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Shop-Built Woodworking Jigs

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Many woodworking plans call for pieces that can most easily (and safely) be formed by using a woodworking jig. Fortunately, many of these woodworking jigs can be made right in your wood shop. Learn how to build many typical woodworking jigs that you can use over and over again in your woodworking projects.

1. Table Saw Box Joint Jig

Box Joints
(c) 2009 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The table saw is probably the most versatile woodworking machine in the woodshop. In many woodshops, the table saw is the one tool around which the entire shop is organized, and as such, is often the most expensive and important tool. There are a variety of tasks that the table saw is ideally suited to handle, but one that is rarely considered is using the table saw for making box joints. Using a simple box joint jig and a stacked dado blade set on the arbor of your table saw, you can make consistent box joints very quickly. Learn how with these step-by-step free woodworking plans.

2. Cross-Cut and Panel Cutting Jigs

Cross-Cut Jig
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Woodworking suppliers' shelves are typically loaded with all manners of woodworking jigs, designed to make complicated or difficult-to-repeat tasks in the woodshop much easier, safer and accurately repeatable. However, the tasks simplified by many of these commercial woodworking jigs could just as easily be accomplished with a homemade jig at a fraction of the cost. In this article, learn how to build cross-cut and panel cutting jigs for your woodshop out of left over, scrap material.

3. How to Make Featherboards

Using a Featherboard on a Table Saw
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Another jig that is widely available at woodworking suppliers is the featherboard, or variations on the featherboard, designed to be used with a table saw or router table to hold the stock securely against the cutting head or blade. Not only does the featherboard hold the board securely, ensuring that cuts and beads are straight and true, but it serves as a safety mechanism to help prevent kickback. Once again, this is a jig that can be manufactured in the woodshop in a matter of a few minutes at a fraction of the cost of commercial featherboards. Learn how to build your own featherboards in these step-by-step instructions.

4. Table Saw Jointer Jig

Table Saw Jointer Jig
(c) 2009 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The jointer is a tool that is designed to provide a smooth, flat edge on one long edge of a board. From this straight edge, you can then create a parallel edge on the opposite side with your table saw. In most cases, though, you don't need an expensive jointer to create that flat first edge; instead, you can use a jointer jig on a table saw to create the same flat, smooth edge. Learn how to build a table saw jointer jig in these step-by-step instructions.

5. Band Saw Circle Cutting Jig

Band Saw Circle Cutting Jig
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Woodworking projects such as small, round tables require a perfectly circular piece of stock to be cut for the table top. While one could try to cut such a round shape by hand using a bandsaw or a jigsaw, even the steadiest of hands won't be able to make a perfectly round shape. One of the easiest and most consistent methods for cutting out such a rounded shape is to use a band saw circle cutting jig. With this jig, you'll be able to cut smooth, perfectly rounded shapes every time, in a variety of diameters using your band saw. Learn how to build your own band saw circle cutting jig in these step-by-step instructions.

6. Louver Jig

Louver Jig
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Louvers are ideal for partition doors and window shutters, where you want air to flow through the opening but want to avoid being able to see what is behind the door or window. Louvered doors and window shutters are readily available at the home center, but they're relatively expensive. Why buy, when you can easily build your own using a simple adjustable woodworking jig? In this step-by-step instructional article, learn how to make louvered shutters and doors easily with these step-by-step instructions.

7. Circular Saw Measuring Jig

Circular Saw Measuring Jig
(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Table saws are great around the workshop, but what do you do when you need a straight, accurate cut while away from your shop, such as on a job site? Simple.  Use your circular saw and a clampable straight-edge. Having a circular saw measuring jig will only make the task easier, more accurate and much faster than measuring the cut by hand. Learn how to build a circular saw measuring jig with these woodworking plans.

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