Box-Making Bit

You can get good-looking joints on your boxes and drawers without taking a lifetime to cut them by hand.

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You can get good-looking joints on your boxes and drawers without taking a lifetime to cut them by hand. To cut these joints, you’ll need a router that accepts bits with a 1/2-in. dia. shank, a router table with a sturdy fence, and a lock miter router bit. (The bit shown and other lock miter bits cost $25 and up at specialty woodworking stores.)

When you’re routing, the bit remains at the same height setting for all the pieces. All you do is shift the fence when routing each part to expose more or less of the bit. To ensure perfectly fitting joints, the height adjustment has to be just right, so make practice cuts on scrap boards from your workpieces.

These joints are easier to glue than a miter joint because they can’t slide out of alignment when you tighten the clamps. And because they have more glue surface, they’re stronger, too. Thanks to reader Fred Forquer for this tip.

Check out our router basics.