Making Finger Joints On A Table

Table Saw Dovetail Jig

Begin by carefully preparing the stock to be finger-joined. The pieces should be of exactly the same thickness and width or the joints will not come out even. Make extra pieces to be used as scrap stock for setting up the jig. As an aesthetic rule of thumb (and to make setup a bit easier), plan to make the width of the finger joints equal to the thickness of the stock. After cutting the stock to length (I usually make the parts exactly '/i6 in. oversize so 1 can later trim the '/32-in. protruding fingers at each corner flush), separate the components into two piles: ends (fronts and backs) and sides.

Install a dado blade set up to cut the desired finger width. Now place the jig on the saw table and begin the setup process. First, set the sawblade height equal to the thickness of the stock plus '/32 in. for trimming. Next, by loosening the C-clamps and moving the back fence, set the index-block spacing. The block should be fixed at a distance away from the side of the dado blade exactly equal to the width of the cut.

Now make a test cut, using one piece of scrap to represent a box side and another to represent an end. For the cleanest cut, lift the stock from the jig after pushing it through the sawblade—do not bring it backward through the spinning blade. If the joints are too tight (you want the pieces to fit easily together without any forcing), move the block closer to the dado blade. If the joint is so loose you can see hairline gaps between the fingers, move the block away. Note that the adjustment range here is very small—you need only change the block-to-blade spacing a few thousandths of an inch to affcct the fit of the joint.

When you are happy with the look and feel of the joint between the two scrap pieces, you are ready to cut the real thing. First, though, check to be sure that the C-clamps holding the adjustable fence to the back fence of the jig are secure and that the blade-height adjustment on the table saw is locked down tight. Now run all the sides through the saw, aligning the edge of the stock to the side of the dado cut as shown in the drawing at right. Finally, run all the fronts and backs.

Drawer box front (or back)

Drawer box side

Dado cut

Index block

Hold side even to side of dado cut in adjustable back fence.

Index

Fence

This distance equals the width of the cut made by the dado blade.

Drawer box front (or back)

Drawer box side

Fence

This distance equals the width of the cut made by the dado blade.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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