Gifkins Dovetail Jig

It has been a while coming for me to write about the Gifkins Jig, and you’ll have to be patient with me a little longer, so I can put together a decent sequence of photos of the jig in action.

However, with my recent project that used the Gifkins to create the dovetailed joints, I found it to be an incredibly easy system to use – surprisingly so.  I had used one a few years ago for a few test cuts, but perhaps my woodworking was not at a point where I could really appreciate how easy a task it made it, or perhaps my woodworking was not at a stage where the rest of the construction would do a dovetail justice. However, by whatever road I have arrived at the current point, I can now really appreciate the benefits of the Gifkins.

Gifkins Dovetail Jig

Gifkins Dovetail Jig

The jig pictured here is the current model, now using an aluminium body, and comes with two stops as standard.  In addition in the foreground is the finger joint template, and the associated router bits for the two templates.

To the left of the template is the variable space upgrade set – a method by which you can achieve variable spaced dovetails despite it being a fixed template jig.

Mulga Box

Mulga Box

This box, recently pictured on the site was the result from a Gifkins Jig.  I am planning on having many more examples from a number of different projects this year!

The Box Progresses

Glueup complete, now just needs to be sanded, have the lid fitted, oiled, waxed, felt applied, and inserts constructed.  Hmm wonder if Xmas will beat me?

Mulga and Cyprus Box

Mulga and Cyprus Box

Still need the large and small trays for the various Pandora paraphernalia.  (Chains and individual charms)

Skirting the Edge of Boxmaking

I’ve been intending to get more into some of the classic projects, and time always seems to be against me, but finally got a window of opportunity to start a quick box for Xmas.

Still plenty of steps to go (did the glue-up this evening), so it is progressing at least.

Dovetailed Sides

Dovetailed Sides

The sides have all been (machine) dovetailed. (Ie, using the router table rather than cutting them by hand – leaving that for another day!)  The outside of the box is yet to be sanded, let alone have any finish applied.

The dovetails were cut with the Gifkins Dovetail Jig – a very quick, and successful method for firing out full dovetails. A slot was cut around both the top and bottom of the box.  The lower slot is for the base, with a rebated edge to fit neatly into the slot and sit flush with the table.  In this case, there is also an upper slot which is for a sliding lid.

Lid Assembly

Lid Assembly

The lid is made with a slot all round, both for the tongue and groove joint for the frame, as well as the floating raised panel.  The raised panel was made using a rounding panel bit on top, and a rebate cut on the bottom.

Not much to look at currently – will have some more photos during the finishing phase of the box.

Box Making Router Bits: Router Bit-of-the-Month

This month we are detailing a couple of router bits used for box-making. There are more than just a couple that can be used in the whole genre, including ones for wooden hinges, for template carving the box itself, and obviously joints- dovetails and the like.

The first is used during assembly of the box, to insert the base. There is nothing overly complex about the concept – the bit cuts a groove around the bottom of the box to a controlled depth and width. Into this can be inserted a simple flat base which is the thickness of the slot, or it can be more elaborate using a flat bottomed cove bit (or a rebate bit) to effectively create a raised panel to fit the slot.

The bit is manufactured by Carb-i-tool exclusively for the Gifkins Dovetail Jig. It is boxmaking cutter #1 in their catalogue. (www.gifkins.com.au)

The second cutter is quite interesting. It is simply a small, solid carbide spiral bit, which is used to produce the smoothest finish possible while splitting a box from its lid.

Shown here to give you a sense of scale. It is a 1/4″ bit, so either a 1/4″ router, or a 1/2″ with a reducing collet will be required. It is also highly advisable to use this bit in a router table, and take multiple passes until the lid is cut free.

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