Box joint jigs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-06-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Box joint jigs

Now that tax return season is here and Uncle Sam is being really good to me I'm only days away from buying a much needed box joint jig that I've been wanting to buy for months now. I think I'm going to go with either the rockler jig or the incra ibox jig. Anyone have experience using either of these jigs? I'll be using it on my router table which is the newer skill router table that lowes is carrying. If you can give me advice on the quality of the finger joints they make and wether or not you believe it will work on my table would be helpful. I'm really hoping I won't have issues with my router table because there are other things id like to buy than replacing my router table right now lol
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-06-2014, 10:30 PM
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You pay a premium price for anything INCRA but I've never been disappointed in anything from them. I have the I box and once it's set up it's the best jig hands down for box joints.

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-06-2014, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paarker
You pay a premium price for anything INCRA but I've never been disappointed in anything from them. I have the I box and once it's set up it's the best jig hands down for box joints.
Yeah the incra is a lot more than the rockler but it does seem worth the extra money. Typically I like to buy quality stuff and pay more to get better results and usually that stuff lasts longer. I think I saw it for 169.99 which I think will be worth it.

Does it come with the sacrificial boards? I saw on eBay people selling them.
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 05:12 AM
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I have the Rockler

I made a 2 test piece sample and it was very snug, but a good fit.
I think the Incra is more versatile, but the Rockler is fool proof, there is no adjustment. There are a million jigs you can make online, even ones that have an adjustment screw to vary the kerf.

Here's just one;
http://www.instructables.com/id/Mirc...Box-Joint-Jig/

Others:
http://images.search.yahoo.com/searc...+box+joint+jig

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 06:13 AM
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Jigs are easy to make, there are many online examples. Much less expensive than buying one.






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post #6 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 06:43 AM
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I just purchased (a couple weeks ago) the Porter Cable 4216 jig. It comes with everything needed for both standard dovetail and miniature dovetails and box joints. I have not yet tried the box joint capability, but the dovetail setup is super easy. The kit even included bits.
http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-4216-Super-Jig-Dovetail/dp/B000HGL59M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391773093&sr=8-1&keywords=porter+cable+dovetail+jig+4216 by PORTER-CABLE

  • http://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-4216-Super-Jig-Dovetail/dp/B000HGL59M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391773093&sr=8-1&keywords=porter+cable+dovetail+jig+4216
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 07:38 AM
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After building a couple of different box joint jigs and being totally unsatisfied with the results of my attempts, I bought the I BOX. It's great! I use mine on the TS.
First use was for a couple dozen feet of dentil molding. Worked like a charm. Then a couple small boxes with nary a hitch.
Highly recommend the I Box.

Gene
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've tried to make a couple but the joints weren't very snug and they didn't last. I think I may try out that incra jig
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine04
Yeah I've tried to make a couple but the joints weren't very snug and they didn't last. I think I may try out that incra jig
Marine 4,

I have the I Box. It works really well, but since I bought Incra's LS system with the ultra fence, my I Box doesn't get any use. I'll make you a good deal if you're interested. PM me.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-07-2014, 04:08 PM
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I just got the latest MLCS catalog. They are now offering a box joint jig. Likely not the quality of the Incra I-Box, but less expensive.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...nt_system.html
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post #11 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 10:08 AM
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Build a jig; make it work!
Building furniture without the ability to construct a simple jig must be an onerous task. Frankly, I can't see it being done. Over the past 50 years, I've probably built a dozen as it was the practice to build them as needed.
But recently, I helped a new woodworker build, what I think, is the best variant of the simple jig I've seen . It overcomes the problem of the jig being affected by moisture/temp and becoming useless. We followed a plan found in Woodsmith Vol#35 / No. (June/July 2013). I built one for myself as well!
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post #12 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 12:46 PM
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Buying is faster and easier (can't really go wrong with Incra, I'll have to look at the I Box), and there are also a lot of make it yourself jig plans online. Here's the jig I'm building, with adjustable finger widths using different (wooden) drive gears. I like gears. I paid a few bucks for the second/updated plans, but this one is free:

http://woodgears.ca/box_joint/jig_plans/index.html

Poplar is cheap(ish), and building jigs is fun! Just wanted to share...
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 03:01 PM
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I drooled over the Incra jig for a while before finally making one myself that actually works every time without making any test cuts. It works on a screw advance or lead screw.

Here is a link to a thread I had posted in the tips, tricks, jigs section:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/s...-jig-ts-57138/

It's really not as difficult as it looks and didn't take very long.

This video is where I got the idea from:
http://youtu.be/JYxDXHGRRrk
He takes a lot of time explaining and demonstrating it. He even makes hinges. His is slightly wider than mine.

Last edited by JohnnyG73; 02-08-2014 at 03:08 PM.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-08-2014, 06:26 PM
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made my own jig from a woodsmith plan it was set up to do cuts on the router table and couldn't have been easier. joints are nice and tight; the key is taking your time to make sure the box panel doesn't move when making the cut.
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-09-2014, 10:15 PM
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I just bought the Rockler box joint jig for the table saw. It should be here in a couple of days. I can certainly let you know how it works out.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-18-2014, 11:13 AM
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Update: I received my box joint jig from Rockler a couple of days ago. I spent some time in the shop on Saturday toying around and trying to make a simple, 6x6 box. It did not go well.

A couple of things I noticed:
1) my miter gauge sucks and there is play in the slide. This caused the jig to move (you physically screw the jig to the gauge) and the joints not to line up well.
2) It seems like the motor assembly for my table saw moves when it starts up. Like the torque causes the entire assembly (most importantly the blade) to jar back and forth a bit. Its not much but its enough that I am not 100% certain the height of the blade is correct once the saw is running.
3) The jig has a piece of plastic backing to help prevent chip out. This is a nice feature but once you run the jig once you have to move the plastic backing. Unfortunately one of the locking screws for that backing was behind the area attached to the miter gauge which means to move it I would have to unscrew the jig from the miter gauge and re-attach after I'm done. Not the end of the world but a little cumbersome.
4) I realized I wanted/needed a good miter saw so I could produce 100% square edges so that the box sides would line up correctly. My fence for my table saw is not the best so instead I went and bought a miter saw which I opened up yesterday. I intend on building a stand for it before going back to messing with box joints.

Overall the jig itself is not bad. The instructions left a lot to be desired but the included DVD was very helpful. I'll get a better feel for how I like it once I replace my miter gauge and try making more joints.
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-18-2014, 11:38 AM
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I recently got the incra ibox, and since it was mentioned in this thread, I'll throw in my experiences with it.

It has it's own miter slide, which allows for fine tuning to get a "perfect" fit. The adjustment is tight so I had a hard time getting it just right. It was either a little too loose or a little too tight. Once I finally got it where I wanted it, it worked fine. Like the Rockler jig, the jig screws to this miter slide and you have to make sure it's square or problems will ensue.

Like the Rockler jig, the ibox has a backing plate to prevent chip out. It's MDF though, not plastic. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. If you always use the same size blade, you can keep the backing in the same place for subsequent cuts and I don't think you'll get any chip out. Obviously, if you alter the size of your fingers, you'll need a fresh backing for a good fit.

The included DVD makes setting up look like a 30 second job. Well it's not. I followed the directions on the DVD exactly and my joint was a bit loose. The fingers should hold against gravity, but not if you pull it apart right? I took a few minutes playing with the jig to figure out exactly what moves with a turn of each knob. Once I did that, I figured out how to alter the size of fingers to exactly what I wanted. Now the fingers are snug enough to not fall apart, but not so tight as to require excessive force to get it together.

At the end of the day, the jig works with no issues. There was a little more set up time than I expected, but it's not too bad. Just have a scrap piece or two to try out a test fit before running your good pieces through.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-19-2014, 12:40 AM
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I have the the incra ibox jig. It's well made, works reliably and is easy to set up. It's what I recommend.
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-20-2014, 07:05 AM
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I also have the Incra. It can take a couple times to get used to the set up but once you master that it works very well. I always use some scrap wood to set up just to be sure.
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-21-2014, 10:43 AM
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This looks to be an interesting idea for box joints - its essentially a cross cut sled that is altered to create a jig for one size of box joint. If you use only a couple sizes regularly you could create one for each (I bought cauls for 1/2, 3/8 and 1/4 - the only three I intend to be using often) without spending too much time or money. I am still going to be messing with my Rockler jig after I replace my miter gauge and see if I can get good, repeatable results out of it.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/works...er-joints.aspx
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