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Plug Cutter Possibilities

Knucklehead

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50/50 dark fired/red VA plug-ish

I think I may want to make a dedicated plug cutter to slice more consistent flakes once I get the plug making down.

View attachment 34325
It looks like you have a good start with the knife in your photo. It already has the hole for the bolt. Paper cutter shown.

 

Matthew Evans

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It looks like you have a good start with the knife in your photo. It already has the hole for the bolt. Paper cutter shown.



I was thinking of something similar, though I'll make a new blade. I'm thinking of a guillotine style blade, lever handle, possibly a cam or shackle to change the directional force. I've got some good thin spring steel and tool steel that should provide an excellent blade, especially with something as soft as tobacco.


I like that cleaver for lots of things in the shop. It gets used for small hatchet work, scraping, slicing and riving. It's blade is a bit on the thick side for taking thin slices, and it's double beveled rather than single.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Looking at overpriced antiques over the years, I have the impression that a plug cutter needn't have a shearing edge like a paper cutter. The power of it comes from the simple fact that the blade is anchored at one end.
 

Knucklehead

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Looking at overpriced antiques over the years, I have the impression that a plug cutter needn't have a shearing edge like a paper cutter. The power of it comes from the simple fact that the blade is anchored at one end.
You got me wondering so I googled tobacco plug cutter and there are some very nice images of antiques.
 

deluxestogie

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The old plug cutters used by small merchants everywhere to slice a measured chunk of plug for sale to retail customers typically had cast iron frames, with a cast base and cast arm. The entrapped blade moved only vertically, providing a clean cut. In studying the photos of the old ones--both open and closed, I have the impression that they functioned much like a lever-arm cheese press, with the blade holder moving like a lever-arm piston. The handle arm's pivot point (fulcrum) is offset, with the blade holder's pivot point attached between the fulcrum and the user's hand. This is a second class lever.

CheesePress_sideDiagram_400.jpg


Given that plugs are not infrequently as solid as a hockey puck, the handle arm (and the bottom frame) needs to be quite long, in relation to the width of a plug.

Bob

EDIT: A paper cutter is also a second class lever, but without a separately moving blade, cuts from one side of the plug toward the opposite side, applying diagonal stress on the plug.
 
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