When it was first invented, the inventor / friend of mine demonstrated his prototype to me, and I just had to have one, but I had to wait almost 5 months before they reached the stores. I paid a premium to get one from the early production, but it was worth every penny. I love that jig, and I threw about 8 shop made box joint jigs of various designs and sizes in the fire shortly after receiving it. Some made good joints and some were a little loose, but together they took up way too much storage space in my small shop. The I-Box jig replaced them all and takes up about 1/3 of the space. Plus, it's so easy to adjust for any width joint from 1/8" up to about 1". There are many ways to make box joints and I've tried many, but for me, this jig is the only way that I make them now.
The I-Box jig can be used on a router table, but I found that I can get better cuts using it on my table saw. A router bit cuts in both directions, so it really needs a sacrificial backer on both sides of the work to keep tear-out to a minimum. The I-Box jig has a backer for one side of the work included in the design, but you will need to attach a second backer to the face side of your work with double sided tape to get the best cuts with a router bit and you will need a new backer for the face side of every piece cut to get the same great results.
Pair the I-Box jig with your table saw and a Freud SBOX8 blade set or equivalent for 1/4" and 3/8" cuts, or a Freud LM72R008 or equivalent FTG type blade for 1/8" cuts and it makes some beautiful box joints. I rarely make box joints larger than 3/8", but have used my Freud SD608 Dado blade set for a few boxes and had good results too. They just don't have the perfectly square, flat bottomed cuts that these other blades can produce.
I know the inventor, but I have no other connection to him or Incra. I do like his I-Box jig though.
To be honest, I haven't been in my shop much at all since I got the jig.
I'm building a photo/video studio in the second master bedroom/guest room of my house. It's a 18 X 26' room on the 2nd floor. For the last 5 months I've only been going out to the shop when I need something, so no, I haven't used the corner key jig yet.
My wife has had cataract surgery, now in both eyes, so I've also been the on call designated driver for her needs too. I guess right now I'm a woodworking wannabe with lots of ideas, but no time left in my days to work on them. If/when I do get back to real woodworking, the photos of my projects are going to be significantly improved though.
MY most recent challenge is getting a 60 inch wide format photo quality printer working. I've stored it for 3 years and I'm trying to get it to print again. It'll be printing my project drawings as well as BIG photos, if I can succeed in getting the ink flowing again.
Best luck I've had with getting ink to flow again was to wet a cloth with rubbing alcohol and daub until I don't get any more ink color, then with a fresh cloth, I go back over the print head, rubbing it somewhat lightly to pull any deeper dried ink out.
If that doesn't work I replace the printhead. I have had less luck doing this with Epson than with HP. From time to time I think about switching to a color laser printer, but that toner is really pricey. I don't count on ink jet printers lasting more than 3 years, less if they aren't in regular use.
Using a brand new laptop today. Will keep it and donate my last win 10 laptop to my senior group. Win 10 doesn't suck, at least not much. I just have to remember it's only on loan from Bill Gates.
Wow Charley you sure do have your time all taken care of for sure. Hope that you wife does well with her recovery and that you get that printer working without costing you too much. Good luck with all.
I actually have 2 of those wide format printers and they are almost the same model, but one has a sheet flipping assembly on it so it can automatically print both sides of the sheet. I'm trying to get the one without this sheet flipper working first. If I need parts, which I doubt, the other will likely be the source of them. A print shop that owed me money for fixing one of their large presses, gave them to me as partial payment of my bill.
I had used the one that I'm trying to get working again for a short time, but then had to put it in storage when I closed my office. These printers are each almost 9' wide and 30" deep, so a lot of floor space is needed for them as well as the support space around them to be able to use them, and being ink jet, they need to be used at least once a week or the ink dries up in the heads. A refill cartridge for just one color is the size of a quart of milk and cost new about $300 each. There are 6 of them, so I'm hoping that I don't need to replace too many. All of them had plenty left when it went into storage. The problems and cost to keep these running is on a whole other level than the smaller ink jet printers that you have connected to your home PC, but oh what wonderful large banners, shop drawings, and life size photos they can print.
A guy I knew had a good business going around one of those oversized printers. He would contract with a bank or other institution to take local photos and blow them up to very large sizes and mount them for display. A number of restaurants around here do the same thing. He charged a lot for those prints. There are lots of photographers out there who make very little money. Having an oversized printer changes the game entirely. I think hotels and other public buildings would be interested in localized images in large sizes as well. Printing oversize versions of historic photos would another revenue source. To keep that kind of printer operating, you'd need to sell a fair number of images per week. I think it can take most of a working day to print a single picture, including a test strip. 1800 per ink change is some serious money.
I had a decent home made jig but the issue with it was setting a saw stack back together that matched the original. As Charley pointed out with the Ibox you adjust the jig to your blade stack instead which is much easier and faster and gives better results.
Charlie has given me some incentive to revisit the Incra Ibox jig. I purchased one some time in the past year and did not have a stellar success as shown in the attached photo. I had plenty of (nominal) 1/2" Baltic Birch scraps so I used them for my first test. I like having small boxes around the shop so my efforts did not go to waste. However, my ego was bruised with the quality of the joint plus I consumed a lot of setup time. The work was done on the table saw with a dado blade.
I need to rebuild the drawer box in an existing bathroom vanity and it will be about 5" deep and I will be using 1/2" Baltic Birch. Would you recommend using a 3/8" joint?
If you want to see some pretty examples of what the Pro's can do with the Ibox, visit the Incra facility in the Dallas, TX area. They don't have a fancy show room but did have lots of samples of fancy joints.
I think your joints turned out good, until you cut the groove for the box bottom and it broke out the end. You needed to cut the slot with a small router bit as a stopped slot to not cut out through the box joint at each end.
Another way is to get one of the small diameter box slotting bits from Lee Valley. With these bits, you dry assemble the 4 sides of the box and using your router table with one of these bits set for the distance up from the box bottom edge that you want to place the bottom panel, you just run the box sides around the bit to cut the slot all the way around. The small diameter of the bit lets it cut into the box corner. All you need to do then is round the corners of the bottom panel to fit and you will have a completely hidden corner cut. The small diameter of these slotting bits is what makes this work. Other larger diameter slotting bits will stop cutting before reaching the box corner.
Not sure why you had long setup time. I had one of these jigs for about a year, and it is by far the easiest way to setup and cut box joints. I sold mine just a few weeks ago, as I have found less use for it. As well I have the full Incra set, for more than just box joints. The only reason a joint would come out bad, is by user error. It really is foolproof. Perhaps the knob to lock it in place was not fully disengaged when you went to set up for second and so on cuts. Or if its from bad cut, then that would not be from the jig, rather your blade (or bit).
It really is foolproof, even if you wanted variable spacing, it is by far the easiest jig I have ever used.
The full Incra LS positioner, is a different story, it does take some setup time; but after it is setup it also is very effective at being incredibly accurate.
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