Cuts to a T

Designers: Ben Krebs, Gavin Ovsak, Christine Schindler, Broderick Turner

Client Coordinator: Tracey Craven

Supervising Professor: Larry Bohs


Cuts to a T Device

Figure 1. Cuts to a T Device


Manufacturing devices often are designed with the unintended side effect of being unsafe or impossible for a person with disabilities to use. OE Enterprises simplifies complicated manufacturing tasks into individual components that can be completed by people with disabilities. The goal of this project, Cuts to a T, is to create a manufacturing device for OE Enterprises that would be able to cut foam T-shaped pipe fitting insulators of different sizes accurately, consistently, and safely. Our team will create a device where a series of three Ts will be loaded into a specifically sized tray, then cut by pulling a mounted jigsaw across the secured Ts. This device gives employees of OE Enterprises with a wide range of disabilities the ability to independently cut a foam T that can be distributed for future sales.


The Cuts to a T device allows someone with a disability to safely cut a foam T that will be sold as pipe fitting insulation. Our client at OE enterprises said to us, “this device is perfect for what we need. Not only are you creating a device, you are creating a job.”


The Cuts to a T device is comprised of a structural base, two removable trays, two sliding bearings, a jig saw with a switch, a handle, and a T placement tool.

The structural base is made of a 32” long 2×12, attached to a sheet of textured foam to reduce noise impact. This base is connected to two 2×6 walls, each 32 inches long. , which protect the user from touching the cutting mechanism. These dimensions are optimal for structural integrity, ability to be transported without breaking, diffusion of rattling and noise from the saw, and proper enclosing of the blade. This structure easily attaches  to any surface with two table clamps.

The two removable trays are each designed for a specific size of T. These trays are color coded to reflect the size of T that they are optimized for (small and large). The blue tray is optimized for the small T size and the red tray is optimized for the large T size. These trays are equipped to handle holding three Ts of the same size at once. The pockets for each T are separated by u-shaped blockages of wood. Each pocket is spaced 5 inches apart and the u-shaped blockages are 3.5 inches tall. Each tray also has two ¼ inch bolts attached to it: one in the top left and one in the bottom right corner. These are connected by ¼ inch T nuts. Through these, it is possible to attach the tray by quickly placing these bolts into the corresponding holes found in the structural base.

The sliding bearings for this device are 22 inches when fully cut connected to the structural base and then connected to the platform that the jigsaw is attached to. Therefore, these two bearings (one attached to each wall) act as the connector between the platform and the jigsaw platform. These bearings are able to slide when force is exerted on the platform so that the jigsaw is able to move along a track and slide to a position necessary to cut the Ts. The saw is then able to be pushed away from the Ts, and the Ts are safely removed.

The jigsaw is the main cutting mechanism for the device. This is mounted to the platform, which is mounted to the bearings. In between the jigsaw and the jigsaw platform there is a thin layer of foam for diffusing sound and vibrations. Surrounding the front of the jigsaw is a guard mechanism to prevent the user from touching the blade. This guard can be easily removed using a screwdriver in order to replace the jigsaw blade. The blade of the jigsaw is a blade specified for the cutting of foam, which will cut the foam more precisely and will last for a longer period of time. The jigsaw is attached to the jigsaw platform with bolts and nylon nuts. The jigsaw power cord is attached to a kill switch that is able to turn the device on or off if necessary.

The handle is used to move the jigsaw platform along the bearings in order to cut the Ts. The handle can easily be operated with one hand and it is mounted to the jigsaw platform. It extends in both left and right directions depending on if the user is left or right handed.

The T placement tool is a screwdriver with a flat end that can be used for placement of each T. The T is placed loosely upside down into a compartment in the corresponding tray, and the tool is inserted into the top opening of the T and pushed downward to fully secure the T in the necessary slot before cutting.

Figure 2. Client Testing of Cuts to a T Device

Figure 2. Client Testing of Cuts to a T Device


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