|Review by jusfine||posted 07-14-2013 08:02 PM||3705 views||8 times favorited||12 comments|
I did see an excellent review on this jig after posting mine, but here are my thoughts anyway…
I purchased the I-Box about 4 months ago after seeing a positive comment on LJs and noticing it on sale at a local tool vendor, but did not take it out of the box as I didn’t have an immediate need for box joints – was in the middle of my bench build.
I was recently asked to build a custom oak makeup desk with drawers for a friend, and thought maybe I would try out the jig for the drawer construction instead of using my usual lock joint system, so opened it this weekend.
The included DVD makes the use of the jig look very simple, assembly instructions are very straight forward, I took a few moments and put mine together per instructions. I did notice the jig rocked a bit, was not flush on the table at the front of the jig (fence rode flush but the stock ledges were high, no matter how I adjusted them). This could cause a problem on the router table application.
There is a nice safety guard mounted on the front (with sawdust deflector) and rear of the fence system. The fence has a silver knob to determine your centering (home) position, and a red calibration knob to adjust for each dado thickness. A lock knob on top maintains your settings while you cut.
A very simple concept, and seems to be very accurate.
I also think you would have to try pretty hard to cut yourself with this safe setup.
I used the 2 blade Forrest finger joint set for the first time and it worked very well.
After making my first test cuts, I noticed the fingers did not quite look as good as they could have…
I returned the jig to the starting position to reset it from the beginning.
When doing so I realized I had accidently turned the silver knob so that the “Home” setting was not where it should have been.
A second trial on a couple of pieces of baltic birch confirmed that it was operator error and easily rectified – my next trial was perfect, flush and tight fitting joints!
I have previously cut a number of joints using a less safe home-made jig and always found there was adjusting and fitting to get them perfect; not the case here, everything lined up perfectly.
I had specific drawer sizes to construct, and was not able to modify them to allow for a complete finger on top and bottom of each side, and also chose not to use the centering process either.
After cutting one drawer per DVD and booklet instructions, I discarded the clamp and used my fingers on the fence to hold the material – much quicker, only taking about 2-3 minutes to machine each drawer.
I would recommend making your joints a bit looser than the recommended “snug fit” on the guide fingers when using plywood; I did worry that the force required to assemble the drawers would chip out the fingers, but luckily they did not.
Overall, I believe very little can go wrong with this jig if you follow the simple directions, and it will make your box joints fun to create. There are also instructions on how to do an “inlay” type of joint, and I could also see it working to make the Greene and Greene style of drawers with the proud chamfered “fingers”.
I really like the simple sacrificial fence, easy and quick to adjust to prefent tearout and would be simple to make some up out of 1/4” Baltic Birch scraps to have on hand when the supplied one is used up.
Easily adjustable for various width joints as well, it creates lots of options, and I gave it a 5 star rating.
I also purchased mine from Elite Tools in Canada for $149.00.
-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."