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I want to make a box joint jig for my table saw and have the 'squares' if you will, a quarter inch. I found a very simple and nice design for my table saw to do this easily. But it showed that you need to have a dado blade in for it to work. I can not do this and wanted to know if there was a design alternative. Otherwise I do have a router table and that would be fine of course too. But there is also a Problem I see that will be in affect. There is only one track. Not two (I have basic equipment, only 16.5) and I think that would not be stable enough for that accurate cut. What design would be recommended? I want to do table saw but can only have one blade in, unless there is a way to do it with a router table with one track. I will be getting a band saw soon but that would take to long and that can be inaccurate...

  • Can you get wobble washers in the US?: They're commonly used over here to give a slightly wider cut from a table saw blade. – Graphus Jan 11 '17 at 1:59
  • Re. your router table having only one track, I presume it does have two sides that are exactly parallel to it which can be used as registration surfaces also. – Graphus Jan 11 '17 at 2:00
  • @Graphus Not sure what you are referring to. But if you mean the track and the fence then yes. To help with what your asking here is the router table I bought. This is very slightly different but same look. ebay.com/itm/… – Ljk2000 Jan 11 '17 at 3:20
  • Not the track and the fence, two of the four edges (the fence is removed or pushed out of the way when doing finger joints/box joints). The tops of router tables are usually exactly rectangular yes? You don't need two tracks if you want greater accuracy, you just need two reference surfaces and isn't the track parallel to two of the fours sides? So you can use an edge as you'd use a second track. But never mind that, I see online that there are many single-track box-joint jig — just make a long slide for the track (tight fit) and fix it rigidly to your sled and you'll have enough accuracy. – Graphus Jan 11 '17 at 8:25
  • I understand what you where talking about now. I can't believe I never thought of using the sides. I think it would be more accurate to use the two sides over the one track. I do not like the track anyway, it is funny. I think I have a good idea how I could make a jig. Thanks! – Ljk2000 Jan 11 '17 at 13:58
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It's possible using a relatively complex screw advance box joint jig. It's difficult to explain, but there's a great video demonstrating it here.

Basically, you move the workpiece incrementally to make multiple, somewhat precisely spaced cuts for each finger.

Note that you'll want a square cutting table saw blade.

  • I like this guy, I watch his videos all the time! Will watch. – Ljk2000 Jan 11 '17 at 3:16
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    Note there's also a slightly less flexible, but smaller in footprint and simpler, "Ultimate box joint jig". The creators of both get along, and posted Box joint jig rivalry and Box Joint Jig Showdown! (different takes on the same footage) just a few weeks ago. – Michael Urman Jan 11 '17 at 13:22
  • I passed on the ultimate jig because the question was about 1/4 inch joints. If a person wants to make blade width joints, that's a great jig. – jlbnjmn Jan 11 '17 at 13:32
  • Sure, but like with the SABJJ, the UBJJ can take multiple kerfs for a single finger. You have fewer reasonable resulting sizes from the UBJJ, but 1/4" joints from an 1/8" blade is a very reasonable outcome from either jig (take two kerfs, skip two kerfs, ...). – Michael Urman Jan 12 '17 at 3:02
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Box joint jigs generally count on being able to cut the slot in a single pass. If you want a 1/4 inch cut, that means you need a 1/4 inch thick cut, which is why a dado blade is used.

Theoretically there could be a jig which registered off the two sides of the cut and let you take multiple passes with a normal blade, but that would be a rather finicky design, I think.

If you can't use a dado blade for whatever reason, another approach would be a finger-joint jig that runs on your router table, using a quarter inch straight bit to make the cut.

  • My table saw is a basic starter one i got some year or two ago. It simply does not handle dado's of any kind. – Ljk2000 Jan 10 '17 at 23:55
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    Most will, well enough for this task. You may need to buy or make a new insert... As I say, your alternative is a router, invent your own jig, cut by hand, or a mix of these. – keshlam Jan 11 '17 at 0:36

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