Laser Cutouts is a family-owned and run business that has been successfully trading for approximately 10 years in Washington, Tyne & Wear. What was primarily set up for laser cutting and engraving has now also evolved into wood crafting and box production.
After being approached by a charity to see if Laser Cutouts could produce memory boxes, it first began with laser-cut-out boxes. These required a great deal of manpower to complete, as they still needed to be glued, clamped and left to dry. From this, the business moved to a locking mitre joint, which was better but still required gluing, clamping and time to dry.
While visiting the 2019 annual Northern Woodworking Show in Harrogate, company director Paul Stott came to the Hoffmann Machine Co stand, where he was given a demonstration of the Hoffmann MU3 Dovetail Routing Machine by Sean, one of the Hoffmann team.
Sean produced a simple but strong mitre joint in a matter of seconds. By drawing down the hand lever, the workpiece is clamped and the motor starts. Continued pressure on the lever raises the router unit through the workpiece and to the pre-set routing depth. When the hand lever is returned to its original position, the motor switches off automatically and the routed workpiece is released. Digital and pneumatic models are also available, for even greater accuracy and speed.
Paul was so impressed that he sent Sean some samples of his 9mm-thick poplar wood to test the accuracy and strength of the joints.
A range of samples was produced using different-sized Hoffmann Dovetail Keys (W-2 and W-0). It was agreed that the joint using the Hoffmann W-0 key would offer the ideal solution.
Paul was so impressed with the samples that the Hoffmann MU3 Dovetail Routing Machine was purchased immediately, and the business has not looked back since.
Paul Stott comments: ‘’With very limited training, all our staff can now produce all parts of the box, eliminating the need to employ a dedicated member of staff. We can now produce the joints and start assembly immediately with no clamping required.
“The finished joints are tighter and stronger, and add to the quality and finish of the box. Not only has the Hoffmann Dovetail Jointing System improved the quality of the joints, the production time has been reduced by two thirds, increasing productivity!’’
Laser Cutouts is currently producing four different-sized boxes, from small (150mm²) up to large (400mm²). The new Hoffmann W-0 key is one-third smaller than the well-renowned W-1, so it was ideal to use on Paul’s 9mm-thick profiles. With a cross-sectional size of just 3.3 x 4.4mm, it will draw together profiles as thin as 7mm and upwards with startling strength.
Hoffmann offers the service of joint processing in customers’ profiles for their assessment and approval.