Entirely Handmade Hand Slitter
What is a hand slitter?
It is essentially a razor blade, held in a saw handle like apparatus with an adjustable fence that is used to help cut parallel material like cloth, felt or leather. In its day, it was used commonly.
On my slitter I have tweaked the design to make it more user friendly. The biggest improvement was me tearing apart a Lowes Folding Utility Knife and using the blade holder for the knife. This gave me a quick change utility blade holder for standard utility blades, rather then the round cutters found on the original. No tools needed to change utility blades on this tool.
Another improvement was a knob placed on the front of the tote which adjusts the utility knife. Do you want to cut 1/8 thick...no problem! 1/2 inch thick...no problem, due to a spring arrangement and threaded rod system, the knob infinitively controls the cutting depth. You can adjust the knife to cut nothing, or the full depth of a utility knife (3/4 of an inch)
But this is a presentation tool, so all the wear areas and hardware are fitted with polished stainless steel. Made of 1/4 plate, it is balanced extremely well at full width cut. The fence also is 1/4 inch lower then the material being cut so that a perfect cut is possible.
For fancy, I added an inlay stainless steel arrow on the arm of the tote that the fence rides along. The arrow points outward obviously as this is where the fence would slide for a wider cut.
For added measure I made a wooden case for the box, complete with dovetailed corners, glass top and a recessed base of red felt.
Overall I think it was a great project. I hope Family Woodworkers enjoy seeing it as much as I did building it. It took forever to build I admit, but keep in mind it will never rust!
Last edited by Travis Johnson; 10-18-2010 at 10:19 PM.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"