Box Joints

Information About Box Joint Styles and Techniques:

The Joint BookWe've had several request from our visitors to explain the difference between different basic joints: Finger Joint, Dovetail, Mitered, Rabbet Butt. This page is dedicated to that knowledge as well as tools used to create these joints.

← This is the ultimate workshop reference ...
Giving woodworkers all the knowledge they need to choose the right joint for the job. It also features step-by-step, illustrated instructions for making over 70 joints, including mortise and tenon joints, dovetails, miters and more.

butt joint

• THE BUTT JOINT


The butt joint is the simplest and least expensive of all joints. It is considered a rather weak joint, however, they can be strengthen using TiteBond® II Glue and perhaps brads. Corner blocks can be added for some projects. A slide-lid box works well with this joint style for function and fitting.
miter joint

• THE MITERED JOINT


Made by mitering each corner at a 45° angle. It hides the end grain and provides a larger gluing area and can be held together with nails or screws. We recommend this joint for boxes made out of woodgrain veneer. Corners can be strengthened by adding corner splines. Plywood edges can be covered with edge banding.
rabbet butt joint

• RABBET / DOUBLE RABBET BUTT JOINT


The rabbet-butt joint is stronger and more rigid than a butt joint, and is one of our most requested corner styles for crafters who plan to paint the outside of their boxes.

Some of the end grain will show which can add a decorative touch. This joint is not recommended for woodgrain veneers.
finger joint

• THE FINGER JOINT


The finger joint is a strong, interlocking corner joint that adds a decorative touch to our custom boxes. For boxes 5" or less in height, we recommend this joint. It is a little more difficult to make, so we use our Woodrat joinery machine. Perfect joints!
dovetail joint

• THE DOVETAIL JOINT


Here is a strong joint that adds a decorative touch to a custom box. These are little more labor intensive. We use our Leigh Dovetail Jig, for beautiful joints everytime. These joints have very good mechanical strength held together with water-resistant glue.

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Tutorial: Build a Box Joint Jig

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Featured Article: Creating Splined-Miter JointsFeatured Article:

Creating Splined-Miter Joints

Create a new spin on traditional splined miter joints. Just install the splines at an angle, as shown with this Maple & Walnut letter tray. The results are eye-catching!

By varying the number and placement of the splines, you can come up with other designs.

First, make a simple spline-cutting jig for your tablesaw. Then, mark three evenly spaced spline locations on a piece of scrap the same width as the tray side ...    » more info

Leigh Super Dovetail Jig

Leigh Super Dovetail Jigs

» Leigh 12" Jig
» Leigh 18" Jig
» Leigh 24" Jig

Leigh Super Jigs offer extraordinary joint making capability at exceptional price points. Super Jigs are available in 3 sizes (widths): Leigh 12", Leigh 18" and Leigh 24" to satisfy the needs of every woodworker and every budget. No other jigs equal the versatility and precision of LEIGH Super Jigs.

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  • Variably spaced Through & Half-blind dovetails are standard on all Super Jigs
  • Infinitely adjustable one-piece fingers are easily positioned for any joint pattern, guaranteeing a half pin at each edge of the joint, regardless of board width
  • Cross-cut fence fits on the dovetail finger assembly to become a sliding dovetail template
  • Rout half-blind pin boards and tail boards at the same time using the included two-function spacer to offset the tail board and rout complete joints in one pass
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With the Super Jigs you're not limited to one bit and one depth of cut. Just select any of the five half-blind bits available and rout half-blind joints in the depth that best suits your project. The finger assembly can also produce two sizes of box joints, 5/16" and 5/8". The amazing joint making capability of Super Jigs is due in part to the revolutionary new LEIGH E-Bush. Very precise adjustments for fit are made easily with the E-Bush. Settings are changed using the included pin wrench and the uniquely shaped locking nut makes tightening the E-Bush a snap.
  • Markings clearly indicate the adjustment direction necessary for the desired change
  • A simple twist of the E Bush changes its active diameter which in turn changes the fit of finger joints and half-blind dovetails
  • Easy to use cam action clamps and aluminum clamp bars hold the work piece securely against non slip material applied to each clamping surface
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Includes: ½"-8° dovetail bit, ½"-14° dovetail bit, 5/16" straight bit, ½" to 8mm collet reducer, sliding dovetail fence, Half-blind bridge piece material, E-Bush, fully illustrated User Guide and Instructional DVD.

Leigh D4R-PRO Dovetail Jig

Leigh D4R-PRO Dovetail Jig

Model D4R-PRO:

Includes three carbide router bits, a 1/2" D x 8° x 8mm dovetail bit and a 5/16" x 1" x 8mm straight bit for through dovetails, and a 1/2" D x 14° x 8mm dovetail bit for half blind dovetails.

Also included is a 1/2" to 8mm collet reducer and a 7/16" template guide bushing, a comprehensive instruction manual and instructional DVD.

Leigh D4R Accessory Kit:

Leigh D4 accessory kit includes the (VRS) vacuum and router support and 12 piece bit set. Leigh's ingenious VRS provides router support and dust-free routing. The 12-piece bit set features 1/2" and 8mm shank bits. The set includes: 1/4" x 8 degree dovetail, 5/16" x 8 degree dovetail, 3/8" x 8 degree dovetail, 7/16" x 8 degree dovetail, 11/16" x 8 degree dovetail, 13/16" x 8 degree dovetail, 7/16" x 1-1/4" CL straight, 1/2 x 1-1/4" CL straight, 1/2" x 10 degree dovetail, 1/2" x 12 degree dovetail, 1/2" x 18 degree dovetail and a 1/2" to 8mm collet reducer.