Jigs are accessories that make the woodworking task at hand easier. There are many kinds of jigs that make using a tool faster, easier and safer. For example, a jig to make ‘dovetails’ will help you to do the job much faster using your hand tools.
There are many kinds of jigs that can be purchased ready made. But it is useful to get familiar with making them yourself because they can be made to use any particular movement. For example, if you have to cut out round shapes from a board for a particular size, you can make that yourself. If you want to drill holes for a particular depth, you can make a jig for that as well.
Jigs help you get uniform results every time that you have to repeat a certain process numerous times. Every woodworking project can have a different requirement. So making your own jigs is definitely useful. Usually the scrap wood you have lying around will serve admirably for the purpose.
In this post we will look at some commonly used and popular woodworking jigs.
Push sticks are an amazingly simple jig that you can make and a superbly useful one.
Push sticks are what you use to feed the wood into a saw specially when nearing the edge of the board. Push sticks take the board completely through the blade without getting your hands dangerously close to the running tool.
Using two push sticks simultaneously lets you push as well as press the wood against the fence so that the cut remains accurate.
A push stick is simply a curved piece of wood that allows you to hold it comfortably from one end, while the other end has a groove that fits over the edge of the board.
We recommend a curved shape of a convenient hold and easy manoeuvrability. Rounding off the ends also feel better in hand.
You will need a band saw or a jigsaw to make the curved shape, and a router or a sander to make the rounded ends.
Make as many of these as required, for each of your stationary saws and other tools that require them.
A Feather board
A feather board is an interesting jig to look at and to operate. It is used to press a wood against a fence as well as the table during cutting to prevent a kick back, and the wood coming back at you.
Feather boards get their name from their design. Grooves are cut into one side to give it a feather like appearance and function. You can best understand this by looking at a picture of a feather board. Just do a image search inane search engine.
The feather board is pressed against the wood being cut just hard enough to make its ‘fingers’ bend when you push the wood through the saw.
Like the push sticks, make or buy a few of these as per the number of machines you have. Get complete instructions here.
Circular Saw Straight Edge
You know perfectly well that circular saws are fast and convenient in many situations. The disadvantage is that its difficult to get an accurate and straight cut with them.
The solution? A jig for the circular saw. This jig is extremely simple to make and just as useful. You can easily find the instructions to make this jig online.
Table Saw Panel Cutter
This is a very easy jig to make and one that you will use a lot. It allows you to cut square boards and panels in quick time. This is super useful if you are going to be building tables and cabinets.
Sacrificial Table Saw Fence
When you need to use the fence of a table saw right next to the blade, there are chances of damaging the fence itself. You do not want this happening. A good fence is expensive to replace.
Instead make a very simple jig. If any damage is to occur, the in-expensive and replaceable jig will get damaged and not the fence. Get instructions to make this jig here.
Extra Large Sanding Table
A fixed sanding machine is great if you want to do some hard core shaping of wood. What will be of a great help is an extra large sanding table. You can learn how to make one here.
If you are into cabinet building, making tables and bookcases, the odds are that you need to cut and join a lot of 90 degree right angles. Squaring blocks make this work very easy and give you perfect right angles every times. Even the slightest possibility of error during gluing and joining is mitigated. You can find the exact method of making squaring blocks here.
You can find a lot more jigs specific to your need online and in woodworking magazines.