How to cut box joints on a table saw

If you’re looking to add some detail and interest to your woodworking projects, then learning how to cut box joints on a table saw is a great skill to have. Box joints are easy to make and can be used in a variety of different projects. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make box joints using a table saw. We’ll also provide some tips for getting the most accurate results. Let’s get started!

How to cut box joints on a table saw step by step

Step 1: Mark out

To begin, you’ll need to mark the cut lines onto your wood. The easiest method is to simply draw a line across both pieces of wood at the same time. However, if you’re particularly concerned about getting accurate results, then you can mark the lines individually and connect them using a straightedge. Learn more here How to cut an angle on table saw.

Step 2: Set up

Before you start cutting, make sure that your saw blade is set to the correct height and angle. You’ll also need to adjust your fence so that it’s perfectly level with the table of your saw (or whatever surface you’re working on). It’s important not to skip this step because any inconsistencies between the fence and what’s resting on it will result in less than square box joints.

Step 3: Make the first cuts

Start by making the two angled cuts on one piece of wood. The location and depth of these grooves will determine how wide your finished joint will be, so take a moment to mark them out carefully before you start cutting. The only tricky part here is making sure that each piece of wood is flush with the saw’s table. Although this can easily be achieved using a miter gauge, you may want to use a featherboard instead. If you’re experiencing kickback during your cuts, then it’s also worth firmly clamping your wood down to prevent excessive movement while cutting. learn more here How to cut acrylic sheet on table saw.

Step 4: Adjust the fence

Once both cuts are made on one piece of wood, adjust the fence by pushing it back toward the blade slightly (away from the second piece of wood). This will raise the angle of the angled grooves which should result in more accurate box joints (for example if you cut through 45 degrees for one side and only make 43 degrees on the other side when adjusting). It takes a bit of trial and error to find the ideal setting, but it’s well worth taking the time to do this step.

Step 5: Cut the second side

Now that your first groove has been adjusted, you can continue on with cutting the second piece of wood (this will be easier because both pieces are now flush). Before you make any cuts through, double-check your settings (depth and angle) one more time to ensure that they’re optimal for this step.

Cutting box joints accurately is largely about getting consistently sized grooves which makes it easy to cut matching pieces from each board. If your saw gets out-of-true or if you don’t have an accurate fence set up, then it may be difficult to produce accurate box joints.

Maintenance and small alignment issues can lead to large inaccuracies with your cuts which will make it harder for you to complete projects (and potentially damage your tools).learn more here How to cut wedge on table saw.

It’s best to save yourself the trouble of having to re-adjust or fix your fence and table saw by making sure that they’re always well maintained before doing any work. This means taking a little extra time at the end of each project (or after every few hours of use) to check over your machine and tighten up any loose screws, bolts, or components. If you do this regularly then you shouldn’t run into any problems!

Step 6: Repeat as necessary

Once both grooves have been cut on one board, just repeat the process on the other piece of wood to complete the box joint. This should be much easier since both pieces are already flush with each other! You can keep going back and forth until your box joints meet up at the seam, but it’s important to remember that you’ll need to cut a rabbet on both sides of this joint so that they fit together perfectly.

Safety tips when using a table saw for the joint box:

  • Make sure that your blade is high enough to cut through the stock.
  • Be sure that your fence is perfectly level with the tabletop or surface you will be using; if not, adjustments can be made before beginning each series of cuts.
  • If there are any inconsistencies between the fence and what’s resting on it (or if kickback occurs), make sure to firmly clamp down whatever wood you’re cutting so it doesn’t move excessively while doing so.
  • Use a featherboard for increased safety when making angled cuts; this will prevent movement in either direction which could lead to injury.
  • Save yourself time by taking extra care in maintaining your tools like saw blades, fences, etc., regularly throughout their life span (and before using them).


How is a box joint different from a dovetail joint?

Dovetails are made using two angled cuts rather than one straight cut; these angles come together in a point to make it impossible for the wood to pull apart (at least in most cases). The flat surface adds stability whereas the angle of the dovetail’s cut is used to decrease overall stress at that joint. It also makes it easier to disassemble the piece if need be so you don’t have to break it apart.

Why should I use a box joint instead of a dovetail?

One advantage of using box joints is that it’s easier to get them to look good since the cuts are all straight. There are also less limitations in terms of how thick or thin you can make each board since they’re not angled. If you’re doing a project where precision is key, then this may be your best option!

Can I adapt a dovetail to work with a box joint?

If you want to adapt the dovetail to work with the box joint, one way would be to use a “pins and tails” method. This involves cutting two sets of dovetails (or half-lap joints) in both pieces and then bringing them together in such a way that they form a complete joint. You can use wood glue and some clamps to hold the joint together while it dries and then cut off any excess material once everything has dried thoroughly.


I hope that this article has been helpful for you – if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.