Tuesday, October 23, 2012

[Box Joint Jig] - Final Assembly

Over the weekend I was able to complete the micro-adjustment feature on the Box Joint Jig. I have to admit, I never thought building a jig could be this complex, or this fun! There were many new techniques I'd never tried, and many challenges as well. All the better. Hopefully, I will get many good years out of this jig and the work I put into it will pay off.

First, I milled a small piece of hard Maple down to size. Believe it or not, this was a new skill learned. I'd never ripped anything down to 1/4" thickness on the table saw. I'm a hand tool guy! I would have ripped it by hand normally. But I'm going with the machine thing. A home-made (sacrifical) push stick was really handy to make this cut. Next I drilled holes on the drill press for the micro-adjustment mechanism as per the plan. 

I then marked the hole locations and made a simple square right-angle jig (another jig for making a jig) that I could attach to the Box Joint Jig in order to hold it upright on the drill press table for drilling holes for the micro-adjuster rods in the end grain. These holes need to be good and straight as they are 2" deep. 

A near disaster occurred when attempting to install the threaded inserts used to accept the threaded rod. The threaded insert has what looks to be a notch meant for a screwdriver, when in actuality its purpose is to allow the insert to seat itself straight. So I wound up installing it incorrectly the first time.Thank goodness when I flipped it the right way it went in straight and held properly.

I installed it the correct way by screwing the insert into the threaded rod and then then held it in place with a few nuts. I took the threaded rod and chucked it up in the drill press. Then, it was a simply a matter of aligning the pilot holes with the threaded inserts and using hand power and a little downward pressure to screw in the insert.   

Yet another skill learned.  

One other thing to keep in mind. If you order the hardware kit from Shop Notes, make sure you measure the length of the adjuster rods they give you. I spent "waaayyyy" too much time trying to figure out why the jig wasn't adjusting properly. It turned out the the adjustment rods that came with the kit were 2" longer than the length required. Once I cut them to the right size, no problems.

Here's a side view of the micro adjuster mechanism. Works beautifully.

And a shot of the back. The last step is to attach the jig to the miter gauge. I'll do that on the Saw Stop at class.
Here's a shot of the business end of the jig. The wider gap is where the dado blade passes. The jig allows you to control the distance between the dado blade as well as the width of the pins. 

The hardboard is what backs up the dado cut and is replaceable when you cut a different size dado.  So mission accomplished! Cannot wait to put it to use when I begin building the Saw Cabinet!

PS. John you are free to use this jig whenever you'd like. So you don't need to rush to build yours now!


  1. Nice looking jig John. That's the one I've beel looking to build for a while.

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