Building box/finger joint jigs has become a bit of a hobby among some woodworkers, like marble machines or complex mouse traps. They are admittedly complicated, but fun to build and really useful tools. I’ve designed several, but this one is my favorite. It will cut any joint configuration you can imagine, without any complicated setup or attachments to swap around. You don’t need a dado set to use it, though using one will speed up the process. It will cut a joint up to 18″ wide, and is compatible with any 10-inch table saw.
The way the jig works is simple: The sliding carriage moves your work piece from position to position, utilizing a lead screw positioner with positive stops every 1/8″. Those stops align with a paper template (included in the plans) with various joint configurations already laid out for you. This, along with the dual cursors, lets you actually see where BOTH sides of your blade will be cutting, eliminating mistakes that come with losing track of which side of a line your kerf will fall on. The cam-activated positioner auto-corrects the carriage’s position, should you attempt to lock it down out of place. You only have to get your cursor CLOSE to the line, and the jig will zero it in for you.
- Deluxe PDF Plans (Dimensions, cut list, drawings, build photos and step by step instructions)
- Dimensions: Inches
- Tools required: Table saw, pneumatic nailer, drill, router
Original Concept Video (and some build tips):
More about our deluxe plans:
Our deluxe project plans are more than just a set of dimensions. They include a comprehensive set of step-by-step instructions with dozens of photos and illustrations to walk you thorough the build.
You will NOT receive a paper plan. You will be sent a link to download a digital PDF document that is compatible with most computers and digital devices. You may print it yourself or take it to a printing service. We do not provide 3D Sketchup models or CNC G-code.
Below are some examples of what our deluxe project plans look like. This plan will be similar.
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These two jigs are easy to make, and simple to use. One is for the router table, the other is used with a hand-held router. Both will cut through-dovetail pins (the tails are cut with a band saw, scroll saw or jig saw). The hand-held router jig will also enable you to cut half-blind dovetails as well. Both jigs are demonstrated in the videos below, and there's another video about laying out your joints.
If you use a lot of plywood or if you just like to keep a few sheets on hand, this is the project for you! It's a storage cart that organizes both full and partial sheets. But it also includes a clever feature that holds large panels upright so you may break them down easily with a circular saw and an edge guide. No more carrying and flipping big, heavy sheets around the shop. Do it all right on the storage cart! The whole thing is mobile so you can roll it around and tuck it in a corner. And it's built from inexpensive construction lumber.
This band saw is BIG on everything except size. It features a full 24" of throat capacity, yet it's small enough to fit on a bench. It's loaded with features that even the commercially made saws lack, like a built in sliding crosscut table, ball bearing blade guides, and a unique dust collection manifold. You can use common 104"-105" blades and the best part is, it's made almost entirely from wood!
This is a drill press table unlike anything you have ever seen before. Despite its compact profile, it is PACKED with features, including two drill bit storage drawers, a quick-release T-style fence, built in dust collection, replaceable inserts and a clever mechanism that allows the table surface to slide forward and back, as well as left to right! When combined with the built in stops, or simple layout lines on a piece of tape, this mechanism can make your drill press do a LOT more! Use it to make rows of holes for shelf pins, etc., all with easy repeatability. You can even put a router bit in the drill press and use the table for milling shallow mortises and inlays. You're bound to find even more uses for this unique table!
What started out as a way to safely hold small parts while working at the router table, became a multi-functional sled that will accomplish several tasks safely and accurately. It's a small parts holder: it's a coping sled for routing on the ends of narrow work pieces (rail and stile construction, tenons, half laps, etc.); and it's a circle cutting jig capable of diameters up to 10-inches.
This sled is surprisingly easy to build, and the plans give you all the information you need, including step-by-step instructions complete with photos. Enjoy!
This is a great machine for cutting curves and large holes without having to cut from the edge of the work piece like with a band saw. In fact, it can replace a band saw in a budget-minded shop. PLUS, it can cut plastic, metal, even tile! Rockwell calls theirs a Blade-runner, but this one has features that even theirs doesn't have. For one thing, it makes beveled cuts. It has a storage drawer at the bottom, and it can be made from scraps and a cheap saw.
This is my version of an idea first presented in Fine Woodworking Magazine (Issue #178) by Richard Beebe. This taper jig works like a sled, securely holding your workpiece and keeping your hands safe throughout the cut, even for narrow tapers, such as chair legs. My version is a little different that his. It adjusts equally from both ends of the fence, and will cut wide panels as well as narrow stock.
This jig is simple and inexpensive to make, but well thought out to provide a surprising level of functionality. It may be used with a plunge router and an edge guide to create accurate, repeatable mortises. You can cut tricky ones too, such as double mortises, parallel mortises and even mortises in round stock.
Traditional workbenches are great! The problem is that planning and project assembly tasks are best done at a low bench, but cutting joinery such as dovetails is more comfortable at a higher bench. Most shops don’t have multiple benches for multiple uses, so we bend down for our dovetailing.
This workstation seeks to solve that problem! When placed on a standard bench top it raises your work up so you can stand erect and work more comfortably. It includes work-holding clamps so it may be used on any work-surface, no vice required. And other clever features, such as a drawer to hold all your dovetailing tools and a replaceable chopping surface, make it very versatile.
This horizontal router has a few unique twists that make all the difference, like a tilting table, a micro adjustable router lift, a sliding table and much more. The machine is great for making raised panel doors, cutting miters and bevels, making splined miter joints for boxes, locking miter joints, half lap joints, rabbets, tenons... the list goes on and on. Plus it has excellent dust collection, and the tilting table makes it possible to cut unique, one of a kind profiles with ordinary router bits!