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Production cutting drawer box lengths

Bob Member

We are a closet parts wholesaler and are now making our standard drawer boxes out of 1/2" pre finished baltic birch ply. We purchase them in 60" lengths and 4" to 10" widths. Volume is picking up. I expect to be in the 300 box a month range soon and growing.

We are currently using a dewalt sliding chop saw with stops.

I would like to optimize and have software to do this. So I am thinking about a tigerstop or equivalent.
Any comment about comparisons welcome.

My questions is, what is the best saw to use to get a nice cut and increase production?

Better Chop Saw, upcut saw, sliding table saw, vertical panel saw with scoring or ??

As all parts are cut in pairs so 2 at a time would be a nice feature.

Thanks for any advice.

9/9/15       #2: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...

In my opinion having used all above tools, a dialed in radial arm saw with a stop would be the way I would go. You can stack like 6 pcs even with a 10" saw. Make sure you use a quality blade and that your blade is perpendicular to the fence along it's travel or your cuts will be sh*t. Even a minute angle in your carriage will cause a poor cut. I've used tiger stops and by the time you type everything in you could have measured twice.

9/9/15       #3: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...
Bob Member

Thanks Joel
Radial arm not my first choice because of safety issues.
Your reasoning sounds good so it goes on the list.

If I use a stop, data will be optimized and downloaded from our system. Worst case will use mm as it is so much faster on entry. Don't understand why anyone would enter in inches.

Really want to download, But we have the capability to optimize and then print cut list and/or labels.

Just found out TigerStop charges $1300 for download software and there could possibly be extra hardware needs as well.
Price of productivity I guess.

9/15/15       #5: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...

They say production and accuracy is all about automation. No offense but you measure and cut 10 pieces on a radial arm saw and how many would be the same exact length? I would bet money that you would have a few different sizes. I have many hours on a radial arm saw and think they have some amazing applications, but they are also very dangerous if you have a careless operator.
For the application you are describing you need an upcut saw with a push system. They are made by different companies like Tigerstop, Razor and others. Program the sizes and it pushes the material, cuts them all the same, safely and efficiently.
I agree with the old saying that there is more than one way to skin a cat? What works great for one guy is not great for another.

9/24/15       #6: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...
Rich Kuban Member


As a wholesaler, I would think you would only make so many different sizes of drawers. Would you not have a list of standard lengths to cut? 300 boxes a month is only 15 per day. That is 60 parts, and if cutting 2 at a time, that is only 30 short cuts a day (not including trim cuts). If you can cut two pair at a time, then you are making only 15 cuts per day. I would be inclined to use flip stops and stop blocks first on different saws to figure out the best sizing method for you. I would not be inclined to pursue automation until making 50 - 60 boxes per day, with a proven cutting method.

FWIW, I used a Striebig without scoring with a regular stop and a flip stop to stack cut (up to 4 at a time) vinyl drawer blanks. The flip stop was to cut my shorter standard box sides. Fairly safe, but I learned to cut the short lengths first from my optimization. Downside to the vertical is the shelf is short. If not careful, the blanks could twist and fall off the shelf sometimes. If you used a dedicated machine for this, the operator would learn pretty quick how to avoid doing so.

In order of my preference, I have cut a lot drawer blanks on a Striebig without scoring, a radial arm saw with scoring, and a scoring table saw with a sliding carriage.

9/24/15       #7: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...

After reading the responses and considering our other needs it looks like we are going to use a Vertical Panel saw.

Rich, I am curious as to why without scoring?

I am looking at Holz Her mainly because I have an awesome tech that I can really trust to check out any machine I am looking at.
But with the cost of moving this type of machine, a lot will depend on what I can find fairly close to me.

9/24/15       #8: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...
Rich Kuban Member

Bought used Striebig without scoring. Was satisfied with climb cutting to score, since you make the stroke anyway. Downside was requirement to change blades more often. At time of purchase did not want the additional cost to add scoring unit (available) and was tired of setting scoring blades on other saws. Striebig rocks when cutting rectangles! Although a good local tech always trumps brand in my book.

9/24/15       #9: Production cutting drawer box lengt ...

Thanks Rich... and to all who replied.

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