An I Box question. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Default An I Box question.

When making a box with an I Box do you let the fingers come out however they fall or center them on the width of the board? I am making the first box out of ply and it will be 5" X 5" X 12" long. It's a recipe box.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 11:04 AM
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I'm not sure how you would center them but I've only used mine a few times. You can only start one way that I know if. I've made mine wider than I needed and trimmed them after. Especially if you want the lid to box line to be in a certain relation to the position of the fingers.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure how you would center them but I've only used mine a few times. You can only start one way that I know if. I've made mine wider than I needed and trimmed them after. Especially if you want the lid to box line to be in a certain relation to the position of the fingers.
Chuck, in this video it shows you how to center the fingers in a given width. I really wanted to see what others were doing. to find out how to center it go to about 38 minutes into the video and that will put you close.

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Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 12:07 PM
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I only had occasion to use mine a few times and it's been sitting waiting since so I didn't remember that option Don. I just used it the basic way when I did it.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 12:44 PM
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Or, just plan on trimming the last partial joint off after cutting the box joints. The box then looks better but is slightly smaller. I do it this way, if the box size isn't critical. Trying to center them never seemed to gain much, since then you can have partial joints both top and bottom. I also frequently remove one complete joint when cutting the lid off, to keep the box joint pattern looking right. You can plan for this by adding the width of the joint to the height of your box, so you end up with the desired box height after you finish.

Charley

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:42 PM
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Or, just plan on trimming the last partial joint off after cutting the box joints. The box then looks better but is slightly smaller. I do it this way, if the box size isn't critical. Trying to center them never seemed to gain much, since then you can have partial joints both top and bottom. I also frequently remove one complete joint when cutting the lid off, to keep the box joint pattern looking right. You can plan for this by adding the width of the joint to the height of your box, so you end up with the desired box height after you finish.

Charley
You said something similar in the post about the 10 mm box that you made, "Yea, it becomes one finger shorter that way though. I usually don't do it, unless I'm trying to make it "look better" and the box is tall enough to be able to loose one finger pair for this." I meant to ask a question about that at the time and forgot - if you take out a strip equal to one finger, don't you wind up with an unbalanced pattern? - ie Face, End, End, Face, etc., rather than Face, End, Face, End, etc. - although you do say "finger pair" later in the quote which seems to make sense, and also agrees with the picture. So, for a 3/8" box joint, you would have to make the box 3/4" taller to allow cutting an adjacent finger and space. Thanks.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 03:09 PM
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Or, just plan on trimming the last partial joint off after cutting the box joints. The box then looks better but is slightly smaller. I do it this way, if the box size isn't critical. Trying to center them never seemed to gain much, since then you can have partial joints both top and bottom. I also frequently remove one complete joint when cutting the lid off, to keep the box joint pattern looking right. You can plan for this by adding the width of the joint to the height of your box, so you end up with the desired box height after you finish.

Charley
My plan is to start the joints from one end and cut off the other, uneven end. So I'll calculate depth in multiples of 3/8ths (using the 1/4-3/8ths Freud blades), or half inch using a dado stack. That should make it fairly easy to get the final size I want. Doesn't seem to me that there's much advantage to starting in the middle? I'd rather have the bottom of the box be reliably flat so I'm making a parallel cut on what will be the top.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:22 PM
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Tom,

The best way to avoid sequencing mistakes is to make both ends of each side the same way IE, Pin first. Then make the front and back with the space first. This is why I label the front and back "A" and the two ends "B" It doesn't matter what you label them as long as you keep them in pairs. Doing it this way also allows you to put the best side of each board facing out when it's time for you to glue them up, because both ends of each pair will be cut the same.

If you make each board pin first on one end and space first on the other end, I can almost guarantee that you will foul something up and the box won't go together.

After cutting both ends of the "A" sides and are about to begin cutting the "B" sides, Take one of the "A" sides and place the first space over the pins in the I-Box Jig with the rest of the board and pins to the right. Then place the end of the "B" board in the jig to the left of the "a" board, but tight up against it. Doing this will space the "B" board correctly and your first cut in it will begin at the right place. Once this first cut is made, remove the "A" board and complete cutting the end of the "B" board. Do this same procedure when you begin cutting each end of the "B" board. Also, always cut both ends of the boards the same. When the first end is complete, rotate the board end for end so the right edge of the board remains on the right (rotate away from you, not to the side) because the pin sequence needs to begin from the same board edge on both ends of each board. Pin first on the "A" board ends, and space first on the same edge of the "B" board ends.

Consider yourself a master if you get this all right on your first box jointed box and all 4 sides fit together the first time that you do this. Once you get this sequence right, it will be easy from then on.

Charley
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