Hot New Tools: Leigh B975 Box Joint & Beehive Jig

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Leigh B975 Box Joint & Beehive Jig

Sweet and simple box joints

Leigh B975 Box Joint & Beehive Jig

Leigh may have developed the B975 for the apiary box-making community, but other woodworkers can reap the benefits too. This stone-simple router jig makes quick work of 1/2"- and 3/4"-box joints for a fraction of the price of other commercial jigs.

The jig required some assembly (attaching the template and stops to a shop-made beam), but I was ready to rout my first joint in about an hour. Following the provided step-by-step instructions, I achieved tap-together tight joints on my second try, and every time thereafter. My success had less to do with my skill and more to do with Leigh’s innovative e10 bushing and the stops that automatically set the correct offset for the mating board.

Unlike standard guide bushings, the e10 bushing uses an elliptical sleeve to guide the bit. Rotating the bushing changes the bit/bushing offset. Using the numbers etched in the bushing, you can adjust the fit of the joint by 0.001" and record your settings in the manual for future work.

The stops are equally clever and clearly labeled. To start, set the stop to “S” (“socket mode”), then center the workpiece between the template fingers, clamp the workpiece to the beam, and slide the stop until it registers against the workpiece. Then, rout the first board as shown above. Before routing the mating piece, flip open the stop to “P” (“pin mode”), then clamp and rout. Repeat the rout-flip-rout sequence three more times, and you’re done.

Leigh deserves major kudos for creating a jig that’s basically foolproof. After a few test corners, almost anyone can be a pro box-maker. After making a dozen “supers” (part of a beehive used to collect honey) for a bee-keeping friend, handing the router to a helper—without worry—was a real bonus.

Note: Routing box joints is dusty work. If your router doesn’t have built-in chip collection, treat yourself to Oneida’s Universal Router Hood (#163363).

—Tester, Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk


Overview

  • Makes super-easy 1/2"- and 3/4"-box joints on boards from 2"- to 17 3/16"-wide.
  • Can be paired with handheld or table-mounted routers.
  • Elliptical e10 guide bushing allows dial-in precision.
  • Comes with glass-reinforced nylon template and stops, e10 guide bushing, 1/2"-straight bit, cams (not pictured) for routing wider boards, manual, and instructional DVD, for $99.99.

Online Extra
To see this jig in action, check out the video at woodcraftmagazine.com.

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