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Chip-limited tooling

Old style tooling tended to pull the hand in to the cutters, often resulting in serious amputations. Although limited cutter projection tooling will not prevent an accident it is designed and constructed to significantly reduce the extent of an injury if the worker touches the cutters. If injuries do occur they are likely to be lacerations requiring stitches rather than amputations.

What does limited cutter projection tooling look like

Old illegal cutter blocks - risk of ejected cutters from square block as well as serious hand injuries when no chip limitation:

Old illegal block as, in addition to no chip limitation, the cutter is held in place by only a single bolt so risk of ejection

Example of replacement for old blocks. These, in addition to having chip limitation from a dummy profile, also have better fixing arrangements for the blade to stop risk of ejection, two bolts and centre bolt for wedge. Also tend to be better balanced.

Benefits of chip-limited tooling

The limiter reduces the depth of cut so ‘kick backs’ are less likely to occur.

Ejection of the tools was common with the old style cutters as they were only held in place by the friction from clamping bolts. Chip limited tooling has two ways of securing the cutters, preventing ejection.

The reduced depth produces a better finish, so less sanding is required, reducing the health risk and improving production.

Chip limited tooling is much better balanced so there is less vibration when it runs. This has the following benefits:

The old style tooling requires a lot more skill and time to set up correctly. Chip limited tooling is simpler to set up and therefore reduces down time during changeover. Also, as it is more likely to be right first time less timber is wasted. One head can also have several different profiles which also reduces set up times.

These hand-fed machines should have been fitted with limited cutter projection tooling after 5 December 2003:

For more information visit the Tooling for use with hand-fed woodworking machines WIS37(Revision 1) website.

Updated 2019-11-28