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April 28, 2017

Box Joint Fence for the Dado Crosscut Sled

What’s the Purpose of the Adjustable Box Joint Fence?

Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawThe adjustable box joint fence for the dado crosscut sled allows the woodworker flexibility when he or she is creating wood joinery on the table saw. The box joint fence is simply a woodworking accessory used to assure uniform spacing when making wood joinery such as box joints (finger joints) and evenly spaced dadoes. Also, by employing the adjustable box joint fence on the dado crosscut sled, the woodworker can quickly make the repetitive cuts necessary for creating decorative dentil moulding. The addition of the optional box joint fence enhances a woodworker’s ability to work systematically, accurately, and efficiently while at the same time, working safely. Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw

How to make the Adjustable Box Joint Fence

The adjustable box joint fence is comprised of (2) 1″ rails of straight grained maple. The rail closest to the woodworker is stationary while the interior rail can slide laterally. This lateral rail has a T-track set in a groove. (The T-track is concealed from view.) The heads of (2) 5/16″ T-bolts are held within the T-Track. Holes are drilled thru the stationary fence so that the T-bolts can extend thru this fence. The threaded T-bolts are then fastened with the black star knobs.To adjust the box joint fence simply loosen the star knobs, adjust the box joint fence left or right so that the peg is aligned from the dado saw kerf the desired amount. Once the star knobs are secured, it is time to make the cuts.Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw



Adjustable Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawIn the photos, you’ll notice a series of 1/4″ holes towards the bottom of the adjustable box joint fence. These are spaced at 1-1/2″. A  peg that is 1/4″ diameter then fits into one of the holes to make for the desired spacing of cuts. This adjust works well for dadoes, finger joint operations, or for creating dentil moulding. (Of course, the dado crosscut sled can also be used to cut other wooden joints such as half laps, rabbets, tongues, and tenons. Simply remove the 1/4″ peg for these woodworking operations.)

What are the Dimensions for the Dado Crosscut Sled?

Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawThe dado crosscut sled for the tablesaw is made from 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood. This particular sled is 18″ x 26″ wide. All 3 fence rails are made from straight grained hard maple that measure 1″ x 5″ x 26″. A 6″ section of a 4 x 4 is fastened where the dado blades exit the sled. This block provides additional safety for the woodworker as it helps to conceal the dado blades from the woodworker’s hands.

Note: The adjustable box joint fence is simply a great accessory for the dado crosscut sled. I highly recommend the basic dado sled as it will help to advance your woodworking skills. Remember, the dado sled offers the woodworker control and precision. These two factors are key ingredients to being able to work with confidence. Once you have built the dado sled, you can simply add the box joint fence as you desire. Let me know how it works out for you.
Adjustable Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw

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Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled

Cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled while using the table saw is a very effective way of producing highly accurate tenons safely in a short period of time. The woodworker makes his or her pass with the dado sled in a very controlled manner as the sled runners glide freely back and forth through the miter gauge slots. The craftsman’s hands are clearly away from the path of the dado blades. Also, the material is easily held firmly in place for each and every pass. There is no need to hurry as it it just a matter of enjoying one’s time at their craft while working with complete confidence.

 

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut SledWhen cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled, it is easy to determine where to clamp the stop block in place. Let’s say that the length of the tenon of the tenon needs to be 1-1/4″ long. 1.) Simply measure 1-1/4″ from the furthest dado saw kerf’s edge. Make a pencil mark on the sled. 2.) Align the stop block end with the pencil mark. 3.) Clamp the stop block securely in place.

Obviously, when cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled, the craftsman needs to take a minute to install the dado blades. Consider this as an investment of your time that will pay you back handsomely in return. When a woodworker has a project with tenons, typically, there are multiple tenons to be cut. So, once the dado blades are installed on the table saw it is just a matter of raising the saw blade height to the desired level of the cut. Now keep in mind that some woods are denser and as a result harder than other wood species. If you are working with a very dense wood, it may be necessary to raise the dado blade incrementally. However, most of the time in my shop I am able to raise the dado blade set to a desired fixed height and then cut the tenons without any further blade height adjustments.

Safety First

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled and more

Cutting Tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled and more

Working safely is imperative. It is not an option. In closing, cutting tenons on a dado crosscut sled can be done safely, effectively, and with confidence. Now, as a woodworker you have numerous methods for cutting tenons and it is great to have a variety of techniques at your disposal. However, remember to always place safety as the primary requirement for you decision.

Questions

What is your method for cutting tenons?
What tools do you use to produce tenons?
What questions do you have about cutting tenons on a Dado Crosscut Sled?
…….

Learn how to Build a Dado Crosscut Sled for the tablesaw.

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