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post #1 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Tool advice

Hi guys. First time post here. Need some advice for a newbie.

I work in a warehouse and I'm making what we call a blind box. It's basically a cabinet with removable shelving that stick out through the front facing doors. These shelves hold selection orders for the employees. The employee grabs a "shelf" and slide it out of the cabinet, causing the order to drop down to the bottom of the cabinet for them to retrieve.

This is my first project and I've had an enjoyable time making it so far. That being said, I've run into a snag. I need to cut the slots in the doors for the shelves to stick out through and I'm unsure of the best way to go about this. The doors will be 30 inches wide by 20 inches tall. I need 3 columns of 9 slots in each door, each slot will be 9 inches wide by 1/4 inch tall, spaced 2 inches apart from each other. My personal tools 0nly consist of a drill, a jigsaw, a circular saw and a very simple ghetto table saw (spare circular saw converted.)

I've tested on a spare panel some plunge cuts with the circular saw, as well as drill and jigsaw method, but these aren't nearly as precise and clean as I'm hoping to achieve. I could probably rent or borrow additional tools to finish up this project but I don't know what to get. I was thinking a miter saw at first but don't believe the saw will be able to accommodate the size of the panel. Would I be able to achieve the precision I need with a router? Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 08:59 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Don't make no sense to me ...

If you pull out a shelf, what happens to the order? Doesn't it just fall onto a the shelf below it?
Why go to all that trouble?
I don't understand the mechanics of the thing...?


Why not just have them take the order off the shelf?

OR is it so they can't scan through the orders to pick out one they like? So it's pickin' blind sorta?

If that's the case, put them in face down... no cheatin' by turnin' them over to read them. Penalty is death by firing squad.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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If you pull out a shelf, what happens to the order? Doesn't it just fall onto a the shelf below it?
OR is it so they can't scan through the orders to pick out one they like? So it's pickin' blind sorta?
This is exactly why. If they pull from the bottom up, the order will just drop down to the bottom part. We currently just have the orders stacked out on the table. The problem is, unfortunately, they can't all be trusted to do the right thing and just take the next order in the stack, and there are times when noone is able to supervise and ensure they are doing the right thing. *sigh* lol
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 10:29 PM
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I would use a router to cut the slots.
I would build a simple jig to index (move) the door 2" after each cut. The jig will control the cut and enable you to make all the slots uniform in length, width and spacing. I would use a straight 1/4" bit in the router.
Almost any router is capable of this type cut.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the advice. I was thinking router but haven't ever used one so wasn't positive. All this woodworking stuff is a new interest of mine so learning as I go.

Thanks.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-17-2016, 11:44 PM
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Is there only one product being offered? Every shelf holds the same thing, so you real goal is to dispense one item at a time? If the shelves hold different items, you still run into the problem of an ordered item on a higher shelf being retrieved before the shelves below it.

If all the items ARE the same, what's to keep the unscrupulous customers from just pulling multiple shelves and getting more then one item?

If the items are the same, and packaged, is there any reason you can't just stack them in a drop-down style dispenser?
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-18-2016, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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We have orders from various grocery store chains. These orders can range from 30-40 cases up to as much as 250-300 cases or more, depending on case size and weight. The employees (order selectors) have a quota based on Engineered Labor Standards. Basically smaller orders can be completed quicker, raising their overall efficiency. They earn bonus pay based on the percentage over quota they select up to as much as an additional $4.50 per hour.

Currently, the orders are placed out in a stack on the table. They take an order, scan a bar code into the system to register it as being started, then go to select the order. They are supposed to only take the next order regardless of size. At times, some of the "unscrupulous" ones will lurk around until supervision is lax, and thumb through the stack, taking an order which which possibly better benefit them, rather than the one on the top o the stack, essentially screwing their coworkers over.

The "blind box" is an attempt to remedy this. By all of the orders being placed into the box, there will be no way for them to riffle through to "cherry pick" the good ones out. They can only pull a shelf, and take what they get. Each order is placed on its individual shelf, the shelves are pulled from bottom to top. Once the shelf is removed, the order falls down to the bottom of the box, where it can be retrieved through an opening at the bottom. An order on a higher shelf, if pull prior to the shelves below it, will only drop down to the next shelf.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-18-2016, 09:12 AM
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router / etc -

you could duck the whole issue by using vertical "posts" with 3x+ wide&cut to height plywood/mdf panels glued/nailed to them - with a gap to create the slots . . .

if the shelving sticks out through slots of the top hinged front door, does that not create interference when it swings up to open?

but I understand the problem....there are employees who sift through the order pile to find the easy pickings.....
hopefully there are no little scraps of paper/loose stuff/etc in with the paperwork. depending on gravity to have "everything" flutter down from the (upper, especially) shelves to the bottom extraction point may result in "lost paperwork" - picking errors - incomplete orders - mad customers . . . oversized plastic sleeves...?
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