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Most efficient way to cut sticks from sheets

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Old 12-19-2013, 08:19 AM
  #1
joebob
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Default Most efficient way to cut sticks from sheets

I'm getting read to cut out a run of kits and am planning on cutting my own sticks from sheets to minimize the cost. Maybe it's just old age kicking in, but I'm having trouble coming up with an easy way to calculate how many sheets I need of each size to get the required number of sticks for the run of kits. Most of the sticks wil be 3/8" thick in anywhere from 3/16-3/4" wide. Will also need some 1/4", but that will be easy to figure. What I'm really looking for is maybe a spreadsheet where I could put in the number of sticks of each size I need and it would tell me how many sheets to order. Plywood is also a needed item, which adds another layer of complexity because now i'm not just ripping strips, I have to cut squares, rectangles, etc...

It seems simple at first, but I need to take into account saw kerf witdh, sticks that could be cut from remainders from other sheets, etc. If I was only cutting one kit, it wouldn't be a problem, but extra material adds up quickly and increases the overall cost. Does anyone know of a program or something I could use to help me figure this stuff out?

Thanks,
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:29 AM
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Whenever I've had to build something from stock I've had to cut I've done drawings and some manual math to figure it out... I don't know of any program that will do that, but others might.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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I found a few programs designed to help woodworkers figure out how to lay out parts on a sheet of ply to get the best fit so I am going to see if I can adapt one of those to work for smaller boards like we use.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebob View Post
I'm getting read to cut out a run of kits and am planning on cutting my own sticks from sheets to minimize the cost. Maybe it's just old age kicking in, but I'm having trouble coming up with an easy way to calculate how many sheets I need of each size to get the required number of sticks for the run of kits. Most of the sticks wil be 3/8" thick in anywhere from 3/16-3/4" wide. Will also need some 1/4", but that will be easy to figure. What I'm really looking for is maybe a spreadsheet where I could put in the number of sticks of each size I need and it would tell me how many sheets to order. Plywood is also a needed item, which adds another layer of complexity because now i'm not just ripping strips, I have to cut squares, rectangles, etc...

It seems simple at first, but I need to take into account saw kerf witdh, sticks that could be cut from remainders from other sheets, etc. If I was only cutting one kit, it wouldn't be a problem, but extra material adds up quickly and increases the overall cost. Does anyone know of a program or something I could use to help me figure this stuff out?

Thanks,
AutoCAD could easily do it for you.

Other way is making scaled sheets from cardboard and cutting pieces of paper also scaled that represent the groups of similar parts.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:06 AM
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I don't think you need a computer program,,

Per kit,, Break it all down into 1/16" +2 for the kerf (I used 1/8 or 2/16 for the kerf, most blades now are oh so slightly thinner at 3mm)
3/16 = 3 = 5
3/4 =12 = 14
1/4 = 4 = 6

Then add up how many sticks you need by the number divide by the sheet,, 4" sheet = 64,, then doing he math you'll see how many sheets you'll need,,

Optimize by cutting the biggest pieces first,, what ever is left over goes to the next possible smaller size.

personally, I use one of these for my scratch building,,kerf = 0'
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXAA63&P=ML

I found this neat set up online,, If I was cutting allot, I build something like this too
http://www.modvid.com.au/html/body_balsa_cutter.html

Good luck

Last edited by scale only 4 me; 12-26-2013 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:19 AM
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Here is a site that you may find of interest. http://www.a2zcorp.us
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