"Education research demonstrates that hands-on, project-based learning founded on constructivist principles is one of the most effective ways to learn. It leads to better ability to perform at a higher level earlier in their professional careers and thus to benefit the enterprise sooner and at higher levels than those who do not have such a capstone experience."These are of course the same points made by Calvin Woodward and John Runkle when they first started manual arts training at Washington University and MIT in the late 1870's.
I have been asked by Fine Woodworking to do a small box to demonstrate the use of the tiny router bits, so I am making a small Greene and Greene styled box with box joint corners. First (after resawing and planing the stock to an appropriate thickness) comes the use of the table saw sled to cut the parts to exacting lengths. This requires two settings of the stop block.
|Two settings of the stop block gives material for two boxes.|
Next, I use a sled on the table saw with a guide pin to cut the finger joints. as shown in the images below. Now the box parts are ready to test router bits.
This technique of cutting box joints becomes easier with practice. Knowing just how tight to hold the stock against the guidepin helps. If you apply a lot of pressure one time, but simply just touch lightly the next, the distance between cuts can be distorted leading to a poor fit between parts. Practice, practice, and practice.
|Use a 5/16 in. box joint blade and 5/16 in. drill bit as guide pin.|
|Trial fitted finger joints... a tight, but near perfect fit.|
|A Greene and Greene styled box joint|