Custom Tablesaw Blade Revolutionizes Wood Joints with Single Cut

Woodworking Workshop
Custom Tablesaw Blade Revolutionizes Wood Joints with Single Cut
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Anyone who has built their own shop has sunk time into making drawers for a worktable. Andrew Klein has invented a sawblade profile that turns making drawers into simple origami.

There are many traditional ways to build a drawer, but they all at minimum involve cutting four sides and a bottom and jigging to ensure squareness. Better drawers involve mitered cuts, dado cuts, finger joints, and generally just a lot of work for something small and simple. For a couple drawers it’s a manageable amount of work, but if you want your cabinets to give you access to tools and materials without having to dig through a bin, you need many shallow drawers. It’s no less work to build a shallow drawer than a deep one, so this can easily consume a whole weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.38.20 AM

Klein has created a better way. As he shows with a simple paper sample, if you remove a special cross section, you can cut your drawer out of a single sheet of plywood and just fold it up when you’re done. The secret is having an ingenious, custom, bungalow-shaped blade profile. Following through on his idea, Klein ordered a shop to fabricate the profile into a prototype blade. His paper concept succeeded. Four cuts on a tablesaw and the drawer folds right into place with nice 90° corners and plenty of glue surface area.

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How well does it hold up? Klein rigged up his own testing methodology too. First he hung the drawer on rods, filled it far beyond capacity with a 100-pound pile of steel weights and bolted a drill with an off-center weight to the side. He let this over-sized rumble pack run for an hour to simulate shock and vibration; the drawer held. Test number two was to clamp the drawer to a table and to put his full body weight (200lbs) onto one edge; the drawer again held. It’s not invincible, Klein did manage to break it with a couple purposeful stomps. Unless moonlighting in karate championships, it should hold up indefinitely as an actual drawer.

Demonstrating that just because you’re clever and persistent doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes, Klein admits he goofed on the profile he ordered. When the prototype blade cuts, it leaves a small gap along one section which results in some of the wood not touching when folded up. It’s a fixable mistake he plans to correct on the next version.

It’s exactly the kind of special-purpose tool that would be great for tool libraries and Makerspaces. Almost every shop everywhere could use one, but would probably only need it for a day.

Most of you will be thinking “Kickstarter!” but for now, Klein is taking a more direct route to store shelves and asking for people to connect him to businesses willing to sell or license his design.

[via Reddit]

19 thoughts on “Custom Tablesaw Blade Revolutionizes Wood Joints with Single Cut

  1. kripton2035 says:

    really nice idea !
    I think Kreg company would be happy to sell these blades for you.

  2. Simone Sardauker Cicali says:

    …90°…

    1. Matt F says:

      Whoops, nice catch. I wonder if that was my mistake or if an editor added that. Probably me. Maybe it was one of those things where you try to rephrase what you’re saying, but don’t go back and change all the parts of it. The blade profile is 45 degrees, each piece has a 45 (and 90′) cut which (of course) assembles to 90 degrees. Maybe that’s what I was talking about. I’ll redouble my proofreading efforts in the future.

      1. Simone Sardauker Cicali says:

        No problem, I understand you were saying “45° angled pieces that close in 90° corners” or something of that kind, and shortened the sentence later. I just forgot a smiley face in my comment :)

        1. sophiacamille says:

          fixed it!

          1. Matt F says:

            Thanks Sophia.

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  6. Michael Nestor says:

    How does Matthais Wandel feel about this?

    1. Matt F says:

      I imagine he’d give a knowing nod, and be aware of 15 other ways to accomplish it. Smart man Mr. Wandel is.

  7. dotlung says:

    youre a genius. well done! how do i get one? I know some metal fabricators, but no one who works for, say, home depot. But these things should sell themselves in the right outlet. sign me up!

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  9. GLShamma says:

    Not that I’m personally involved, Home Depot has a decent track record of taking inventions such as this to market. Contact them at Atlanta, GA. Fast-Track is their game! Matt – I will purchase this when available. Great Invention! ***** (5 Stars of 5).

  10. Bill bull says:

    I own a cabinet shop in las vegas and would love to get my hands on a few of these blades could someone put me in contact with Andrew Klein please.

  11. Eric Lenington says:

    That is absolutely freaking awesome!

  12. Gofive says:

    Sears/Craftsman tools is looking for exactly this kind of thing. Check it out: http://ideas.craftsman.com/ and send me a free one if they pick your idea. Good luck!

  13. Cos Callis says:

    Have you considered Kickstarter or GoFundMe options to get this going yourself?
    Do you have a Facebook page where we can keep track to know when you get this off the ground…I WANT ONE!

  14. Derek O says:

    Fantastic idea. I would try http://www.fastcap.com/ they are a company that specializes in developing products for the woodworking industry. A lot of great ideas have been made into very successful products. I used to get things from there all the time when I owned my cabinet business. Good luck!

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Matt Freund

Matt has a passion for education and unconventional engineering. He delights most in projects that remove barriers to curiosity and allow makers to explore new hobbies without committing to them. He is active in any hacker or makerspace activity he can get his hands on and has more creation-related pastimes than a healthy adult probably should.

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