Float like a butterfly

I asked Muhammad Ali recently what is favourite activity is, and the answer wasn’t a surprise. “I box”

So I trundled off to the Apple Store to see what their latest product was, and again the answer was “iBox” (with the iBox2 due out about 9 months later).

Next it was over to Professional Woodworkers Supplies to find out what their latest woodworking product was.  Can you guess the answer? i-Box from Incra.

Seems to be a bit of a trend happening here!

Given we are all pretty familiar with Ali’s boxing, and not everyone is an Apple fan, let’s stick with the third product and have a closer look at that.

Incra are renowned for creating items that bring incredible precision to woodworking.  And the iBox is no exception.  Unlike the other box jigs, the iBox has a completely variable finger size to exactly match the size of the cutter (whether that is a router bit or a dado blade).  It also has a microadjustment capability but my first use of it seemed to also cause the two sides to no longer be aligned.  The best option I found from a bit of trial and error was to get the width of the finger right in the first place!

Incra i-Box

The jig has good protection for the operator – both the block guards (red) so the operator is not exposed to the blade, particularly after the cut, as well as the perspex shield which discourages contact with the blade, and stops chips being flung up from the rear of the blade.

For all the safety items, what really sets this jig apart is the variable finger.

View from above

The finger is first zeroed off the blade during the initial set up.  If you have a left-tilting saw, you won’t have to redo this calibration even when changing blade or using a different dado width.

Using a test block, cut an initial slot then use this slot to accurately set the finger width by turning the adjustment knob.

Adjustment knob

Not only does this set the width of the finger, but the mechanism also moves the finger the same exact distance from the blade that the finger is wide.

Width set of a smallish dado blade stack

Underneath the jig

From underneath you can see the adjustable finger (not a lot of the mechanism itself).

Narrow finger setup

I also tried the jig with a single blade rather than a dado stack – worked very well with a basic blade, as well as with the large variable kerf achievable with a dado.

Fingers cut with a dado blade

The result looks pretty good to me, and very easy to set up and create.

Fingers cut with dado, and fingers cut with a single blade

It is a very effective jig – looking forward to seeing what else it can do (such as variable central finger width).

Available from Professional Woodworkers Supplies. Unless you want to try the Apple store 😉

3 Responses

  1. So are you saying that you can cut any width box joint with a normal 3.2mm table saw blade?

    • I believe you can cut a 3.2 mm wide box joint with a single blade… other widths require a dado blade or you can use a router bit in the router table…
      I am currently awaiting arrival of my i-Box…ordered last week…

      • Larry is spot on. The jig does not have a lateral movement function during cuts- the size of the box joint is dictated by the width of the cutter used. In the final photo you can see two examples- the darker timber joint was cut with the dado blade (or I could have used the router table), the box joint done in pine was using a 3.2mm kerf blade. (The smallest finger the jig can make is 1/8″)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: