FINGER JOINT CUTTERS
Knife Works was founded in 1926 in Clinton, Wisconsin and immediately
found a major role in the manufacture of cuttershead and knives
for the woodworking industry. On June 25, 1929, the company obtained
United States Patent #1,718,325 for the Lock-Joint Grooving Head
- known today as the finger joint head.
WKW style of finger joint cutter has been copied by several companies
but the basic design has remained unchanged for the most part since
1926. Whereas tolerances and machining precision have improved greatly
over the years, the basic
principle of the WKW style cutter (sometime referred to as the "circle-bit")
is the same. Finger jointing requires that the profile being cut
is both consistent and close-fitting. The "circle-bit"
cutters allow a very precise cut and at the same time, give the
user the ability to sharpen the cutters easily and set up to cut
the exact pattern time after time. Brazed or solid "wing type" finger joint cutters may at first appear to be cheaper, but they
offer much shorter life due to the inability to be resharpened as
many times as the WKW cutter. In addition, the accuracy of WKW cutters
is seldom equaled by other cutters.
most finger joint cutters have been made from High Speed Tool Steel,
often the high Molybdenum M-2, as most finger jointing has been
in softwoods. Some species of hard woods have been successfully
jointed using High Speed Steel (HSS) cutters, but very abrasive
woods may require the use of WKW OPTI cutters. WKW Carbide Cutters
or another variety of WKW cutter. In addition to the abrasion and
corrosion problems that abrasive woods cause, the increasing use
of man-made wood products has necessitated specially designed cutters.
Composite materials consisting of wood fiber and glue usually require
WKW Carbide finger joint cutters.