|Review by Sandra||posted 05-04-2013 07:31 PM||3735 views||5 times favorited||23 comments|
This is my first review on Lumberjocks, and my first Incra product purchased
Price and Packaging
I ordered the Incra I-Box through www.elitetools.ca here in Canada. I paid 149.00 Canadian with free shipping.
It arrived in a narrow cardboard box. It was well packed without the dreaded hard plastic packaging that usually requires bandages.
Reason for Purchase
I’m presently building my first workbench, ‘The No-So-Big Workbench’ by Ed Pirnik of Fine Woodworking.
The plans call for 6 drawers. Since I only have ever made one no-so-pretty drawer so far, I wasn’t sure I was willing to waste the wood and time necessary for making my own box joint jig. Yes, it may be considered a character building exercise as a Lumberjock, but I decided to save my energy for the build instead. The plans and measurements for the workbench have been exact thus far, and I didn’t want to mess up the drawers.
Video and Instructions
The I-Box came with a 12 page glossy instruction book with colour photos. The instructions are well written and easy to follow.
The video is divided into 6 chapters, making it easy to find what I needed. I watched the sections ‘Getting Acquainted’,’ Preiliminary Setup’ and ‘Table Saw Basics’.
After I had watched those sections all the way through, I set my laptop on my table saw and got to work, stopping the video as I went along. The only possible bad thing I could say about the video was that the mandolin music in the background got annoying after awhile. The video instructions moved along at a good pace, and it was very easy to see what the demonstrator was doing, right down to threading the different screws.
I had the I-Box set up and ready for my first test cut in about 45 minutes.
That’s in real world time, with several interruptions and a bathroom break.
The miter bar upon which the I-Box rests has a neat little expansion mechanism. Once the bar was in the miter slot of my Bosch TS, I was easily able to expand it to slide perfectly without any side to side play. The front blade guard adjusts side to side and forward and backwards to hold the stock up against the fence when cutting. I adjusted the fence so that the 1/2 inch pieces of plywood i was using fit tightly against the fence. In doing so, I did not need to use a clamp.
Following the instructions, it was very easy to cut my first set of box joints. The whole idea of referencing the 2 side pieces against one of the front or back pieces made no sense to me until I was actually doing it. Then the lightbulb came on.
The first set of joints were too loose. I turned the micro-adjustment knob to widen the pins and after a few more tests runs was very happy with the results.
Making the drawers
I had cut the drawer components out of 1/2” oak veneer plywood. I had managed to cut all of the pieces out of one sheet of plywood with very little waste, so I didn’t want to mess up any of the cuts. Somehow I did manage to make a mistake on the first two drawers by having the wrong end of the stock against the pin plates when starting the cuts. I plan on cutting the messed up pins off and having them at the back of the drawers.
Getting the job done
Once I was ready to go, it took me about 35 minutes to cut the box joints for all six of the drawers with 3/8” pins and sockets. The dry fit was tight enough that I had to give the drawer a knock with a mallet to take it apart again. Only issue was tear out of the veneer, but that has nothing to do with the jig.
I am giving this 4 stars, because it did exactly what it claimed to do, the instructions were fantastic, set up was easy, and I might be shellacked for saying it, but it was fun to use. I am not giving it a five, because I have only cut 3/8” pins and sockets so far, and I can’t comment on its use on the router.
I was reluctant to buy this because of the price, but after using it, I no longer have any regrets or reservations.
-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.