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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe that before achieving success in woodworking one must also experience failure of some kind as well. Additionally, like I use to tell my students and staff, ask questions before you make the wrong decision.

After putting the splines in (end grain facing out this time) I cut the lid off (success) without a hitch, well sort of. I must have watched dozens of videos on how to do it and went with the way Marc Spagnuolo (Wood Whisperer) does it. https://diysynthcases.com/how-to-cut-off-a-box-lid/

The failure was that the lid did not matched the case. When I looked at it there was a saw cut on the vertical portion of the lid. Not only was I cutting along the horizontal as I pushed the box through the blade, but the vertical part (leading edge and trailing edge) was also getting cut.

Where did I go wrong? Was the blade set too high. How do I determine at what height to set blade?

Luckily, I can use the remaining portion to try again as a test. My other options are to cut just short of the all the way through and saw it off or build the lid separately.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Gerry. That was my first guess. I thought I did that but maybe I measured from the front of the blade rather than at its highest point. Does it matter if the joint is a beveled miter?
 

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Freud suggests the blade should be slightly higher than the stock and the bottom of the gullet should be apx. 1/2 way up from the top.
The way I interpret this is; If the stock is 1/2'' thick, then the blade should be between 9/16'' and 5/8'' up and depending on the type of blade, the bottom of the gullet should be apx.1/4'' from the top. I never raise the blade more than required to do the job. If the blade only sticks up 1/8'' or less from the surface, an accidental slip of a hand or fingers would be far less damaging than if the blade is all the way up ! I would rather have a cut than an amputation.
 

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Theo
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Freud suggests the blade should be slightly higher than the stock and the bottom of the gullet should be apx. 1/2 way up from the top.
The way I interpret this is; If the stock is 1/2'' thick, then the blade should be between 9/16'' and 5/8'' up and depending on the type of blade, the bottom of the gullet should be apx.1/4'' from the top. I never raise the blade more than required to do the job. If the blade only sticks up 1/8'' or less from the surface, an accidental slip of a hand or fingers would be far less damaging than if the blade is all the way up ! I would rather have a cut than an amputation.
Yeah, that is a basic, but a lot of the utubers seem to have never heard of it. I learned it in 1953/4. I set my blade so it just cuts completely thru the wood, which would place it a bit lower than 1/8".
 

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Dan & JOAT - Thanks for info. I now see where I went wrong. BTW, do you prefer a 1/8" or TK blade to cut the lid.
One or two items: I rarely use a thin kerf blade anymore and most of the time use a Glue Line full kerf blade.

The other thing is, are you always checking to see if the blade is 90 to the table? It is very easy for that to slip. If the blade is just over the thickness of the piece, it isn't quite so important, but when I fail to check this with my trusty Wixey, I find the result is sometimes a problem.

Oh yes, with a box, I'd want to sweep all the sawdust away before making each of the four cuts. You're looking for an exact alignment of each pass. Sawdust buildup could cause a misaligned cut.

I'm persnikity about details.
 

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Freud suggests the blade should be slightly higher than the stock and the bottom of the gullet should be apx. 1/2 way up from the top.
The way I interpret this is; If the stock is 1/2'' thick, then the blade should be between 9/16'' and 5/8'' up and depending on the type of blade, the bottom of the gullet should be apx.1/4'' from the top. I never raise the blade more than required to do the job. If the blade only sticks up 1/8'' or less from the surface, an accidental slip of a hand or fingers would be far less damaging than if the blade is all the way up ! I would rather have a cut than an amputation.
For normal cutting, yes.
But for this application, I would not raise it that high, as it increases your chance of gouging the vertical surface when cutting through.

The other thing is, are you always checking to see if the blade is 90 to the table? It is very easy for that to slip. If the blade is just over the thickness of the piece, it isn't quite so important, but when I fail to check this with my trusty Wixey, I find the result is sometimes a problem.
Make sure the fence is 90° as well.
 

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I set the blade -1/64 approx. less than the thickness of the sides, and cut all way around then use a utility knife to remove the top. I was taught this many moons ago, and it works good for me.the thin sliver can be removed easily with a sanding block.

Are you cutting with the top against the fence, or the bottom against the fence? I try to do the cutting with the bottom against the fence , unless the box is too large, it gives you more surface to square up the cut.

An other option is to cut the top off on the band saw, just one pass through will do the job, the only con about that is that cut will take a little more sanding to remove the kerf marks.

Herb
 

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Mike
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Hate to bring this up but if your box is a little out of square or has a slight twist from over clamping or poor fitting joints then you will probably have problems trying to cut the top off.

Reading your post it sounds more to me like your saw blade was not 90 to the table.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lots of great info guys. Just as an FYI, this was my very first attempt at this.

I took the thing apart and was able to see how high the blade was set by putting it up against the blade (TS was unplugged) and I was way high at TDC (top dead center). I guess this is why it was gouging the vertical surface.

Herb - I was running the bottom against the fence. I was thinking of the BS but it only has a 6" rise and the box is 9-1/2" wide. Riser block may be in the horizon. The <1/64" is another thing I'm considering after some other attempts. Hate to give up after just one attempt.

Tom - Gerry - I'll check that the fence and blade is at 90* before I try again and sweep the saw dust after each cut.

Mike - when I measured, the diagonals were equal within 1/6." I'll double check the joints on the next attempt.

Thanks for the help guys. Much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry to ask again but I want to make sure I don't mess this one up. Since it's just a test piece the wood is off the shelf common white wood the bottom is scrap birch plywood. I've included a couple of pictures of the box. If I understand what has been recommended is that if I want to cut off the lid I set the blade ~1/64" above the thickness of the box with the blade at top dead center or 1/64" under it if I want to cut it off with a saw or a knife.

Again, thanks for all the help.
 

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Mike
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Hope this picture helps. Material thickness - 1/64" will leave 1/64" material to cut with a utility knife or saw to free the top. Don't nit-pic this measurement just make sure you leave a thin piece of material holding the top on
 

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Mike
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Thanks Mike. I think that's the best option for me at this time. I've also read where woodworkers have used a router table to do this. Another option.
Actually I think the table saw is the best tool or removing the top like this.

Here is one more way to remove the lid that creates a lip over, lift off lid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mike, what a great tip. Thanks. Is there a video somewhere regarding this? If not, can you be a bit more specific on the technique/steps/dimensions of the cut? I assume that the cut is made on the vertical piece before I glue it up.

Herb, I' using the TS for this since it is the best option and less stress on the blade/saw. But the RT is there just in case. However, what's the stress on the router & bit associated with using the RT.
 

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Mike
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This picture is how I have done it for small boxes.

This is another way to do it.
 

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Theo
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Oooo, nice wood.
 
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