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  #1  
Old 03-16-2016, 10:32 PM
prosserbrothers prosserbrothers is offline
 
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Default Looking for an innovative solution

I'm in need of some kind of creative solution that will increase the efficiency, speed, and safety in my process of making wall hanging mail organizers. I build them entirely out of pallet wood which can make things tricky due to the lack of consistent dimensions.

The step I am specifically hoping the EZ Smart system can help with involves cutting 5/8" wide rabbets out of both ends of fairly small pieces. These pieces are all 6.5" wide exactly but vary in both width (1.25" -1.75") and depth (3/8" - 1/2"). I usually cut between 300-500 at a time.

If I lined up 40 or so pieces flat on the EZ Smart table long edge to long edge would the bridge clamp system work despite the variance in depth? My guess is it probably couldn't. However, out of any system I've seen, this appears the closest to solving my problem.

In short, I need a clamping system that can dynamically apply variable amounts of pressure over a long span in very small increments.

Heres a picture showing the pieces I am referring to. They are the pieces that make up the front and bottoms of each bin.

Thank you in advance for any help anyone out there provides
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2016, 02:17 AM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
 
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Location: Balko, OK
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I think you already identified the the biggest obstacle: inconsistent material dimensions. It's the bane of any woodworking project, especially a production run like you have.

The SSRK and a guide rail certainly make quick work of cutting dadoes. However, due to varying thickness and width and the overall smaller size of your material, a traditional router table and a coping sled might be the way to go.

It's daunting to think about doing this with 300-500 pieces but if they aren't uniform then each piece requires, essentially, a unique cut.

However, if you ran your stock through a thickness planer first, then a "one size fits all" approach might work. But that might not give you the rustic look you're after.

There are more experienced hands at this than me on this forum who may have the solution you're looking for. Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:11 AM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
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Actually, planing the back side should not affect the looks of the piece, and would make it possible to use the SSRK to make the dadoe. If you planed before cutting to length, there would not be that much of an increase in handling.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2016, 01:30 PM
aaronp aaronp is offline
 
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I think part of the rustic look may be that some pieces stick out a little more than others. Also, you'll have the freshly planed surface visible should the customer look inside. He may be stuck with the router/sled solution and a lot of repetition.

I'd maybe plane enough to make a couple then seeing how much it affects the aesthetics. Maybe it won't be so noticeable.

The only other thing I could think of that might work is some sort of springy rubber mat to lay them all on before flattening it all down with the rail and SSRK. Something like the fatigue mat I'm standing on now. Your rabbet would waver a bit, but hey— it's rustic!
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2016, 03:39 PM
prosserbrothers prosserbrothers is offline
 
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Haha, my name is Aaron Prosser so when I was reading aaronp's response I was extremely confused for about 5 minutes wondering why I had created two accounts, responded to my own question, and why I had no recollection of doing either. I am not a smart man.

But thank you for your responses. You make some interesting points. I had never considered planing to achieve uniform thickness but it's definitely a viable option.

What got me interested in systems like EZ Smart and others like it is when cutting dadoes instead of having to set the amount the saw removes, like a table saw, you set the amount the saw leaves. And theoretically if there was a way to clamp multiple pieces of varying depths, one saw set up per set would leave a consistent thickness across every piece.

aaronp, I like where your head's at. I've thought at great length about some type of cushion-y material that could compress dynamically when clamped. At one point I even attempted to build a clamping jig using these.

But ultimately the idea failed.

I considered purchasing like 30-40 of these

and mounting them to a jig of sorts but i think it would be too costly, too time consuming in actual use, and ultimately it only solves the first half of the problem. The second half being that the surface the saw rides on has to remain perfectly parallel to the surface the backside of the wood rests on to cut a groove of proper depth on each piece. And unlike other clamping systems it must do so independently and can't rely on the top surface of the wood piece to hold it parallel because that surface is assumed uneven. Which, in and of itself, is a whole 'nother issue.

I briefly looked into table saw power feeders but was quickly deterred by the price tag as well as a lack of faith in any solution that relies on the accuracy of my table saw (Rigid R4512). The blade likes to move out of alignment whenever you adjust the height.

To be perfectly honest, other than the fact that its become a sort of 'White Whale' to me, I don't even know why I'm still searching for this dream solution that I've conjured up in my head. I don't know that it really exists.

And at the volume that I'm currently selling, its not even all that neccessary. If I spent half the time just building organizers instead of looking for ways to do it faster, I would probably be much better off.

Nonetheless, thank you again for your responses and help. I genuinely appreciate it.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2016, 04:10 PM
aaronp aaronp is offline
 
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Sure thing. It wasn't all for naught— You have your all-too-common solution, which is to just get to it. Been there.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2016, 05:20 PM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
 
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Location: Balko, OK
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Solution = "just get to it"

Hahaha, I am absolutely guilty of the same thing. That is, spending more time trying to find an innovative way to do a thing than the time it woupd take to actually to do it but so glad to know I'm not alone!
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