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Boxmakers - how do you cut the top off?

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 06-28-2012 04:23 PM 1475 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 903 days


06-28-2012 04:23 PM

I am building a box now and have it ready for glue up. I do not have a band saw and need to cut the top off of the box when it is done being glued. I’ve read you can do it with a table saw. Is that safe? are there any jigs needed to make it safe? I am thinking about making a tenoning jig for my cross cut sled and am hoping something Like that will work

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


22 replies so far

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

399 posts in 1849 days


#1 posted 06-28-2012 04:32 PM

I use the table saw. To be perfectly safe fill the kerf with a spacer and clamp it together.

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crank49

3434 posts in 1626 days


#2 posted 06-28-2012 04:40 PM

Its best to leave a small bit in the middle that you cut by hand after the table saw. Helps avoid pinching the TS blade.
If it’s a big box, like over 7”, then you would have to clamp a filler in the first cut and cut all 4 sides.
In either case, always keep the same siide against the fence.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Maveric777

2690 posts in 1732 days


#3 posted 06-28-2012 04:42 PM

I cut mine with a table saw as well. The trick is to raise the blade up just a smidgen shy of the actual depth of the sides. Then I simply use a razor blade to cut the rest of the lid off….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10874 posts in 1345 days


#4 posted 06-29-2012 01:44 AM

I don’t trust my bandsaw to cut straight enough so I do it like Dan suggests but leave a little more than a “smidgen” and then cut through with my HF Japanese pull saw.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1641 days


#5 posted 06-29-2012 01:48 AM

I use my TS to do it all the time—I have made some sticks that are a hair bigger than the kerf of my blade and I stick them in the middle after I cut a side. Then just masking tape. Cut one side, stick the kerf-stick in, tape it on, do the opposite side, repeat until all four are done.

It is terrifying at first (because it’s just an unusual way to run something through the TS) but after doing it a few times it’s really quite easy.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 903 days


#6 posted 06-29-2012 01:49 AM

That was my idea. I was going to leave about 1/16th. Will a coping saw followed by some strategic sanding suffice to clean up the rest?I don’t have a pull saw, but I guess another 10$ won’t kill me

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2303 days


#7 posted 06-29-2012 01:51 AM

TS – the trick is not to cut through – then you don’t need spacers, or masking tapes and whatnot.

if the box material is 1/2” thick – then you set your saw to cut 15/32” or 31/64” – the number is not crucial as long as it’s a hair under 1/2” (it’s ok if you cut through in a few spots as long as you don’t completely cut it off free) – then once you are done “grooving” the top “off” you can use an exacto-knife or a chisel and free that webbing of wood still holding the top to the box itself easily – safe, and easy.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 903 days


#8 posted 06-29-2012 01:59 AM

It is terrifying. I am envisioning the box falling apart on one of the cuts and my palm meeting that brand new unguarded infinity blade. There are obviously a few ways to do this. I am kind of partial to the kerf stick method right now as I have a lot of those that I cut for the splines anyway.

Purple Lev, That also sounds like a good idea, however having any unfilled blade kerf 3/4 around the piece and send it through something spinning violently that wants to destroy it while it is being held together by 1/64” of wood fibers still makes me nervous. Possibly unreasonably so, but it does none the less.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1182 posts in 1279 days


#9 posted 06-29-2012 02:16 AM

I have successfully cut the tops off with the table saw many times. I have enough 1/8 scrap laying around to fill the kerf with. Cut the first two sides and fill the kerfs and cut the other two. I have never felt threatened.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1641 days


#10 posted 06-29-2012 02:18 AM

I have done the “cut just barely the thickness” before and I just was not fond of it. -shrug- Each to their own. I found that I never get a smooth cut when I try to separate them but putting the kerf-stick in is super smooth and easy once I figured out what I was doing.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10874 posts in 1345 days


#11 posted 06-29-2012 03:15 AM

Lumberjoe, I made a “flattening board” to level box legs,etc. This is what I use after sawing the top off. Quick, simple, and it comes out PERFECTLY flat. I just glued 100 grit paper to a 16” wide piece of Masonite, clamp it to the table, and rub the cut edge across it until flat and smooth. I have used the tape andkerf stick successfully but I have also wrecked a box with this method and I hate trashing a project that late in the game. I am comfortable with my technique and will likely stick with it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Gary's profile

Gary

7243 posts in 2088 days


#12 posted 06-29-2012 03:38 AM

I send mine to Dan, (Maveric777) and let him cut it off. Keeps my fingers safe

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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Maveric777

2690 posts in 1732 days


#13 posted 06-29-2012 11:59 AM

LOL Gary…. Now that’s smart thinking my friend… lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5653 posts in 2083 days


#14 posted 06-29-2012 12:20 PM

I’m always up for a new way to do something. So, I’m about to try a slitting saw mounted in the router table. Still, I’ll only cut part way through and do the final with a pull saw.
Slitting saw was originally intended for making contrasting cuts in corner reinforcement flitches cut with the TS.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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KenBee

108 posts in 1290 days


#15 posted 06-29-2012 02:42 PM

Not having a band saw or table saw I, like Gene Howe use my router table to cut box lids off with either a slitting saw or a 1/16th slotting router bit. I also do not cut all the way through to prevent binding and use an xacto knife to complete the cut. I find it to be an accurate, safe and quick way to separate the two parts of a box.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

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