how to cut small pieces

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 07-25-2009 09:15 PM 2309 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

07-25-2009 09:15 PM

I just wanted to see if anyone has any advice for me. I need to cut repeated pieces (consistent shape) about the size of a quarter in material that is only 1/16th to 1/8th inches thick. Does anyone have any advice for repeatability, or am I going to be stuck doing each piece on the bandsaw and then sanding it to final dimensions?

38 replies so far

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3730 days

#1 posted 07-25-2009 09:28 PM

Square pieces the size of a quarter or round ones? Square I think would be possible with a jig, round I’m not so sure.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

#2 posted 07-25-2009 09:45 PM

they would be roundish. I’m trying to do some guitar picks. I made a few quick ones out of walnut and cherry to see if they’d break or not. they seem to be holding up so-so. The problem is I’d rough a few out on the bandsaw and then try to sand them into shape with a belt sander clamped upside down. they came out ok, but they don’t look very consistent from piece to piece. I’d like them all to be the same size and shape.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

#3 posted 07-25-2009 10:15 PM

Thanks. I’ve thought of that too. There is only one problem. the material I’ve got is already pretty thin sheets (about what I need them to be when done. Also, most blanks that are sold in the approximate size I’d need would end up as endgrain. There may not be an answer to this one. I may just need to make them one by one and practice.

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3352 days

#4 posted 07-25-2009 10:21 PM

Being that thin 1/16th to 1/8th…...I would make a jig for the bandsaw….Maybe a “V” groove holding jig with a stop at 1/8th past the blade…just slide your stock into the groove and feed it over to the stop, push it through, remove cut off and repeat….this way every piece will be the same thickness every time. Since your picks are so thin to begin with, your saw blade on you table saw or miter saw is going to eat up allot of wood.

You could make a small tabletop sled with the same principle…small “V” jig to slide back and forth across the saw with a stop a 1/8th past the blade for consistency…make a small “Catch top” to be over the cut off to avoid the 1/8th” cut off from flying off into space.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3352 days

#5 posted 07-25-2009 10:22 PM

Never mind…just saw your last post…your working with sheet goods…I thought you were working with hard wood round stock…sorry.

-- Don S.E. OK

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3781 days

#6 posted 07-25-2009 10:28 PM

How about a router jig/template sort of like what you would use to cut an inlay?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3558 days

#7 posted 07-25-2009 11:26 PM

How about a punch? Something similar to this:

You could make one out of a piece of pipe, sharpen it,hit it like it stole something from you with a real hammer. It could work. I have a set of these by Mac Tools, it’s actually for making gaskets, but I’ve cut some stout leather and sheet goods. I have never tried it on wood, so I’m not 100% certain.

-- My reality check bounced...

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

#8 posted 07-26-2009 03:03 AM

i have to admit, I’m intrigued by the punch idea. I actually went to Michael’s Crafts today to look at their scissor punches. Apparently they are used by people that do scrap booking. I was hoping to find a large raindrop shape. no luck though. I’m still investigating.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10535 posts in 3454 days

#9 posted 07-26-2009 03:32 AM

Router and template.

-- 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

View ahock's profile


102 posts in 3350 days

#10 posted 07-26-2009 03:48 AM

A simple way is to make strips that are a hair over the final length of the pick, have a strip that would do 20 or so pics, alternating them in the triangle shape. Trace (or you can have a real nice stencil made by a craft store that would have 50 or more tracing openings on it to do a large sheet…maybe you could spray something on to mark them to save time.) your picks on, then cut one side off then cut out a pick, trim the next side, cut out a pick…

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3701 days

#11 posted 07-26-2009 03:53 AM

You should be able to file out your own punch and base out of steel. Indexing them to hit straight might be a little tricky, but a V groove on a different plane than the punch should do it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


117118 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 07-26-2009 03:54 AM

I think the punch Idea is good. I think one could be made that would fit a drill press or mortiser(not running) just for the downward pressure. I think a welding shop or school could make one for a reasonable amount.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3488 days

#13 posted 07-26-2009 03:57 AM

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View SteveMI's profile


1102 posts in 3320 days

#14 posted 07-26-2009 05:50 AM

This might be an idea. Dremel sells a router table that uses a dremel rotary tool. I bought one for a job where I needed an 1/8” roundover on the edges of smaller parts. It didn’t work too badly, but the limiting factor is the quality of the bits available and the lack of a bearing. While the bits are cheap at under $7, they aren’t that sharp and dull (burn). My use was hard maple which may have been part of the problem.

Some of the router bits have a round protruding end to follow the edge or possibly a pattern.

You could make a pattern from 1/4” and double stick tape to the piece you wanted to cut. The problem is the better stick from the tape is the most repeatable parts and the harder to remove from the finished part.

Biggest value to this approach is that I have been able to work very small parts and not knick my fingers. That is not a small accomplishment for me.

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3558 days

#15 posted 07-26-2009 04:36 PM

Or something like this:

A carving gouge. You might get 1 at a yard sale or flea market for $1 or $2. It would take at least 2 hits to do it, but you could cut any shape you want.

-- My reality check bounced...

showing 1 through 15 of 38 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics