I have found that it is not only fun but cost saving to make my own boxes.......but......I screwed up and was taking a shorcut when datoing handles in them and I got my left hand caught in the table saw.......almost lost my first two fingers..36 stiches..healing quite nicely but not much feeling in them.....please be careful and don't take any shortcuts....
[This message has been edited by Flewster (edited June 09, 2004).]
I have found that it is not only fun but cost saving to make my own boxes.......but......I screwed up and was taking a shorcut when datoing handles in them and I got my left hand cought in the table saw.......almost lost my first two fingers....healing quite nicely but not much feeling in them.....please be careful and don't take any shortcuts....
I prefer to dado rabbits these days as it is faster. I also had the power tool accident on first two fingers on left hand while using router. Shatter middle finger into 13 pieces and pointer into 8. Doc put me back together and I lost some feeling also but I can still play guitar although not quite as well. I second the using caution, you lose any savings you had when you take the trip to the hospital not to mention permenant damage to oneself.
Is it not amazing how fast it happens.....It was over before I knew it started and the next thing I knew I was staring at two VERY mangled finders spirting blood.......kids going crazy but I have to give my 11 year old credit......he was calm, shut thew saw off and dialed 911 for me.......he is a champ in my book and actually took it better than me......of course now I have 3 kids that make sure I am extra safe while working with the saw.....this only happened on may 2nd this year.......still hard to use the saw but I am getting better......guess I am lucky to still have the fingers......
Spend a little bit of money and get your self a good dovetail jig - some thing like a Leigh 24" Dovetail Jig.
I bought one years ago with extra fingers and
set it up for both 9" (left side) and 6" (right side) boxes. Works great.
Here is another site for a different box joint jig. I used this one for cutting my boxes, it worked well and it looks simplier than the above jig and won't take up as much storage space. Although you may want to modify the key/tenon so that it is a little shorter than 3/4" (keep the width at 3/4"). http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=howTo&p=Build/boxjnt
myoldtools is my website. Both jigs will work. I like my design a little better because it uses two rails and holds alignment a little better. You can build the sled bottomless if you prefer, but I like having the material carried, rather than sliding. The dado sled itself has many uses when not being used for box joints.
PUT THE BOX TOGETHER FIRST THEN CUT THE HANDHOLDS ON THE TABLESAW WITH YOUR DADOS.
put pencil marks on your fence where to stop and start and simply hang on to the box
as far as a box joint its simple to make a jig but you have to be VERY PRECISE or it WONT WORK. so if you dont have a pretty good table saw i recommend a simple half lap or rabit type joint, it will out last most of us and our children as long as you glue
Another Hoosier and not very far away at that! I've tried the rabbit joints I just wanted to make box joints! I have a Craftsman 10" benchtop saw. It is one of the cheaper ones. Since I can't do more than a 1/2" dado on it MB was stating that I would need to make 2 passes. But I don't know how to build the jig to account for 2 passes! I like to work with wood like this but I'm not terribly experienced. Guess I'll have to think about it and see what I can come up with!
When I decided to make my own boxes, I also wanted to do the box joint.... but after talking to several others, I decided that the lap joint was both easier, and better in the opinion of those I asked. They said that the lap joint didn't let water into the grain of the wood as bad as the box joint, and that it would last longer... I think the box joint is probably stronger, but it shouldn't matter unless I am using the boxes to sit on all the time.. I know for sure the lap is quicker, and uses less wood to make the box.... but.... to each his own. : )
I make my own boxes now ,although with out a jig ,I use a dado blade and clamp the 4 pieces together withe the shorter ones set 1"
apart from the longer ones and then run them across the dado ,Just my way