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Advice for a newbie - Parting box lid without tablesaw

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StottC

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Hi everyone,

I'm a complete novice when it comes to woodworking, and am planning my first little project to get started.

I'm going to put together a simple little jewellery box for my partner, but the video/plans I have seen which have helped inspire the design suggest parting the lid from the box by passing it over a table saw. I'm lucky enough to have inherited some great quality tools which are going to make it a lot easier for me to get started, but unfortunately a table saw is not one of them, and I'm struggling to think of another simple, accurate and safe way to part the lid. Can anybody offer any tips?

The simplest option seems to be to just use a hand saw with a fine blade to cut through, but I'm just worried that it might be difficult to get a perfectly straight cut all the way through?

Complete and utter newbie here, so apologies if I'm over thinking this and making it more complicated than it needs to be :lol: any tips are greatly appreciated.
 

Fergal

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You could clamp a straight board along the cut line and use that to guide the saw. If you don't have any clamps, you could attach it with double sided tape. A Japanese pull saw or fine tooth tenon saw would be the most appropriate, as they have a very narrow kerf and leave a nice finish.
 

woodbloke66

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StottC":3eh5auh1 said:
Hi everyone,

I'm a complete novice when it comes to woodworking, and am planning my first little project to get started.

I'm going to put together a simple little jewellery box for my partner, but the video/plans I have seen which have helped inspire the design suggest parting the lid from the box by passing it over a table saw. I'm lucky enough to have inherited some great quality tools which are going to make it a lot easier for me to get started, but unfortunately a table saw is not one of them, and I'm struggling to think of another simple, accurate and safe way to part the lid. Can anybody offer any tips?

The simplest option seems to be to just use a hand saw with a fine blade to cut through, but I'm just worried that it might be difficult to get a perfectly straight cut all the way through?

Complete and utter newbie here, so apologies if I'm over thinking this and making it more complicated than it needs to be :lol: any tips are greatly appreciated.
A tablesaw, even if you had one, is completely the wrong tool. This type of job is reserved for the bandsaw which is a much safer way of parting a lid. In the absence of both, you're left with no option but to use a fine toothed tenon saw (or similar). Simply start sawing at one corner and work your way round all four sides...a good tip is to not let the end of the saw disappear inside the box. It's also useful to put spacers in the saw kerf as the cut progresses round the box, otherwise the vice pressure will clamp up righty tighty on the saw blade.
Once the lid is separated, clean up the saw cuts to get two perfectly mating surfaces by sticking a full sheet of 150g paper to a dead flat surface using ds tape. Then use a circular motion (wax on, wax off :D ) to clean up the saw cuts, looking carefully to see how the work is progressing. Test the lid against the box to see where the high spots are and use local pressure on the sandpaper to gradually get both sides to mate, checking all the time for a fit and noting the high spots - Rob
 

sunnybob

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if youre making the box to a critical height, then add an extra 1/4" when making it to allow for cutting and sanding.
Once you are ready to cut, roll masking tape all around the box and mark your line on the tape.
Clamp opposite direction to the cut so there is no chance of accidental squeezing. Cut one long side, cut the other long side. Use either a wedge of wood or even a wad of masking tape to hold the sides apart. Now run more masking tape over the cut sides. This will stop any unwanted movement as you cut the ends. Cut one end and VERY CAREFULLY rotate the box and cut the other.
Then you can remove all the tape and finish off to the correct depth.
The masking tape will help keep splintering to a minimum.
Oh, then you go buy a bandsaw for the next box. =D> =D> =D>
 
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woodbloke66":1yaxm6tv said:
StottC":1yaxm6tv said:
Hi everyone,

I'm a complete novice when it comes to woodworking, and am planning my first little project to get started.

I'm going to put together a simple little jewellery box for my partner, but the video/plans I have seen which have helped inspire the design suggest parting the lid from the box by passing it over a table saw. I'm lucky enough to have inherited some great quality tools which are going to make it a lot easier for me to get started, but unfortunately a table saw is not one of them, and I'm struggling to think of another simple, accurate and safe way to part the lid. Can anybody offer any tips?

The simplest option seems to be to just use a hand saw with a fine blade to cut through, but I'm just worried that it might be difficult to get a perfectly straight cut all the way through?

Complete and utter newbie here, so apologies if I'm over thinking this and making it more complicated than it needs to be :lol: any tips are greatly appreciated.
A tablesaw, even if you had one, is completely the wrong tool. This type of job is reserved for the bandsaw which is a much safer way of parting a lid. In the absence of both, you're left with no option but to use a fine toothed tenon saw (or similar). Simply start sawing at one corner and work your way round all four sides...a good tip is to not let the end of the saw disappear inside the box. It's also useful to put spacers in the saw kerf as the cut progresses round the box, otherwise the vice pressure will clamp up righty tighty on the saw blade.
Once the lid is separated, clean up the saw cuts to get two perfectly mating surfaces by sticking a full sheet of 150g paper to a dead flat surface using ds tape. Then use a circular motion (wax on, wax off :D ) to clean up the saw cuts, looking carefully to see how the work is progressing. Test the lid against the box to see where the high spots are and use local pressure on the sandpaper to gradually get both sides to mate, checking all the time for a fit and noting the high spots - Rob
Hmm - why do you say a tablesaw is wrong for this operation? Most boxes are going to be quite thin, so you can wind your blade so only enough is showing. Leaving small tabs that can easily be cut with a hand saw will prevent it closing up on you.

With the bandsaw, you would have very little guide support (depending on the size of box) and is more likely to drift giving you bad results.

I think a router table and groove bit would be the perfect setup as it would give you the most support. Not sure I would want to try it though ... (from a safety point of view :p)
 

Glynne

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transatlantic":u3qgrjzr said:
I think a router table and groove bit would be the perfect setup as it would give you the most support. Not sure I would want to try it though ... (from a safety point of view :p)
This is my standard method. I use the 1.5mm 6 blade cutter from Wealden Tools on a router table.
I just set up the depth of cut to be ~1mm less than the thickness of the box and having cut all the way around, finally separate with a craft knife. Very accurate and very safe.
 
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Glynne":253erzfv said:
transatlantic":253erzfv said:
I think a router table and groove bit would be the perfect setup as it would give you the most support. Not sure I would want to try it though ... (from a safety point of view :p)
This is my standard method. I use the 1.5mm 6 blade cutter from Wealden Tools on a router table.
I just set up the depth of cut to be ~1mm less than the thickness of the box and having cut all the way around, finally separate with a craft knife. Very accurate and very safe.
Ah - good to know. I suppose you can also sink the blade right into the fence.
 

Glynne

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I tend to use a sacrificial zero tolerance fence made from MDF and just have the blade protrude through that.
 

woodbloke66

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transatlantic":3a4xedsb said:
Hmm - why do you say a tablesaw is wrong for this operation?
To separate a box from it's lid, you need to remove the crown guard. Even with the blade at it's lowest setting, you'd need to make four cuts to completely separate the lid; you can't use push sticks so hands would have to hold both the box and the lid as it goes through and there might be a danger of 'kick back' on the last cut if the blade catches. IMO, it's bad practice and an accident waiting to happen - Rob
 

Stanleymonkey

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Welcome to the forum.

Good luck making the box - I feel for you as the lid cutting is a scary part.

You will surprise yourself with hand sawing though, It's not as hard as you think.

Why not practise first? Cut 1cm deep around a large piece of scrap wood. See if you get the cuts to meet up again after four sides are done.

Or make some scrappy boxes to try on. Four bits of plywood and glue them with a little piece of square timber inside each corner. Basic butt joints. Have a go on those. Might even make a couple of storage trays for odds and ends in the process.

Good luck
 
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