How to Make Finger Joints with a Router | A Step By Step Guide!

How to Make Finger Joints with a Router

How to Make Finger Joints with a Router

Finger joints, aka box joints, may not look as impressive and decorative as the dovetail joints, but they are, undoubtedly, one of the most versatile and robust wood joints. How to make finger joints with a router to build dressy drawers, carcasses, and create even decorative trays and boxes.

You can use a router to create fantastic finger joints for various daily wood projects. For your convenience, we come up with a detailed guideline on how to make a finger joint with a router.

The guideline covers step by step box joints making guidance, tricks for making the routing process easy and comfortable as well as safety precautions. So, it will be an excellent and helpful way for routing finger joints at ease.

Let’s start.

Prepare Your Router and Workpiece

Before you begin your routing to create wood or plywood pieces, you need to prepare your router first. It would be best if you determined the height and length of your finger joints. You will need two wooden pieces to be joint together with additional glue or nut and bolts to create the finger, aka box joints.

Expert woodworkers and artisans prefer making 1/8 inches finger to join the two different pieces together. So, your wood router depth should be adjusted at 1/8 inches.

You need to attach a sliding jig on your router table to create the fingers on the wood. Hence, all the necessary tools for making finger joints are-

  • A sliding fence jigs
  • A Portable router
  • Dedicated router bit if you don’t have sliding jigs.

In this how-to segment, I will describe the process using router bits because almost all craftsmen do use them with their portable router. These are also easy to handle. Furthermore, you need to remove the router base for making finger joints.

And about the workpiece, you need to cut it according to your desired joint size. For instance, cut two pieces of wood into 10 inches long if you need 10 inches long finer joint. This will make your work more manageable.

Creating A Hole and Reassemble the Router Base:

Now, make a hole at the center of each wood piece and place it on the router. After that, use the router base to determine and draw the points on where you would precisely drill the holes.

Place the base on the wood and mark the drilling points using a pencil. It will ease your work significantly. Lastly, use the router bit or drill to make all the wholes and reassemble the router base.  You must ensure that all the holes are driller perfectly even so that nuts and bolts can get through it to stick on the other half of the wood.

Creating the Fingers

Now it’s time to create the all-important fingers. To do that, place your finger joints woodworking piece on a strong base and use the clamp to tighten it so that it doesn’t move while routing.

Set your router depth according to your desired thickness for your finger joints. Now post the router right on the spot where you would like to create the joint.

Switch router on and start making the finger joints woodworking .

Switch on your router, wait patiently for few moments to allow the router to come into its full speed. However, you may control the RPM speed with the modern-day portable plunge routers. This is a heck of useful features.

When your router is on its full-speed, slowly start cutting the joints. Remember that these box joints or finger joints are tiny, so always be cautious not over trim the edges.

Repeat the Process

After you have successfully made one joint point, repeat the process to create at least two or three more points. Please do it for both pieces of wood that you would joint later to make the box.

Assembling Your Finger Joints

Once you are ready with your two wood with finger joints woodworking, its time to join them. The assembly is pretty straightforward and should require much effort from you. However, remember that you need to remove the specks of dust from the joints before assembling them.

Otherwise, they will remain locked inside and reduce the lifetime of your finger joints. To assembly, you may use glue in between two finger joints for added durability.

That’s it. Congratulations, you have successfully created a finger joint using a router . The joint has numerous uses in our day to day woodworking world.

Uses and Applications of a Finger Joint

  1. Finger joints work excellently to make carcasses or small tool trays. These trays may carry a substantial load due to its sturdy finger joints .
  2. Finger joints with several evenly positioned noses and pins look attractive at the corners of any furniture.
  3. Boats and molding works are made durable using the finger joints. The joints are delicate and thinner than regular joints, which add extreme strength to the furniture.

These are just a few of the easiest, unique, and most versatile applications of a finger or box joints to mention. With your brevity and cleverness, you can use these versatile joints to accomplish a wide range of your woodworking tasks.

Never Underestimate the Safety Measures

Routing finger joints is a relatively easy task. This often leads people to underestimate the significance of taking proper safety guards. This is not recommended at all.

Instead, always put on your safety gear. You should wear safety goggles so that your eyes remain safe to form the flying projectiles and specks of dust. On top of it, wearing puncture-resistant boots will protect your feet from any damage from pins or nuts.

Remember that none of these safety gear expensive. So, why should you neglect them? After all, it will ensure your safety to see the beautiful world.

How to Make Finger Joints with a Router – Details with videos


Finger joints are definitely one of the most versatile joints in the woodworking sector. You can create the joint using a wide range of tools such as a band saw or jigsaw. But none of them matches the perfection and smoothness of a router.

Hence, how to make finger joints with a router guideline should be handy for you. However, if you still have any significant confusion, feel free to contact us.

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