How to Make a Box With a Box Joint Router Bit

Overview

A wide variety of boxes or drawers can be made with the box joint router bit and a simple jig. As long as the jig is set correctly, you can make boxes and drawers quickly and easily. The height of the drawers depends on the height of the box joint router bit you are using.

Box Joint Router Bit Setup

Step 1

Put on your eye and ear protection.

Step 2

Unplug the router and install the box joint router bit into the router table.

Step 3

Adjust the router table's fence so the outer edge of the fence is even with the outer edge of the box joint router bit's bearing. Use a straight edge to check that they line up evenly.

Box Joint Jig

Step 1

Use a table saw to cut a piece of 1/4-inch plywood to 6 inches wide by 9 inches long. This will make the base for the box joint jig.

Step 2

Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch scrap material 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches long. Attach these to the plywood with glue and screws. The 3/4-inch side is the side to attach to the plywood. These should be set 2 inches in from the end and set square to the plywood edge. Mark one block with a "A" and one with a "B" for the two different joints needed to make a box.

Step 3

Set the box joint jig next to the box joint router bit that is mounted in the router table. Adjust the height of the box joint router bit so that the bottom of the lowest cutting edge just barley touches the top of the 1/4-inch plywood of the box joint jig.

Step 4

Keep the long side of the jig against the router table's fence. Turn on the router and push the jig through the box joint router bit for the block marked "A" only.

Step 5

Raise the box joint router bit the height of one tooth only. Use the box joint jig block marked "A" as a guide. Rotate the box joint router jig 180 degrees so that the uncut block marked "B" is facing the router bit and run it through the router to make the template for joint "B."

Box Assembly

Step 1

For a box that is 6 inches wide by 9 inches long and 6 inches tall, use a table saw to cut the box material to size. Make side "A1" out of two pieces of wood that is 1/2 inch thick by 4 inches wide by 6 inches long, and make side "A2" out of two pieces of wood that are 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches wide by 6 inches long.

Step 2

Next make side "B1" out of 2 pieces of wood that are 1/2 inch thick by 4 inches wide by 9 inches long, and make side "B2" out of 2 pieces of wood that is 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches wide by 9 inches long. Mark all the pieces on the 1/2-inch side with there number as you cut them so there won't be any confusion.

Step 3

With the router table set up to run side "B," place the box joint router jig against the router table fence with the "B" side facing toward the router bit. Place one of the "B1" box sides against the jig and fence, have the 1/2-inch side marked "B1" on top. Now run one end through the router. The jig will keep the work piece from getting torn out because it is supporting the cut. Rotate the box side 180 degrees clockwise and cut the other end of the side piece. Repeat this step for all the box sides marked "B1." Take the two box sides that are 2 inches wide and labeled "A2" and run them through the router the same way except the the 1/2-inch side marked "A" is facing down toward the router table. Do not change the router bit height or rotate the jig for the last cut.

Step 4

Rotate the box joint router jig 180 degrees so that the "A" side is toward the router bit. Lower the router bit one tooth to match the jig for cut "A." Repeat step 3, but this time using the "A" joint for all remaining parts.

Step 5

Stack all the A's and B's with the best looking side facing up. Adjust the table saw fence to 1/4-inch and the blade to 1/4-inch height. Run all of the 4-inch box sides through the table saw with the 1/2-inch side marked "A" or "B" toward the fence. Now adjust the table saw fence so that the next pass will make a grove that is 1/4 inch wide by 1/4 inch deep in the box sides.

Step 6

Use the table saw to cut two pieces of 1/4-inch plywood into pieces that are 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches for the box top and bottom.

Step 7

Assemble the top and bottom of the box with glue and clamps. After they are dry, sand and finish them. Add two small hinges to the back, and you will have a box that is 6 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 9 inches long.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never start the router with the bit in contact with wood. Always unplug your router when changing bits or making adjustments. Never use bits that are dull or damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Router table
  • Box joint router bit
  • Straight edge
  • Table saw
  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Scrap wood

References

  • MCLSwoodworking.com; box joint video

Who Can Help

  • "Woodworking with the Router;" Bill Hylton; 2009
  • "Complete Illustrated Guide to Routers;" Lonnie Bird; 2006
Keywords: box joint, router bit, box sides

About this Author

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Make a Box With a Box Joint Router Bit