We’ve all seen or box , those interlocking puzzle pieces that make laser-cut plywood enclosures such a fixture for DIY projects. But laser cutters make joints look much easier to fabricate than they are with traditional woodworking tools, which often lead to disappointing results.

But this finger joint cutting robot is no traditional woodworking tool, and [timschefter] put a lot of work into building the rig. We have to admit that when we first saw the below, the thought of having a saw in our shop that could be turned on with a button on a phone gave us pause. But on closer analysis, it looks like safety was a major concern with this build. With a prominent e-stop and an interlock switch, the small saw that forms the foundation of the robot should be safe enough. On the is a sled with a linear slide that moves the workpiece perpendicular to the blade, and the sled moves back and forth over the blade with pneumatic cylinders. The joint is set up with a custom which calculates the pin width and spacing, which can be evenly distributed across the panel, or, for a bit of geeky fun, controlled to make a joint that encodes a message in Morse.

A lot of work went into this, and while it’s not the first robotic finger joint cutter we’ve seen, it’s pretty impressive. Now if it could only automate dovetails.



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