Rockler Router Table Box Joint Jig
Most fingerjointing techniques require careful marking out followed up with some element of cleaning the joint up before it fits together neatly, all of which takes time.
This jig enables fast, neat and accurate cutting of joints and is very reasonably priced. With a minimal amount of set-up joints can be cut in a matter of minutes, and best of all, there isn’t any clean-up needed for the perfect joint.
Being an American product measurements are in imperial, hence the jig is designed to fit a 3⁄4” mitre slot on a router table and caters for 1⁄4, 3/8 and 1⁄2” joints the depth of which is determined by how far the router cutter can safely protrude from your router table.
The 315 x 275 x 9mm carrier table has two adjustable 3⁄4” rails that slot into your router table. Two large knobs keeping the jig in place. Once you’ve fitted either a 1⁄4, 3/8 or 1⁄2” spiral upcut cutter into the router, the jig is adjusted to allow a space equal to the cutter diameter between it and the indexing key.
Made of precision-machined aluminium, the indexing keys come in widths matching cutter diameters and fit into a groove running the length of the base plate. Brass spacers are used to set the gap but are not supplied. I made mine for next to nothing from square steel rod and they worked perfectly. You could also use a ruler or vernier calipers to determine this setting.
A plastic sled is the part that makes this jig work. It will need a facing (I used 19mm MDF) into which are cut two slots with the chosen cutter. The indexing key needs to be removed for the first slot, then refitted and the MDF positioned so the slot fits over the indexing key. Insert two screws to hold the backer to the sled, adjust the cutter so it protrudes a whisker more than your timber thickness from the jig, and you’re ready to cut joint after joint.
Hold the workpiece firmly on the jig, slide the sled toward the cutter far enough to cut through to the MDF, lift the wood
off, slide it across so the slot fits onto the indexing key, cut the next slot and repeat along the whole board. To cut matching
boards, leave the first on the indexing key, slide your next piece into position alongside it, cut the first slot, then remove the first board and continue along the second board.
Within a matter of minutes you’ll have created perfectly matching finger joints ready for gluing and not needing any hand refining. This product is a real winner and makes it almost impossible to muck up a process that can be fraught with layout errors and endless cleaning up to get a snug joint. Best of all, once it’s set up you can just keep cutting joint after joint without need to make any alterations to the jig.
Reviewed by Andrew Potocnik
Rockler products are available from Carba-Tec, www.carbatec.com.au, phone 1800 658 111.