Joinery for the trundle bed

Making the trundle bed.

Definition: A low bed on wheels that can be stored under a larger bed (also called a “truckle bed”).

I won’t put wheels on the trundle bed. Instead, small and thin blocks should do the job.

I decided to use finger joints.

Trundle bed.

Why? Real joinery. Fast. Easy to dial in the fit. A pleasure to make using the F3 finger joint template on the D4R Pro jig (see photo at right).

The challenge when machining joinery using narrow boards is always keeping the work piece square to the template. How best to do this?

It starts with truly square boards.

I spent what seemed like a long time (10 minutes!) squaring the sliding table saw miter gauge to the blade. And following each cut, I checked for squareness. This way, the sidestops on the D4R Pro always ensure perfectly aligned boards under the finger assembly of the F3 template.

Machining finger joints on F3.

Lowering the finger assembly onto the spacer board resulted in the fingers touching the end grain flat, and in perfect alignment.

If you are having trouble with your joinery, follow the steps I describe above. You will get perfect results every time.

How do you do it?

I look forward to hearing from you.

  1. Do you make toy furniture?
  2. What type of joinery do you use?
  3. How do you make the joinery?

 — Al Navas

Invert the R9Plus joinery jig at the router table


A joinery jig that works well both right-side-up, and also upside-down, is a huge plus. I have already shown the Leigh R9Plus “right-side-up”. It worked great. But I was curious about the upside-down configuration, on the router table. I was in for a surprise, as it is a breeze to use this way, although it took me a bit to get used to feeding the jig into the router bit. How is that for a total newbie?

A huge plus of doing the joinery using this jig on the router table is dust collection (DC). I was pleasantly surprised, as nearly 100% of the dust and chips were taken by the DC system I have on the old router table. I just wish I could use this jig on the Laguna cast iron router table. But, without the proper insert, it is impossible to use the eBush designed to work with the R9Plus. I will follow up with the people at Laguna Tools, to see if it is possible to machine some inserts to use on their router table, and I will my readers know.

Here we go: the R9Plus on the router table, as I get to know it in this configuration. What do you think?

My personal opinion: This will be terrific, especially for very large work pieces, as it becomes trivial to make sure the work piece IS flush under the template. Or, should that be ON the template?

Stability: Used upside-down, the wide template rides on the surface of the router table, stabilizing the work piece. I must try this with a very large and wide board. I will report results.

I love it!



Disclosure: Leigh sends me jigs on occasion, for testing and evaluation.

Al Navas



Finger joints on the new R9Plus jig


The concept to machine finger joints using the Leigh R9Plus jig is very straight forward.

Machining finger joints

I machined 3/8-inch joinery as follows:

  • Set the side stop to the 3/8 mark.
  • Set the eBush to “5″, in preparation for a test joint.
  • The boards are placed flush under the template, and tight against the side stop.
  • Machine the fingers with the comb set on pin position 1.
  • Move the template to pin position 3, and machine the sockets on the second board.
  • Test the joint fit, and adjust the eBush to tighten or loosen the fit. The joint was loose by close to 0.013″, based on measurements of the width of the fingers, and the width of the sockets.
  • Repeat the procedure. It required only a second try to get a nice, tight fit; I simply moved the eBush to the “8″ position, making the fit tighter. Three division means 0.006″ adjustment on each board, making the joint fit by only 0.001!

Initial eBush position at “5″:


Final position at “8″, for great fit:


The R9Plus is an extremely versatile jig, with a low price point. It will be very attractive to woodworkers who are considering buying a new jig. The template is machined beautifully, and is very easy to set up on a beam for just about any width required for a small or a very large box.  The flexibility to machine either dovetails or finger joints is terrific; select either by simply changing router bits, and by adjusting the template position.

Disclosure: I sometimes receive jigs from Leigh for testing and evaluation.

Music: In order of play – Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, Black Twig Pickers’ Don’t Drink Nothing, Moore and Gardner’s Chinese Blues (Gershwin piano roll), and The Breakmen’s Km19.


Al Navas