to use the
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
Using the cutter
This machine is designed to cut hand-holes in all four sides of assembled, new or used, standard depth bee boxes all in one go. The sides are cut with the spacer (wooden block shown at left in pictures) removed, and the ends require use of the spacer. (More later). Although brave users think of cutting hand-holes in knocked-down boxes (planks) before assembly, don't do it, at least not with this machine. The advantage of working with assembled boxes is that they are easy to hang onto with a firm grip, and hands need never come near the cutter blade.
The job is very quick and easy, and each box is done in a minute or two. Just make sure you have the box right-side-up before you cut! Mark the boxes with pencil arrows if you need to. Trust me. Boxes with hand-holes cut upside down are very confusing, especially in an extracting room.
Click any picture to enlarge
All the usual warnings apply.
The idea is to do a plunge cut, restrained by the jig fence, then extend the cut 2", guided by the jig, then lift the box out, rotate, and repeat -- then do the ends in a similar fashion.
Do the sides first.
Now both sides are done and it is time for the ends.
Do the next box.
Note: When finished or if interrupted, immediately cover the spinning blade with the guard and turn off the machine.
There are three kinds of cutters that can be used
All work well. Some people prefer the butterfly for the scooped hand holes it makes, but is dulls easily and is not suitable for used boxes, whereas either of the others works well and makes very good hand holes, assuming carbide blades are employed.
Previous - Building 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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