How to Make Box Joints with Only a Router | Woodworking Jig

How to Make Box Joints with Only a Router | Woodworking Jig

Today we’re going to make a box joint jig for the router. Not the table saw, not the router table but the router. [Music] You can you use a bigger router like this. You could use a smaller router like this. You can’t use this router this router. It’s crazy insane. It’s got some crazy technologies. We’re gonna talk about this router in a future video. I made a box joint jig for the table saw a few months ago and there were a lot of “but I’s”. But I live in the UK. Dado stacks are not available. I don’t have a good table saw. I want to use the router, David how can I use a router to make box joint jigs? Today we’re gonna do that. For this method you can make any size fingers that you want as long as you can find the router bit at that size. So the first thing we need to do is take the plate off of the router and we’re gonna make a board that mounts to the router. The really important thing about this board is that this side of the board needs to be parallel with this side of the board. I’m gonna make this base out of 1/2″ plywood. So I’m gonna rip it down to ten inches wide then we’re gonna crosscut it just to make it smaller and more manageable and then drill a little hole for the bit to pop through. Now we need to attach it to here but to figure out where to drill the holes we’re gonna use the plate that we took off and we’re gonna set it on there. Center the circles there and we can mark out where we need to drill. We not only need to drill through but we need to do a counter bore so the screw will sit below the surface. Got that last one in there. Now we got a little router table. Now that we got the base mounted to the router we’re going to make the sled. The sled is basically the cut off of this but we’re gonna put it on there this way and we’re going to glue and screw rails on the bottom here. That’s gonna run right along this. That’s the reason this side needed to be parallel with this side so this runs true. Well take this off of here and we’re just going to kind of line that up where we want. It needs to be able to slide like that so that needs to be nice and tight. So I’m gonna throw some clamps on there. It’s a little too tight but that’s better than two loose. That means we can finesse it. Now this is probably overkill but woodworkers overkill everything. I’m just gonna throw some screws in there. I’m sanding everything real smooth. We’re gonna put some wax on there. I got the first part of my fence cut and we’re just gonna glue it on right there. Got that fence clamped on there but I’m also going to run a couple screws in from the bottom. We need to be able to run this through the bit. I’m just going to slowly. For this front fence I want it a little taller than this. I don’t necessarily want it this tall but something a little bit taller will give us a little bit more clamping room and stability for pieces that we run through there. So I’m gonna go cut this one down I’m gonna cross cut it to width and then rip it – I don’t know… that much? I realized before I can really move any further I got to figure out a way to keep it from doing this business. So I’m thinking about making some legs maybe out of 3/4 inch plywood and have a front leg that goes down to the bench but then the back leg is even longer so it fits into the vise. Then it’s nice and secure and stable. Pocket hole screws for the win! Now I can screw my router in there. There we go, we got some air space for that vent there. Our sled right along top and we’re good to go. This is the front of our fence. We need to cut the kerf into this fence here. So we can figure out how big to make our pin. So I’m just gonna hold this up against the fence nice and tight and run it through the bit. Now we’re gonna make a little key that’s gonna fit right in there. And we’ll have to sneak up on that cut over at the table saw and I’m gonna use a piece of hard wood and not plywood for that key. That’s gonna do it. It doesn’t need to be that long so we’ll make it oh let’s say that and well we’re gonna use this scrap piece here. Now we’ll glue that guy in there. Set that up against my back fence, move this over until that kisses the bit and then clamp this in place. I have a couple pieces of scrap here and we’re gonna make our test cut. So I’m just going to bump that up against the pin and wish me luck! And that is a really good fit on the first try which is kind of unfortunate because I wanted to show you what happens when you don’t have a good fit. If it is too loose you move the pin away from the bit and if it is too tight you move the pin towards the bit. What that does is even though the the grooves that we cut are all the same size it changes the size of the pins here. So now I’m just going to take some screws and screw the back fence to the front fence to make this permanent and then we can remove the clamp. I want to put a stop so this can’t go any further and I don’t blow out the back of this and hit my thumb with the bit someday. Because that would kind of suck. Now we should have a nice little safety stop. Yeah so now that can’t ever go through Next thing we need to do is set the height of our bit and it wants to be just slightly taller than your piece. Like just a hair The trick is you need to mark the top of the four pieces that you’re going to make. And this mark always faces towards the bit. So we’ll butt it up against that pin. We’ll run it through. We’ll flip it over. We’ll butt it up against that pin and run it through. So we have our two long sides cut. Now to get the short sides started I need to take one of these long sides and flip it this way. Mark towards the pin. Remove some of that dust, We’ll talk about that in a second. That’s gonna go over the pin right there and then we’re going to run this through. Mark towards the pin. To create that first cut. Once we have that first cut we can then put that over the pin. So we need the long side to get the short side started and we’ll have to do that when we flip it over and we’ll also have to do that on this one and then this one. So obviously the dust collection trick is to have a Dan in your shop who can get in there. I might experiment with some drilling some holes in there and then getting some suction underneath. I mean minus is dust that was really easy. Do you know what else is really easy? Making a website with Squarespace I know, I know, you don’t want to hear about Squarespace right now because you you’re enjoying the box joint jig but that was so pleasurable to use and so is Squarespace. I use Squarespace for my own site and I use Squarespace for my podcast site. I used to be a web developer so I know the pains of making a website. Squarespace takes away all that pain. You don’t have to worry about back-end code. You just set up your site with Squarespace. You pick one of their beautiful templates and you’re good to go. It works on mobile phones, tablets and desktops. That’s called responsive design which makes it readable on your phone. Nice big text and then reconfigures itself for a tablet and then for the desktop. Squarespace does all that for you automatically. You can sell both physical and digital goods which I do. it works really well. You can take credit cards, you can take PayPal, all that standard stuff. So we are going to finish this box up. I’m going to take it over to the table saw and I’m going to cut a little groove so we can put a bottom in there and while I’m doing that you should go set up your Squarespace website. Let me know in the comments down below the link to your new Squarespace Website and I might feature you next month. We’re actually gonna use this next week to build a walnut toolbox it’s gonna be the sexiest walnut toolbox you have ever seen. One thing to keep in mind is the bit length. This is the bit that I originally wanted to use but it did not come up far enough for me to box joint three-quarter inch material so I had to find another bit that was a little bit longer. I’m gonna try to find a quarter inch bit on Amazon and I’ll post a link down below. Also make sure that this base top is made out of 1/2″ plywood. if this was 3/4 inch plywood I don’t think that bit would come up far enough for 3/4 inch material. You don’t need plans to build this but I will have drawings up on my website so you can see what size mine is. This red zebra wood box, I think I’m gonna throw it up on ebay. I think so. We’ll see, if so I’ll have a link down below. The zebra wood did come from my friends at Kencraft. You’re gonna want to check them out at As always have fun, be safe, stay passionate and Make Something! Dan, my energy is back!

100 thoughts on “How to Make Box Joints with Only a Router | Woodworking Jig

  1. Perfecto!👍gracias a tu video excelente, genio hiciste crear nueva herramienta corta para router, cómo es audaz!

  2. Watching this now. Cannot thank you enough for this video. I still consider myself a beginner at woodworking. I have seen other plans and videos about how to make a table for a router, but because my engineering skills are not the best, I can never quite figure out how to adapt them to my specific router. This video and explanation are perfect! Thanks again!

  3. when you say, move the pin to or against the pit, do you start with new wood or what? please show on another video! thank you, my friend.

  4. I'm about to teach a bunch of kids how to make simple boxes. Now I'm considering making a jig like this for our router table we already have so they can add in finger joins. Great video man

  5. Me: I don't have a tablesaw to do finger joints, can I use just a router?
    Youtuber: Sure, use this method. 1st step, cut this board with the table saw, then the mitter saw and finally use the drill press.
    Me: 😒
    Still very cool video, but c'mon, the video start with questions from other users asking for alternatives to tablesaws among others.

  6. David this was perfect. I had been brainstorming how to build a box joint jig since I don’t currently table saw (I have a radial arm saw) or a real router table. This was what I needed to see and with a few mods will work perfectly for my setup.

  7. You could run a shorter bit if you drill the hole in the base plate bigger then have the collet and nut go up further closer (but not touching) the slide.

  8. Square Space… get it? You made a square space with box joints and a cool box joint jig and it was all brought to you by Square Space!

  9. I know I'm not the first to say this, but :"we're going to use a router, not a router table"… Proceeds to build a router table.

  10. I often think that there is nothing new to be found in the youtube woodworking space. You proved me wrong. Great Idea Dave.

  11. I love your videos, and one of my favourite things is a lot of your measurements are "I will cut this about…this long" or "I will rip this down to about, this wide" Which is usually how a lot of us actually do stuff when making projects with the plans just in our heads. You make projects really easy to follow and without all technical jargon and I would guess a lot less daunting for new woodworkers, yet they are still beautifully made. I guess i'm just trying to say you make it easier to "Make something"

  12. I’ve been terrified of trying to make box joints, because I didn’t want to have to buy a jig and because I don’t have a dado stack, but I truly think I have ran out of excuses after watching this video, thanks for creating awesome content as always!

  13. I just made pretty much the same thing for my router table. You get an amazing amount wood shavings everywhere. It didn't work properly until I bought a very good router bit.

  14. Your segway into the commercial was so smooth that I'm not even mad to be interrupted. Good job on the jig as well.

  15. I'm impressed with the build but far more impressed with the video. Clear, clean, crisp, not a lot of crummy music while you skilfully drill four holes with the drill press. Yep, very good. I subscribed and I REALLY want to see the walnut tool box.


  16. Brilliant work buddy, here in the UK dado stacks are frowned on by government and the health and safety brigade, so using the router is a perfect way to get that wider cut for box joints, thankyou for your excellent video, very helpful, regards Louie Ulster Workshop.

  17. That's a great jig, I'm starting into woodworking, I don't have that much space, so I'm thinking on making a flippable modular workbench table which can fit my miter saw and router, this gives me an idea on what else to add to the router module, thanks for the video

  18. I've seen many videos that show us how to make box joints, but yours is very special! Perfect work! Congratulations!!!

  19. er ahhh what's the make of that weird router you're going to profile soonly? I saw an ad for it a year or so ago on a Venezuela cable station

  20. David thank you for simplifying a complicated decision for me. I needed a accurate, simple to build, and a minimum amount of tools for building my Finger Joint Router Jig.
    Excellent video and process. Thank you for sharing

  21. Nice video and very nice intro !
    Man, Dan will soon be the tool you are using the most in your workshop :-p

  22. Been researching for a box joint method with router (dont have dados here also) for an upcoming project.
    Your video is a life saver sir!
    Good job!
    DIYer from Philippines

  23. Why do you use plywood to make something that will always need to remain square? I see this all the time on multiple channels, and it always puzzles me. Whenever I make a sled or jig that I intend to use beyond that job, I spring for HDPE or acrylic and make it out of somehting that's durable, consistent in composition, and not susceptible to warping. Maybe it's just because my work area is unconditioned, but this never makes sense to me.

  24. That is one slick Box Joint Jig! I have to agree that it is defenitly not like any I've seen before. I also like the idea of making it as a small fixture that you can easily move around. Can't wait to build one for my shop.

  25. My first thought: "Come on, you just made a mini router table"… My second thought "Man, I can use a mini router table"… so.. there's that…

  26. Anyone else ever notice that YouTube wood workers plywood looks like plywood out of a fairy tale? Always so crisp and correct

    Thanks for the info! Great video, FTCF 5 stars!

  27. This seems to be a hopelessly complicated solution to a problem with a much simpler solution. Build a simple jig with parallel but offset fingers extending either side of a central board, and rout the fingers topside with a bearing guided bit. Easy Peasy.

  28. You could also make the base of the sliding tray out of thinner 1/4” hardboard and gain some length on the router bit. Cool jig.

  29. The Marxists in the UK have made Dado blades illegal? Marxists are far more dangerous to you than a fkn saw blade is, foolish Liberals. What is the tipping point soyboys?

  30. Hi Genius! I totally loved it! Where have you been? Must do the box jig! Congratulations you’ve earned yourself a loyal subscriber! More vids please. Good day.

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