Woodsmith Aluminum Box Joint Jig

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Review by CharlieD posted 08-05-2009 11:41 PM 11019 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Woodsmith Aluminum Box Joint Jig No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was fairly pleased with this product and give it a 3.5 rating. . It was somewhat difficult to use and with some minor changes could be greatly improved. The DVD instructions were pretty good once you watched it several times. I found it difficult to hold the boards in place when you have a lot of cuts to make. Some type of hold down fasterner would help but also would slow the process quite a bit.

What you don’t realize when you buy the jig is that you might as well and go ahead and buy a miter guide as well. You don’t want to screw this to your primary table saw of router table miter gauge. I had a small cheap one that came with my econcomy router table and used it. However the slide on the miter guage was really too short and that made it difficult to hold the board on the jig and push it through without tippin the miter guage.

This is hard to explain but the key didn’t stay in place as well as I would have liked and when all the way down didn’t have enough edge sticking up for the edge of the board to make contact with.

The first time using this was tough but I expect it to be better with experience.

-- Charlie - Texas

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96 posts in 4569 days

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118136 posts in 4430 days

#1 posted 08-06-2009 04:59 AM

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 4693 days

#2 posted 08-06-2009 05:53 AM

I bought this about 10 years ago and found it difficult as well. I’ve used it a few times, but not in the last 8 years. I did screw it to my main miter guage, and that seemed to work ok. My difficulty was with the spacing adjustment. Mine does not adjust easily – as I recall I gave up and adapted my work to the spacing that the unit came with. The backer UHMW is also an issue; it is supposed to be moveable so you don’t get tear out when you change spacing, but I could never get it to slide in the slot, even using a hammer.

Bottom line: when I want to make box joints, I’ll look up how to make a jig and use that.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19563 posts in 4528 days

#3 posted 08-06-2009 07:31 AM

Sounds like you gave it 2 too many stars!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4285 days

#4 posted 08-06-2009 12:32 PM

I have one also. I have only used it once. I too found the key to be too loose. I am going to find some time to use it again and get some practice. I think it will be OK once I master it as opposed to it mastering me!
TopamaxSurvivor, I think it is premature to chop off 2 starts right now. I attribute the difficulty to operator inexperience (mine, not Charlie’s)!!
I will be interested to hear other reviews and recommendations for adjusting the jig.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View TheDane's profile


5851 posts in 4516 days

#5 posted 08-07-2009 01:41 AM

I bought mine used from a guy on eBay a couple of years ago, and have gotten good use out of it. I ordered a replacement UHMW backer, and have never had a problem getting it adjusted.

One modification I did makle was on the wooden ‘spacer block’ on the back. The printed instructions showed a star knob through the miter guage and the spacer block into T-slot nuts in the back of the jig. The spacing was way off for my Jet’s miter guage, so I drilled holes through the spacer block that match my miter guage and installed T-nuts into the spacer block from the side facing the jig. That way, I can use standard 1/4” stove bolts to attach it to my table saw miter guage.

For setup, I use precision brass guages to get the spacing close, then dial it in with scrap from the same stock I will be using in the project. Takes a little tweaking, but I haven’t found it difficult to do. Unlike the problems Topapilot and ellen35 reported, the adjustments on mine are snug and don’t have any slop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View rayn's profile


194 posts in 4071 days

#6 posted 08-07-2009 04:18 AM

I attended a seminar on the jig at the woodsmith store. I tried it on both my router table and my table saw with a dado blade. The fine adjust is allittle tricky and I did have a problem with tear-out. I then attended another seminar at the store where they used the Freud box joint blade set and with my home made jig and the blades I was much more happy with the results

-- Ray,Iowa

View CharlieD's profile


96 posts in 4569 days

#7 posted 08-14-2009 09:30 PM

TopamaxSurviror, I have to agree with you. I would drop it at least one star. What is missing is a built in/on clamp to hold the board. I cut 20 ends (5 drawers, 20 cuts) and my hands got really tired toward the end because you hold it tight so the cut is exact. Overall, my results were “okay” for a first effort but could be much better.

-- Charlie - Texas

View bamaboy's profile


30 posts in 4257 days

#8 posted 11-08-2009 04:59 AM

Thanks….. you guys saved me $109 bucks. I was headed to Rockler after church tomorrow to purchase this unit. I had tried several home made jigs with no luck, I figured this pro model would be the answer, but I can get the same problems with my homemade errors! Still looking for a good plan for shop made box jig.

View retjohn's profile


4 posts in 3957 days

#9 posted 11-25-2009 05:06 PM

Here is a site that shows a homemade jig. There are several sites that show essentially this same jig. I made one, it was the second jig I ever made and it works very well. The first jig was a fixed size finger joint jig that since it was not adjustable required great care in sizing. It was clear in building it that any error would make an unusable jig. So, I switched to this plan. I made 6 boxes that turned out great. Do be careful on the size material you use. I used a few undersized scraps and it caused a few problems that I was able to get around but it would have been easier if I had used full sized material. I don’t recall where I got my plans, but I did not pay the $15.95, just purchased hardware at hardware store or used some left over hardware as well.

John Neel

-- John Neel, Atlanta

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