Box Joints Made Easy on Your Table Saw...

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Review by cajunpen posted 02-29-2008 09:33 AM 13193 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Box Joints Made Easy on Your Table Saw... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I love box joints, they are easy to construct, look great and when cut and assembled correctly are as strong a joint as any you can cut. The Freud 8” Box Joint Cutters do one thing and one thing only – they cut perfectly flat box joints on your table saw. You have two size joints that you can cut, either 3/8” or 1/4”. The slot width is determined by the way that you arrange the blades.

It all begins with a shop made jig, which attaches to your Miter Gauge. Basically you attach a flat fence (one for each size box joint – so you will need two jigs). You cut a slot in the fence, in this example we will be making 1/4” box joints, so you would cut a 1/4” slot, approximately 1/4” deep. You then glue in a piece of 1/4”x1/4”x2” bar in the slot that you just cut. You then mount the fence to your Miter Gauge. Here is the difficult part (not really) you must get that 1/4” bar exactly 1/4” from your saw blade. Don’t worry about the setup, if I’ve rambled and not made it clear, the set comes with very thorough setup instructions. I also have and use a spacer fence setup on my router table to cut box joints, which also works well – but the Freud blades are easier to setup and use for quick box joints.

I said earlier that it does one thing only – well that’s not completely true. You can also use it to cut 1/4” or 3/8” dadoes or rabbits and you will have perfectly flat bottoms. The set costs about $79.00 and I’m pretty sure that you can buy them through the LumberJocks store.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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12 comments so far

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#1 posted 02-29-2008 01:09 PM

did you have a problem doing this with your regular dado set? I am still trying to get a grip as to why this has an advantage over regular dado sets.

-- making sawdust....

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179 posts in 4624 days

#2 posted 02-29-2008 03:53 PM

That was my question also. I’m looking to get a dado set in the next week or so and I don’t understand why you would spend $80 on the limited sizes this offers. Does this have some magic that we don’t know about?
I was look at this one in the Lumberjocks store and it will do 1/4”, 3/8”, and all the way up to 13/16”.

-- Kyle Shipp,

View Sawdustmaker's profile


295 posts in 4644 days

#3 posted 02-29-2008 03:54 PM

Same question here Cajun. I have the Freud stacking Dado set and wandered if it was worth another $80. I value your opinion as a user/owner/Cajun, as everyone knows a Cajun never tells tall tales. Well, at least most of the time.

-- Brian, Virginia Beach

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#4 posted 02-29-2008 06:19 PM

Hmmmmmmmm. Ditto Cajun. A good question to ask Freud.

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

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#5 posted 02-29-2008 07:02 PM

I was looking at this product it is my understanding that the teeth are designed more square to enable a cleaner cut with less blow out. The teeth are a bit more square in shape vs the ATB of a dado set and are at a different angle then the outside cutters of a dado set. Don’t quote me now as I am pulling this from memory and it is not quite as sharp as it used to be.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

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14578 posts in 4912 days

#6 posted 02-29-2008 08:39 PM

sIKE wins the prize. The purpose of these specialized blades is to provide a perfectly flat bottom slot – which is sort of important when you are doing box joints. The set of the teeth are cut perfectly flat. I have a stacked dado set also, there is no comparison to the box joint cut that you get between the two the Freud wins hands down.

The other advantage is setup time – with the Freud you have no shims to mess with – you simply install the blades back to back for 1/4” joints, or face to face for 3/8” joints.

I’m a bit surprised at the response to this review. It’s amazing that woodworkers would be surprised with anyone buying a specialized tool. After all, I can joint a board perfectly with only my router table and a shim on the outfeed side – so why did I buy a jointer? I can also cut dadoes and rabbits with my router – so why buy a set of dado blades at all? In my mind it’s all about convenience and quality of end result.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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295 posts in 4644 days

#7 posted 02-29-2008 08:54 PM

Well, I’ve looked around trying to find something solid on this and this what I came up with: Freud’s Box Joint Cutter is the Solution!
Leave it to Freud to design a blade set that makes cutting the most popular box joint almost trivial. One of the major problems when using a standard dado blade or dado set for box joints is the small (or not so small, depending upon the blade) nick at the corner of each pin. It is formed by the beveled scoring teeth present on most dado set outside blades, and on all Alternate Top Bevel ground blades. Freud’s Box Joint cutter set has perfectly flat top ground teeth, eliminating this aggravation. The set is designed to cut perfect 1/4” or 3/8” joints without shims or adjustments. Just reverse the blades to change joint width. Freud even includes complete instructions for construction of a box joint jig. Made in Italy
One of the reoccurring threads I see quite often in reference to the Freud dado/ box joint sets is the tight fit on the arbors. I concur that with their special coating they use it does take a little more patience with install and removal of the set to prevent the threads from getting nicked up.

-- Brian, Virginia Beach

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14578 posts in 4912 days

#8 posted 03-05-2008 11:17 AM

Just wanted to update this review. I cut a bunch of box joints today, using the Box Joint blades and it totally reinforced my review – they were fast, easy and perfect.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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502 posts in 4653 days

#9 posted 10-17-2009 06:28 PM

I second Cajunpen’s review of this. It is well worth the $80 for a box joint that turn out perfect with very little effort. I used it on this project to build both the trays and was extremely pleased with the results.

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Since then have also used it on a number of drawer boxes. And actually for drawer boxes if you are using the 1/4” set up you can cut the box joints and then cut your groove for your bottom without changing blades again saving time. I pair mine with Woodsmith’s alum box joint jig and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

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#10 posted 10-18-2009 05:13 AM

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#11 posted 10-18-2009 08:20 PM

My pleasure – it is an awesome blade set.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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#12 posted 02-06-2010 06:27 AM

been recently tring to use a stacked dadoe set to make box joints but cuts dont come out square.result sloppy joints w/1/16 play. went crazy trying everything possible to ajust to tighten joint.After reading some replys on LBJ am happy to know its not just operator failiar.Will eithier invest in a box joint blade set or look into using my router table.Thanks everyone for the great input.

-- If it dont fit, get a bigger hammer!!!!!

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