Boxes, boxes, boxes – just the thing for the F3 template

It is funny how some things happen. I needed to make some boxes. That is not quite accurate – I needed to make a LOT of smallish, rustic boxes. Size needed: less than 9 inches long, about 2.5 inches tall, and less than 5 inches wide. I was ready, with the Leigh F3 finger joint template in my arsenal; here are two of the prototypes, on dry fit:

Rustic boxes on the Leigh D4 F3 jig, using the F3 template.

For stock thickness of around 1/4″ to 5/16″, the 5/16-inch template area of the F3 was perfect:

The machining on the F3 finger joint template is flawless.

The two little boxes fit well on the D4, with plenty of room to spare:

The boxes sitting on the D4, with the F3 template in place.

I will show more of this work in a future article. I wanted to share with you as soon as the prototypes were done – the F3 template makes easy play of making these boxes.

The wonderful thing about this work: Sandy told me just tonight she has an order from our daughter for a large, durable box to store her knitting supplies to take to ice skating lessons, and to guitar lessons, while she waits for the girls to finish their lessons. I must get to that one after this large bunch of boxes is done!

Al Navas

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  1. says

    Al – how long does it take you to set that jig up? I would like to get that same Leigh jig, but these days, I am thinking that should just get proficent at hand cut dovetails. I used to have a plastic Sears dovetail jig a long time ago, but some of the plastic parts broke and I never replaced it 😀

    • Al Navas says


      These are not dovetails, but finger joints. It took me about six weeks of constant practice to become proficient at cutting dovetails by hand. But for finger joints I have *only* one solution, and that is the F3 template for the D4. The Super Jigs have the built-in capability to cut finger joints without additional templates.

      For finger joints using the F3: I can start from scratch, and in less than 5 minutes I start cutting the finger joints you see. This includes about 1-2 minutes to fine-tune the joint fit; each division on the e-bush allows adjustment of 0.002″ (2 thousands of an inch).

  2. says

    Good looking prototype. It begs a question. This bunch of boxes will be used for what?

    Now, if you were Thomas* all you would have for building these boxes is a couple of planes, a sash saw, a chisel, and maybe you could borrow a router plane from a journeyman in the shop.
    (* The Joiner and Cabinet Maker)

    • Al Navas says

      Thanks, Bob. People keep knickknacks in these, going back many, many years. Nothing fancy, just functional.

      I have the planes and the chisel, and the saw, too; but I must borrow the router plane. I enjoyed reading about Thomas and his development as a craftsman!