. Perfect fit first time.

I have a leigh jig with a box joint template that makes perfect box joint that I usually use. I think I like this little jig better.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

171 posts in 2975 days


#28 posted 08-09-2017 03:50 PM

I do all of my box joints on the table saw with a new jig for every set it seems…..it’s not rocket science. The jigs are easy to make and are infinitely adaptable to any size fingers you desire.

Sample of a set I did for lips on shelves for a travel trailer.

-- .. heyoka ..

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