Box Joint Jig

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

finger jointsEagle America Box Joint Jig Review

The folks at Eagle America recently sent me their Ultimate Box Joint Jig and sled to evaluate and review.

Eagle America is “The World’s Router Bit Source” due to their addition of Price Cutter brand router bits.  They offer  over 2,000 router bits for you to choose from.  Although I love their router bit stock I’m a bigger fan  of their quality tools and jigs for the workshop.

Eagle America’s Ultimate Box Joint Jig ~ Review

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig lets you easily make 1/4″, 3/8″, or 1/2″ box joints on your router table or table saw. Simply select the proper size index pin, connect it to the Ultimate Box Joint Jig, set the spacing for your first cut using a corresponding brass setup bar (not included) and you are ready to go!

What is a Box Joint?

A box joint or finger joint is series of interlocking square cuts used to join the ends of boards when making decorative boxes. The interlocking cuts expose the long grain of the material your gluing which increases  the strength of your glue joint and also increasing the amount of glue surface. The box joint is a very strong type of joint that can be very attractive when sanded and finished.

I’m a big fan of box joints and really appreciate how the end grain of one board and the long grain on the other board create a contrast.  Tools used to make box joints are dado/ flat-bottomed router bits, or stacked dado blades.   Using a jig to create the box joint spacing needed for the interlocking cuts is a must.

Box joints are a simple, economic way to produce a great looking, strong joint.

First Impression:

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig comes disassembled in a package with instructions.  It took me about ten minutes to put this jig together but I did find the instructions to be lacking, especially when it came time to discuss how to use the jig.

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig  is made of durable 3/4″ HDPE and measures 15″ x 3-3/4″. It comes with three precision machined aluminum box joint index pins (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″), a Safety Guard, and one Sacrificial Face Plate that also acts as a zero clearance plate to prevent tear out. All necessary instructions and hardware are included.

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig mounts directly to our Box Joint Sled  which is made of durable 1/2″ HDPE and measures 6-3/4″ x 6-1/4″ x 3″. It comes with an adjustable miter slider bar that fits standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ table saw or router table miter gauge slots.

Whats In The Box:

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig Value Package (A) consists of four key components:

•Ultimate Box Joint Jig (B)
•Ultimate Box Joint Jig Sled (C)
•Sacrificial Face Plate (E)
•Safety Guard (F)

Using Ultimate Box Joint Jig :

I set up the jig, squared it to my table saw blade and inserted my dado blade.  You obviously need a table-saw and dado blade set.

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig worked great.   I was able to create tight, accurate finger joints in a matter of minutes.

One slight design flaw I noticed was in the two two adjusting wing nuts used to adjust the front plate of the jig to the left and right are too close to the bottom of the jig sled make it difficult to tighten or loosen.  To adjust for this I used my cordless screwdriver and tightened the screw end of the bolt and hold the wing nut with my finger – problem solved!

I’ve made box joints before with a home made box joint jig and found this jig super easy to use and adjust.  I do think Eagle America needs to provide better instructions on using the jig.

Notes On Using The Ultimate Box Jig:

Whether cutting the parts together or individually, one (from each corner joint) must be started with the spacer stick inserted between it and the indexing pin.  The mating part is cut without the spacer and the proper offset is achieved, allowing the joints to mesh with the top and bottom edges of the work pieces even.

I started with the parts that use a spacer for the initial cuts. The spacer is same thickness as the indexing pin and blade width.  I place the wood spacer next to the  indexing pin and hold my stock next to that and clamp it tight to the jig.  Removing the spacer, start the saw and make your first cut.  This step makes a “notch” in your board.

Each successive cut  you move the freshly cut notch over to sit on top of the indexing pin until you have cut to the end of your board.

When cutting the opposing board you push this board against the indexing pin and make your cuts.  This step makes a “finger” on your board.  Your first board with the0″ notch” and your second board with the “finger” should fit together nicely.

Dry fit everything before gluing and clamping.

Use scrap material to get the learning curve of this process.  One tip I suggest is to leave the blade slightly higher than your stock thickness.  This will allow you extra stock for sanding the joiunt super smooth.

Overall Impression:

The Eagle America Ultimate Box Jig is a well made and easy to use woodworking jig.  This jig is a nice investment to oany woodshop that would like to upgrade their joinery.  It’s sturdy enough to last for years.  I recommend it.

The Ultimate Box Joint Jig sells online for $79.99, the sled sells for $30.00.  You can purchase these items together for $ 109.99.

This review contains my opinion of a product. I take pride in providing my readers with an honest and objective information as well as a practical approach to using a product. I never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the tools and products are provided to for free by a manufacturer for review.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of ConcordCarpenter.com and ToolBoxBuzz. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”.

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