Mass Prodution of Poker Chip Trays

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Forum topic by hdgis1 posted 11-05-2013 05:55 PM 1746 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1110 days

11-05-2013 05:55 PM

I dont normally make this many of anything but got a commision that requires me to make 144 poker chip trays. Drilling out 12 or 14 trays is no big beal but I have no plans to drill 144 (720 holes). Lets hear some ideas on how you guys would approach this.


12 replies so far

View Sanding2day's profile


984 posts in 691 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 06:05 PM

Am curious what incredible solution exists but good news as I see it the pieces can be made two at a time and split on the bs, so only 360 holes to drill :)

-- Dan

View chrisstef's profile


12118 posts in 1851 days

#2 posted 11-05-2013 06:06 PM

Some one with a line boring machine might do the trick if they can use a bit that large on the machine.

Stack em up 2 high and you’re down to 180 holes.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View bigblockyeti's profile


2041 posts in 565 days

#3 posted 11-05-2013 06:20 PM

First off I would try to use the longest piece of lumber I could to start with, so that individual trays could be cross cut off the blank. Second I would remove as much wood as possible first on the tablesaw, two cuts at 45 degrees per half cylinder for a total of ten cuts. Third I would look into a bit (probably expensive) that would remove the remaining wood and form the half cylinder the chips sit in. If it were a bit for the router, it would need to be a high horsepower variable speed router, a shaper would be better suited given the requirements of such a bit. Do you anticipate having to make any more in the future? If so the undoubtedly high cost of such a cutter/bit might be easier to justify.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 1320 days

#4 posted 11-05-2013 06:28 PM

well you beat me to it, lol. was looking up a bit, the Freud 18-130 Round Nose Router Bit 1-1/4 or similar might do you if you remove material first as stated above. bevels or dado to remove bulk of material.

View NiteWalker's profile


2710 posts in 1422 days

#5 posted 11-05-2013 07:04 PM

A good forstner bit with the dp fence set and those holes will go super quick. I highly recommend colt maxicut bits. They cut incredibly fast and clean.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View hdgis1's profile


6 posts in 1110 days

#6 posted 11-06-2013 12:02 AM

Oops! 360 holes is correct. Math….pffft.

I used the maxicut bits and the do drill well. However, there is an unacceptable amount of tear out that occurs.

I’m really looking for a shaper quality cut that requires minimal sanding.


View a1Jim's profile


113153 posts in 2422 days

#7 posted 11-06-2013 12:18 AM

With that many I would look for someone with a CNC set up.

-- Custom furniture

View PRGDesigns's profile


218 posts in 1158 days

#8 posted 11-06-2013 04:04 AM

+1 on the CNC.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View stevejoly's profile


3 posts in 903 days

#9 posted 11-08-2013 03:09 AM

What about a router? Make long trays with 5 channels with a cove bit or large round nose bit . Then cross cut the individual trays to length.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2493 days

#10 posted 11-08-2013 03:34 AM

If you did not make the samples, they were perhaps done
on a planer/moulder with custom knives in multiple passes.

Considering sanding and tearout issues, I would entertain
having the coves milled on a cnc machine and sanding
with blocks. Drilling seems goofy, but I’ve never drilled
to achieve a finished profile like that so I can’t say it’s


View JAAune's profile


1130 posts in 1162 days

#11 posted 11-08-2013 03:56 AM

I think a1Jim is on the right track. That sort of work is perfect for CNC. Someone with an industrial machine might charge as much as $250 per hour but they’d have everything done in an hour. You’d probably pay no more than a couple dollars per unit.

I don’t know how wide they are but it would be ideal to mill out long blanks on the CNC then crosscut to length after sanding.

It’s either that or some sort of shaper or molder setup but custom knife grinding fees would probably cost more than CNC milling.

-- See my work at and

View tefinn's profile


1221 posts in 1282 days

#12 posted 11-08-2013 04:50 AM

One of our fellow LJs builds poker chip boxes. Jimboe posted his jig for making the coves for the trays. Maybe you can use a set up like his.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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