The Trayless Jig-O-Matic

So probably my most famous post here is the tutorial on how to cut without the tray. And I do it frequently, and I needed to do a mass production run of cutting boards which will require the tray to get removed. Since it’s like 34 boards I figured a jig would make it so much easier. So I designed this flexible jig. I designed it for 3D printing (but actually would be trivial to make with draft board (or any other material). The 2 added items are the tabs on the side to tape down the jigs into place.

Note the levels are 0.125" tall (i.e. the thickness of “medium” proof grade - so easy to make from stacked proof grade if you want - every shelf is .125" smaller than the last one). The color change (totally optional of course) is to highlight the levels ABOVE the tray in case you need to do that for some weird shaped item (plan those to be orange and the layers below gray). So in here I have included 3 files:

  1. The STL file
  2. the 3MF file (solid model that is replacing STL)
  3. The STEP file (cad) (51.8 KB)

I use magnets, the base of my glowforge is super grippy for that. In fact just did it today to engrave a couple of altoid tins.


That was my first plan, but then I figured, not everyone likes gluing magnets into their pieces and might not have on hand, but everyone has blue-tape… And not like it has to take a lot of force (although on my milling machine I use tape & glue to secure the jobs (not my tormach, for the X-Carve). never had blue-tape give way even when really hogging out material


My GF quits partway through every job to complain about my magnets.

Thanks for the practical cut, @henryhbk


if you have a tab and a strong magnet, just drop the magnet on top of the tab. my HDD magnets would work through the 3D printed tab. or since my HDD magnets are still mounted on the backplate, put just the lip of the backplate on the tab.

i know i keep harping on how awesome HDD magnets are for the GF, but they really are flipping awesome.


Can you source them without buying and smashing open a hard drive?

you can usually find them on ebay pretty cheap.

$5 current bid (6 mins left, tho) plus $8.50 shipping, so $13.50 for 10.

you want the large ones, not the smaller ones from laptop drives.

a couple of those have the curved backplates, which aren’t optimal. but there are tons for sale there.


Thanx so much doc. I have a tray less project coming up and I will print these up and give them a try.

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my first pile looked a lot like that after i salvaged from all my old dead hard drives.


I know I’ll be using this a lot. Thank you for designing/sharing it. I’d rather not use magnets, so this jig is perfect!

This is very helpful. Thank you for saving me time and hassle.

Been using these pretty much since I got my machine. A couple have broken due to how strongly they snap onto the tray or each other. Often need a tool to pry them back up. Paid a little less than the current price back then as well. Strong enough to hold warped proofgrade flush against the tray.


Super useful, thanks!

I use the hard drive magnets too. I have found that when they are hard to get your fingers underneath them for removal, just slide them toward the rear of your crumb tray where the black plastic is. Once you slide them onto the plastic they are easy to remove. :blush:


i do a couple of things. one, if the backplate is still on and has some space between the edge and the magnet, you can often rock them loose. the other option for me is using the pick tool to grab a hole in the backplate and pulling off that way.



Joke aside, someone here posted a delivery of neodymium magnets to their house. The box was stuck a couple of feet up on the metal door.


i think that was @chris1.

Wasn’t me, but I’ve seen the picture going around on social media.

Can you imagine a UPS driver searching the truck for your package and a pen flies out of his pocket sticking to the package? Pretty sure I would back away and call the office.