Inventables Community Forum

Box App and Dog Bone App

I’ve read through both threads @paulkaplan posted after the release of the Box and Dog Bone apps, but they were a little sparse on user experiences. I would love to see how people are using these apps together- what your settings are and how effective you find the results to be.

I just did my first box and it’s a little loose and the dog bones are a bit large. Some feedback from others who have used the apps could save some of us just getting into it some time.

Maple Wood .509"
Spiral UpCut Bit .117"
Dog Bone .11"

I did a test with MDF where I halved the bit size for the dog bone and it was nowhere close, so I went with near full bit size here, which was too much.

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Pretty neat looking! What size wood and bit did you use? Looks like 1/2" wood and maybe a 1/16" bit?

I don’t know if I’d use the tool for anything decorative, because you either have to go back and clean each and every inside corner with a file or rasp after the fact (yawn) or use dogbones which leaves holes like these. But for maker boxes and quick ‘n’ dirty project enclosures, these work great!

I keep meaning to actually make use of this tool but I seem to have a large queue of projects ahead of me.

Thanks Mike, I’ll post the specs for my box on my original comment, I should have done that in the first place.

I see how these boxes will always be a little wonkey, but I think the look has a kinda charm somehow like Tetris blocks or something. It’s a different style than traditional dovetailing, so I think a little bit of gapping and dog bone rounding could be fine and I could still have a slick product, but this one is definitely too loose.

I don’t know, maybe after a while of messing with it I might l want to eat my words (or erase them) but I think they could be a cool product- albeit a children’s product- which is primarily what I do anyway.

Yeah, I wouldn’t file or rasp anything, not just yawn, no profit. If anything I might trim the corners with my scroll saw.

Are you going to keep it out of MDF or make it out of a different species of wood? It looks neat! Where are you sourcing your 1/4" MDF?

I buy 1/4 sheets of 1/4" MDF at lowes.

Really. My Lowes is just shit then. They never have any MDF. My Home Depot has a better selection but I don’t think they have anything thinner than 1/2." I’ll have to look again. Thanks!

Lowes here (Augusta, GA) keeps the 1/4" MDF with the pegboard, so it is not near where the normal sheet goods are.

Two words: Lumber Yard. Once you form a relationship with a good actual lumber yard, one that sells wood by the board foot and planes it to your specs you will never want to buy from a box store again. Better products, better price, from people who actually know something about what they sell. Mine carries tons of MDF and Plywood options in all kinds of finishes and thicknesses.

I live in a gentrified suburban hellscape. If it’s not big box stores it’s simply not here. Everything is a 30-45 minute drive one-way, so just popping out to the lumber yard is a very special trip, assuming there even is one in this county.

I have made severl boxes using this app. Be sure to set exact thickness of material since it may be a little off nominal. Same goes with bits, never found one that was exact. Even 0.001" makes a difference on fit of the parts.

Also found elastic bands make handy “clamps” for assembly.


@Mike I don’t know about “gentrified suburban hellscape” lol, but I live in the country and same here it’s 30 to 45 minutes just to town, then more to get to the store. I’ve lived out here all my life though, so I guess I’m used to it.

@BobHewson Did you convert the cut path to outline before or after you added the dog bones? Do you have any examples of the boxes you have made? I’d love to see a photo.

I always measure my boards and bits with a micrometer, so I’m really not sure what happened. Maybe I typed in a value incorrectly somewhere. I’ll recheck everything and try again next week. And I will also glue this one up and share it. Good idea about the bands.

I checked my file from the project when I made open top boxes. I made the box using the box generator (which defaulted the outline as “on path”. Having the box outline, select and then use dogbone app. This then set the outline default as"on path", however I changed it to “outside”. Next was to relocate bridges. Then I cut, did some sanding and glueing and then painted (in my case there was extra work to modify the top of the side and ends to give me a flat top edge).

I’ll try a get a photo tomorrow. The screengrab below is a quickie sample done a few minutes ago with and without dogbones.


When you go to the big box store, don’t look in the plywood area, check out the “project board” section. They should have sande plywood in 2’ x 4’ sheets, MDF in all sizes from 1/8" and up and masonite (tempered hardboard) in 1/8" and up. Good luck!

Thanks! I’ll give that a look.

Hey @JosephCompton

Isn’t the size of the dogbone proportional to the thickness of the material? So at .509", you get about 1/2" dog bones. If the box is 4"x4"x6", they’re going to look larger than if the box was 18"x18"x24" proportionally.

The size of the dogbone actually deals with the size of the bit and the thickness of the material. The width of the slot matches the thickness of the material and the little half-circles match the diameter of the bit.

Yeah, like @ErikJenkins said, the dog bones are set by the user based on the bit you are using.

You begin by creating your box with the Box app, setting your box dimensions and tab widths and also submitting your material dimension. The material thickness determines the depth of the tab.

After these objects are created you select them and open the dog bone generator and input the circumference of the circle you want added to inside corners of your tabs.

What I’m wondering is what is the best value to input into the dog bone generator. I did only slightly less than the full size of the bit, but next time I think I going to try about 75%.

Glueing was interesting, I didn’t have any bungees or bands so I just used clamps.

The Dog Bone app makes them too large. The cut into the corner only needs to be the point where the tool radius reaches the sharp corner. This app cuts them to the radius past the sharp corner.

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That wouldn’t really work unless you separated out only the dog bones. That’s another reason why it would be nice to be able to export files from Easel. I could isolate the bones and then re-import. I would cut the box with my larger bit, skipping the bones, and then change bits and cut the bones with a smaller bit.

But I think for me that’s too much work. I like the look pretty well, I just want to minimize them as much as possible and figure out why my tabs were so loose.