Box Joints and Dovetails

Hello everyone, I am about three weeks out on my machine, hopefully, and have been looking for information on holding and cutting vertically. I have finished my table with a vise on one end, now just need some info going from drawing to production. I don’t like the “dog-bone” look on box joints, and dovetails will require a vertical setup.

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I don’t have a my machine yet but I’m also going to be setting up for vertical milling. I’ve heard good things about the JointCam software and I’m thinking about going that route for the simplicity. It’s a bit pricey at $200 but I think in the long run, the simplicity will more than make up for the time of setup/measurements for each and every different joint/project/board width. There are some good YouTube videos on it’s use if you are interested.

I would be interested in seeing your table setup if you’re willing to share. I think you mentioned it in a different post and I asked about it but never got an answer. It was an older post that I dug up and replied to (I could also be confused and thinking of someone else). I’ve got a rough design drawn up (draft V2…lol) but I won’t build it for another month or two. I just ordered my machine so I still have a long wait ahead of me.



I’m definitely just old and confused. I went and found the other post and it was not you.

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No problem, I am also old, :slight_smile:

Anyway, I do have the joint cam so I need to watch more videos,

The front of my table has a 3" cutout where I installed a moxon vise to hold the wood.

I can take a pic and send it to you if your interested

This is all new to me, I retired a couple of years ago and need something to focus on I guess.

A photo would be appreciated if it’s not an inconvenience. I was thinking more along the lines of a vertical spoil board with alignment points/dog holes instead of the vice. I may also end up using the cutout area to do some lasering on pieces that might not fit in a vice.

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I think a vertical setup will take some thought. I know my Leigh dovetail jig was machined so that you place the board up against the side to hold the top perfectly flat. It also holds two boards together at a 90 so the joint will be exactly square. You’ll need to come up with a way of holding the boards while you clamp them in place. The second issue is the size of the dovetails. If they are even slightly too big it’s possible to make a very small adjustment and recut them with a dovetail jig. I’m sure you could figure out a way of doing it with the 1F but I think it’ll take some trial and error. Finally I’ve had to mount my jig about 4’ off of the floor and work on a step ladder when I made a chest. There’s no way I could raise my 1F up that high. Just something to think about.

I had same the problem; I momentarily considered digging a hole in the floor :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I’m considering joining Onefinity to cut with Leigh dovetail jig to hold the wood

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Finally got back to my shop, I am sending a picture of the front end of my table where I cut out a spot to install the vise.

I don’t have my machine yet, and have not installed the waste board yet. will finish it once my machine is installed on the top.

The vise does hold the material very well.


Another option I might look into is buying or building yourself a Pantorouter designed by Mattias Wandel. I finally made myself one while setting up my new shop space and used it to knock out 30 mortise and tennon joints in about an hour and a half. Its a little finicky to wrap your head around at first, but once you have a template dialed in you can fly through joinery.

Jay Bates also has a really cool vertical CNC table design but he’s got a monster Avid machine.


Mark, looking forward to seeing how well it works.

I am looking forward to seeing my machine show up, 3 to 4 weeks late

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Very nice! Here’s what I put together for the same purpose:

Still working out some kinks. Finding that I need a backer board in place to reduce tear-out (especially on plywood). The outside t-tracks on the vertical board sit above the surface - so they provide a 90 degree stop - makes it easy to put in a piece for routing. Made some different clamps too (sorry, no picture yet) that are 12" long with a full-lenght slot - so they can squeeze the board similar to your vise. I also can put one at the bottom for a stop - making flipping the board end-for-end easy, as there is a bottom reference as well as a side.

I set up a Fusion 360 project with a parametric-driven dovetail setup, so it’s pretty easy to define a new dovetail configuration and get to g-code. I was able to put in backer boards as additional stock, so I’m happy with my cutting configuration at the moment.

The current kink I’m working out is getting a more reliable centering along the X-axis - my dovetails are slightly to one side when they shouldn’t be. When I do both ends, they are off enough so that a box doesn’t fit right (doesn’t take much - 1/16 off is too much).

I think I’m close to having a repeatable, efficient, process.


That is great progress, I wonder why the issue with the x-axis is happening. Once I get my machine set up I might be getting back to you on your progress.

If you’ve never used one of the dovetail jigs I can tell you they require plenty of finetuning to get a nice joint.

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I have never done anything on a cnc so I am expecting a steep learning curve.
I have done dovetails on my router, this also takes a lot of time to dial in the depth.

Hopefully there will be some good help videos I can plug into. And, the forum should be a good resource, I know Onefinity really has no help resources.

Thanks for the pictures Mark. I’d say that the design I currently have in mind is probably closer to what MikeH has done, minus the 2x4 support across the front and the hinge setup.

Can anyone chime in on how far back the vertical table needs to be on the machine? I guess I’d be looking for the “Y” axis measurement from the front left leg support (front or back of leg for reference) to the spindle center when the machine is at 0,0.

From what I have found on the forum, I believe the center of the router,spindle, is about 1/2" from the outside edge of the rail mounting foot.
I could be off a little, but I think that is close.
You would think the manufacturer would have this information available, not having to rely on the users who purchase the machine.

ONEFINITY Table Layout1 (1).pdf (65.2 KB)

It’s about 1.25" from the front of the bracket to 0,0 spindle position.

Mike, I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. From the front of the rail mounting foot to the spindle 0,0 (down the Y axis) is about 1.25"?