Details for a
The unit pictured here has cut
thousands of hand holes in new and used boxes over the years.
It has been safe and trouble-free. It can be modified to cut
either grooves or scoops. This one is set up for grooves.
Hopefully, these pictures should enable any handyman to make a
similar unit. This page shows construction details.
Instructions on cutting boxes will follow later. See
Important Safety Notice.
Top views: The working surface and jig
Click any picture to enlarge
The jig: The angle iron structure seen on top of the table is the jig, and it is attached to the plywood working surface. The rest of the unit is actually a home-made high-powered dado machine, so this jig could actually be built and used on a table saw -- if the saw happened to be large enough to accommodate a dado, wobble blade, or a butterfly cutter and heavy-duty enough to drive it. The jig is the special item that controls the position and length of the cut.
Lacking a suitable table saw or if a dedicated hand-hole cutter is desired, this device can be built using any sturdy table of a comfortable size and height as a frame. We built the table shown from angle iron in a matter of an hour or so, and mounted the drive and cutting parts under the deck.
The working surface and jig (above) is shown with safety cover open and closed. The cover is on a common door hinge and not spring-loaded. It must be flapped open to cut, then flapped closed as soon as the box run is done. This is important, because there is an open blade spinning and you should never leave one exposed -- even for a moment -- when not actually looking at it and cutting. In the picture the guard is propped up with a pencil for the photo, but when open it goes all the way back to lie flat.
The Cutting Mechanism
Next - Using the Hand-Hole Cutter
Safety Notice and Disclaimer:
Woodworking is intrinsically dangerous, so if you are not an experienced shop person, "Don't try this at home!" Find someone knowledgeable to do the job.
Of course, we do not guarantee anything. This article is provided as a rough outline and intended for knowledgeable craftsperson. This is not a toy. While safe when operated by a sober, attentive and well-trained person, it can be very dangerous in the hands of careless or inexperienced people. A powerful machine like this can throw boxes and small items considerable distances and with amazing force, and injure or maim.
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