Cutting all of these loop-like joints (is that their name, more like straight loops?) or fingers to make wooden boxes by hand can be a madness that easily turns to anger (tantrum) when we see that they don’t fit together perfectly. I’m not saying don’t try, it’s good practice for learning, but since we don’t consider ourselves wood craftsmen yet, every now and then we want to get quick and decent results. And as these joints seem to be quite strong, it is always good to be able to cut them to make boxes or drawers, for example to store our tools. Actually the dovetail joints are nicer, but with this guide we could also cut the tails, another thing would be the teeth.
In the video you can see how I make a groove to guide the carriage, how to adjust everything and the procedure to match the boards as needed. In any case, I think the best option is to use the sliding guide, since as you will see we get our vacuum system to take all the sawdust and shavings.
Before we start making a piece of furniture we sometimes start by making some kind of box or small trunk, so we start looking at how the assemblies look like and we look at those perfectly tight finger joints (well, if you like the more rustic style, don’t worry so much about the tight joints) to see how they are made and how do I cut all that to make the box? Well, board against board, glue and a couple of nails sometimes looks nicer on wooden boxes than these machined-looking straight-loop joints. But this is one of those things where you’d think you’d need a milling table (yes, you need one) and in this woodworking blog we have already seen how to make one for ourselves.
The guide for cutting straight loop joints for making wooden boxes consists of nothing more than a small board from which a strip of a width equal to the diameter of the cutter protrudes, so that the gap between the strip and the cutter is also equal to the diameter of the cutter. We just mill the holes and hook them on the strip to mill the next one and keep the holes and teeth of the same size. The board is screwed to our sliding guide or else we make a carriage that we can slide over the milling cutter. However, care must be taken in adjusting everything so that the cuts are perfect.
I leave you the drawings of the guide I made for milling straight loop joints, although they are not really necessary, as it is something that we must adjust to our needs and our milling table. If you don’t have a slide or slot in the table, you may be able to guide the carriage between a pair of slats clamped with clamps, one on each side of the milling table, but I haven’t tried this and I don’t know how it will work.