A number of improvements to the system are being released for '22
While things have been quiet on the GEARBOX front for some time, we have been working on several improvements in the background. Some of them are more subtle than others!
While most of these improvements are relatively subtle, they significantly affect the system's usability.
Additionally, some of these changes are geared towards a long-term goal for the system - foam covers!
We are not yet ready to reveal more on these covers but will detail the other changes.
This rendering shows the modifications that have been made to the box as transparent green additions.
For the dam, the existing lip below the top edge was extended up to the top, allowing us to add a larger radius to the edge of the dam. This makes a big difference when laying the fiberglass over the dam as it minimizes the air that wants to get trapped at the transition from the cover to the dam. Plus, it helps the cloth drape over the dam. This change also enables the foam covers to work as they are slightly thicker than the plastic cover, so the gap between the dam's edge and the cover is minimized.
BOX BOTTOM Modifications
For the bottom, the rendering shows the extra material added around the dam's perimeter. Also, four posts have been added to the bottom sides to strengthen it. The primary reason for thickening the bottom was because, in the case of an 8º box, the inside bottom edge of the slot ended up very close to the outer surface of the bottom wall. This made it much thinner there and created the potential for failure along this thin edge. We have not had failures here, but we wanted to make things stronger by eliminating this thinness. The addition of the posts also helps in this regard.
BOTTOM ROUTER JIG Modifications
Revised BOTTOM JIG in BLACK
Because the bottom of the box was modified, we also had to alter the bottom jig of the router system to create a larger cavity to accommodate the bottom of the box.
This new jig will be BLACK to make it easier to distinguish it from the existing RED one. These revised jigs will be FREE to current customers when they transition to the revised GB '22 boxes. Anyone using the 1ROUT install system is unaffected by these changes as they do not use the bottom jig.
HD FOAM BLOCK Modifications
Revised FOAM BLOCK
The HD foam blocks have also had to have their inside cavity enlarged to accommodate the increased size of the bottom of the box. The area around the posts has been tightened to reduce the amount of resin that can accumulate there. They will continue to work with the existing boxes.
The foam block has also been changed to a PET material made from recycled plastic water bottles! Allowing us also to reduce the price.
New DEPTH GAUGE
New DEPTH GAUGE
A new item added to the system is a depth gauge used to set the router bit depth. The gauge has two different depths on it, STANDARD (circular notch) for most normal installs and CONCAVE (triangular notch) for installs in deep double concaves (or where extra strength is desired).
See the updated install guides for more details on how to use the gauge or the INSTALL Extras, where there are detailed instructions.
HEX KEY Modifications
Revised HEX KEY in RED
The HEX KEY has also undergone a slight modification to remove the embedded gear. This change was made to make the key more universal for use with our HANALEI FINS.
Revised 4º GEARBOX in WHITE
The final change coming to the system is a change in the color of the boxes from the GREY we have been using since day one to WHITE.
The reasons for the change are twofold. Firstly, to better distinguish the GB '22 boxes from the older versions. Secondly, to better match up with the WHITE plastic covers and the future FOAM covers. We also feel the WHITE will allow the box to blend in on a board better.
With the move to the WHITE color, we are also increasing the amount of fiberglass in the material to improve its strength.
We have been doing test installations over the past few weeks and are gearing up for the first production run. After we finish the first production run, we will perform additional testing with the production boxes. If all goes according to plan after this testing phase, we will be ready to start selectively releasing the revised system.
The initial run will be small as it is limited to materials on hand. Once we get a full material supply, we will do a much larger run.
Initially, we will only be running 4º, 8º, and CENTERS, possibly some 6º depending on how far we can stretch the material. Once more material is available, we will run all cant angles in larger quantities.
The first batch of boxes will be WHITE ONLY in color, as we are planning on using this color in the future as it will work best with the next planned upgrades, plus it is more readily available.
The first run will also be aimed primarily at 1ROUT installs while we tweak our bottom jig to accommodate the change in width to the bottom of the box.
Much is still to be done, but we are moving forward with these improvements.
BTW, we are calling this update GB '22!