View Full Version : Tools required for a joe?

06-02-2007, 08:39 PM
Hey guys,

I just finished building my first router, but its weak, uses a Dremel for the spindle, and its tiny and incapable of really cutting anything. I've always wanted to build a Joe and I think I finally will this summer over my break. However, I have a question about what sort of tools I will need.

I've seen that many people use a CNC router to build their Joe. This is simply not an option for me. I am not limited on time but I am on tools. I have a nice table saw, a chop saw, a bandsaw, a bench grinder, a drill press, hand drills, a fixed base and trim router, a nice router table with flush trim bits that will fit up to 1 1/2" thick pieces no problem. Can I make templates for pieces like the torsion box and then route them out this way?

What other tools might I need? Is is viable to build a good Joe machine with only hand tools?

Thanks a ton, guys!

06-02-2007, 09:50 PM
I'm in a nearly identical situation.

I am building mine with WW tools. I'll try to take pics of my jigs and how I'm cutting some of the more complicated parts.

Some things aren't very critical like the position of many of the notches in the stringers. What's important is that they are all the same so everything lines up well.

Position of the pipe mounts are very important though. I have a jig for drilling the holes in the parts so every piece is the same.

You can do all the notches in the torsin box pieces with a regular blade but a Dado blade is better. For the x axis pipe support pieces you will have to use a regular blade to make the notches as an 8" dado blade is too small. I cut out either side then plow out the middle.
I have an incra fence on my sliding table which allow me to adjust the stop block in 1/32 increments.

Pattern routing the parts from a good template works too.

As for the lightening holes I'm drilling out the four corners then chopping them out with a scroll saw. Not too worried about how nice those holes look either.