Pin Cutting Thingamajig

As I am (very slowly) ramping up my production, some problems arise that simply are not an issue when making knives only on occasion and each time of a different design. One of the most recent challenges was to cut a lot of 10-11 mm long pins & dowels for the “hidden pins” construction that I have decided to deploy as my main thing for kitchen knives with full tang. Currently, I am making four two-knife sets, and that means sixteen wooden dowels and sixteen metal pins. And whilst the length must not be exactly precise, it does need to be at least somewhat uniform.

Putting the dowel/tube/stick into the vice, cutting it, and then filing them in a jig to exact length was very boring and time-consuming, and fiddly. And I am glad to say I came up with a much better solution.

I drilled a 6 mm hole through a piece of black locust wood (6mm being the diameter that I will be mostly using for this design). Then I used the table saw to gouge approx 2 cm in the middle in a way where the blade cut just below the hole and just touched one of the edges, creating a sloped surface between two walls with holes.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Here you can see it in action. The screw on the right side plugs one of the holes and allows me to adjust how far a dowel/tube can be inserted on the left side. Then I can cut the dowel with a hacksaw inserted into a slot on the left side, cutting it off at an exact-ish length. The cut-off falls then off the slope onto the vice and the table. I might add some simple paper funnel in the future so they fall directly into a receptacle of some sort.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

I haven’t tried it on metal tubes yet, but it has proven to be absolutely perfect for wooden dowels. I have cut more than 20 in under five minutes. If it works on metal too – and I hope it does – I will be very happy in da tent indeed, because that is one time-consuming and boring task reduced to near nonexistence. And it also should minimize material waste. Brass tubes don’t grow on trees, you know.


  1. flex says

    Very nice.

    As usual, I started to look at possible issues with the design. That’s a result of 20+ years of work in automotive, at times wearing a quality hat. I’m used to looking at tools which are designed to run 4-5 million parts to tolerances of 0.1mm or less, not a couple hundred parts with probably around a 0.5mm tolerance. Which often makes me a little over-critical. Which is my problem not yours.

    But with the number of parts you plan to run through this jig, and the ease of re-making it if you need to, it looks like it will work very well. Well done.

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