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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:53 am 
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Location: Plymouth
I recently picked up the box joint jig http://www.rockler.com/rockler-router-t ... -joint-jig (it was on sale) that Rockler sells to be used with your router table. I used it quite a bit over the weekend, so thought I'd share my thoughts on it so far. I bought the upcut spiral bits that Rockler recommends to be used with the jig as well.
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IMG_9653.JPG
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A few comments:
1. Dust collection is non-existent. I used a piece of wire to crudely hold in place a dust hose near the work area, but it didn't work all that well.
2. I have the Benchdog router table, that has a t-track slot on the front of the work surface. The Rockler jig needs a t-track slot on the back side of the table - which made me have to place the jig on the table backwards, and was a major PITA. This makes the door of my router table on the far side (meaning I can't readily open it), so I basically had to leave the router turned "on" and plug and unplug the power cord to turn the router on and off. Less than ideal situation.
3. The jig surface that sits on the router table has nothing holding it flat - I'm not sure if there was a slight dip/bow in my router table top, or what - but I could push the base of the jig up and down - meaning the height of the cuts could vary depending on how much pressure was applied. Also less than ideal. Combine this with the poor dust collection - and if some sawdust chips worked their way under the jig, it would thus be all off from where you wanted it to be.
4. I was using 1/2" birch plywood for drawer sides. Some pieces cut okay, but because the router bit is spinning, there was always a danger of tearing out the face ply piece that is between the router bit and the blue 1/2" wide gage. The sacrificial fence protects the back side of the plywood piece, but not the front. This happened a lot. Probably not that big of a deal for some production drawers to go in my master closet. I imagine this could be just as bad using a router dovetail jig, and may just be the downside of using plywood for drawers instead of solid material.
5. A setup bar would probably help to make sure that the spacing between the router bit and the blue gage is set exactly at 1/2" (or whatever thickness you're using). The jig comes with 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" gage bars.
6. There isn't really any ability to (simply) modify the size/spacing of the fingers of the box joints.

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IMG_9652.JPG
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I ended up doing the box joint for the front corners of 10 drawers (so 20 joints). End result is they look ok, I'm not really all that happy about the various tear-out issues (again, may be due to me using plywood). I haven't glued and fitted them all up - I'll report back if I have fit-up issues.

Bottom line: not sure I'd recommend it. My gut feel after using it is that I would have been better off buying a jig (or making one) to be used with a dado blade and my table saw.

Thad


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:47 pm
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Location: Pittsfield Township (at intersection of US 23 and I-94 near Ann Arbor)
Cool mallet! Did you make it?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Jay mcNally wrote:
Cool mallet! Did you make it?


Nope, it was on sale for <$20 on Amazon. I'd like to make one someday, though. I did add my initials, lol.
Also here: http://woodworking-tools.org/index.php/ ... od-mallet/


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:56 pm 
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thad, from what your describing sounds like your pulling the stock towards you, you should be pushing it away from you.
the jig is designed to fit in the front miter slot and you push your stock into the bit.
yes plywood will give you more tarot then a solid piece of wood.

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Pipe and Wire by day
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:14 pm 
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If you're looking for an alternative method for box joints, check out William Ng's video. Really excellent method once you get the hang of it. Helps if you have a nice dado blade, but i get good results with my diablo dado and a backer board for tear out. I love his techniques, super precise but very praticle and efficient.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NutwD7B6tmE


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:12 am 
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dominic42 wrote:
thad, from what your describing sounds like your pulling the stock towards you, you should be pushing it away from you.
the jig is designed to fit in the front miter slot and you push your stock into the bit.
yes plywood will give you more tarot then a solid piece of wood.


Dominic - that's correct, I was using it as you described. I'll try turning it the other way... but am not sure my initial opinions will change much.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:13 am 
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Scott Currington wrote:
If you're looking for an alternative method for box joints, check out William Ng's video. Really excellent method once you get the hang of it. Helps if you have a nice dado blade, but i get good results with my diablo dado and a backer board for tear out. I love his techniques, super precise but very praticle and efficient.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NutwD7B6tmE


Scott - excellent video! Thanks for sharing that, I hadn't seen that one yet. I did google a few DIY box joint sleds that you can quickly create and use with a dado blade, all similar to his setup. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:59 am 
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Unless you're looking for a decorative joint, Miller dowels and butt joints are an easy alternative. Fast, simple and I've never had one come apart. http://www.millerdowel.com/

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:03 pm 
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so this weekend I worked on the 2nd cabinet, and prepped all my drawer sides. I figured I'd try the dovetail jig my Grandpa gave me years ago on a few scrap drawer side pieces to see how it compared.

a few comments about the dovetail jig.
1. my grandpa (since passed away) gave it to me, so there is a (small) sentimental value.
2. it is a Craftsman model, so kind of a piece of crap.
3. he didn't include any extra stuff (that you need), so I had to buy a special Craftsman router bushing set, because it takes a 0.40" bushing.
4. then I had to special order a Craftsman dovetail bit (from Sears/Craftsman) to use with the jig.
5. a few years ago, I was able to more or less get it to work but for that project, was using 1/2" solid maple for the sides.

so all that being said, here's my test run from earlier tonight - plenty of awful tear-out and doesn't end up fitting up that well either.
Attachment:
IMG_9723 dovetail.JPG
IMG_9723 dovetail.JPG [ 98.15 KiB | Viewed 148 times ]


so for now, it looks like I'm back to trying the router box joint jig one more time.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:30 pm 
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dominic42 wrote:
thad, from what your describing sounds like your pulling the stock towards you, you should be pushing it away from you.
the jig is designed to fit in the front miter slot and you push your stock into the bit.
yes plywood will give you more tarot then a solid piece of wood.


dominic, I tested this method out last night, and it seemed to work much better. my router table fence was able to sit on and clamp down the far side of the jig, also meaning my dust collection would be right there near the router bit. I only did 2 test pieces so far, though.
Attachment:
router jig.JPG
router jig.JPG [ 109.53 KiB | Viewed 92 times ]

I've got 5 or so drawers to do this weekend, so I'll give it a full test and see if I like this improved setup.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:47 pm
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Location: Madison Heights, Mich.
The quality of the plywood makes a difference but it's still a hassle, you might want to try taping the Area that your routing to help with the tear out.

Keep in mind that when your pushing the stock your naturaling pushing down rather the pulling and lifting up.

Hope it works out for you

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Pipe and Wire by day
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