12 Great Tablesaw Jigs with Jim Heavey – WOOD magazine


hi I’m Jim Heavey from WOOD magazine
fear shop is anything like mine your table saw it takes center stage in this
video we’re going to show you how jigs and fixtures can greatly increase the
accuracy and the versatility of this workhorse well any discussion about a
table saw really should start with some checks and alignments and the first
thing is to make sure that your blade is at 90 degrees to the table to do that I
just use a machinist square and check real quickly to make sure that that’s
the case I can also use a plastic angle like this and tilt the blade at
forty-five to make sure that that stop is set to if either of those stops does
not allow for ninety degrees or 45 check your owner’s manual to see how to adjust
them the second thing is to make sure that your fence is parallel to the blade
one of the easiest ways to do that is just take an adjustable square you can
set it in the groove which is already parallel to the blade and slide the
fence until it just touches the edge of that square and check here and at the
other end to make sure that that alignment is exactly right if it’s not
again check your owners manual the adjustments on this fence are just
behind the edge that will adjust it either way the last thing to do is to
check and make sure that your miter gauge is at 90 degrees to the blade
again with the plastic square slide the miter gauge up and check the alignment
here and here and make sure that we’re at 90 it can also do the same thing at
45 degrees and make that same alignment and once you’ve gotten it correct make
sure that you really now you’re all set to go
I’m gonna use a variety of materials to build these jigs and templates
the first one is MDF for medium density fiberboard it’s a paper-based type
product extremely strong very dense and nice and flat I like to use it on jigs
that will contact or may contact the saw blades because this won’t dull saw
blades the nice part about it is that it’s a great material to use for jigs
the bad part is that it has an awful lot of sawdust that comes when you cut it so
make sure that your vacuum control is set up well second material is multi ply
plywood you may have heard it referred to as Baltic birch or maybe Finnish
birch what’s interesting about this plywood is it’s got 13 plies that make
up this 3/4 inch thickness even good plywood only has 5 these 13 plies and an
awful lot more density they also keep the board really flat with no voids I
really like using this stuff it comes from about quarter of inch up to 3/4 of
an inch the third product is hard Borg or masonite I find it works very well
for jigs especially when I’ve got the toilet bowl bolts underneath that you
have to have something durable to pull up against it’s a great material it’s
available in stores and usually 2 by 4 foot sizes that’s available from eighth
up to about quarter of an inch and the last material is Plexiglas or acrylic I
like using this especially on jigs with routers because you’ll find that you can
see what the bid is doing but on table saws I can put this on the top deck as
kind of a guard and I can see through and see what the blade is doing without
worrying about getting anything in my eyes this is available in eighth of an
inch and up to quarter can find it a lot of glass supply houses and also at the
big-box stores those are the materials I’ve got to use and I what I found is
that I like to take my jigs and templates and and base them around
must-haves and nice-to-haves so the first thing we’re going to start out
with is the must-haves and we’re going to start working on this zero clearance
sensor as a woodworker you’re very familiar
with a throat plate that comes with your table saw these have a fairly big
opening in the center of them which involves a saw blade to cut it either 90
degrees or tilt all the way down to 45 without contacting a plate that’s a good
thing usually you’re doing all of your cutting with the blade set at 90 degrees
which makes this opening too big for the table saw blade the problem there is as
the blade cuts through this what’s going to happen is it’s going to leave chip
out on your high-grade ply woods and also run you more brittle hardwoods so
we want to do is replace this throat plate with what you see in the saw right
now and that’s a zero clearance insert a couple of ways to do that one is to look
at the commercial aftermarket business and you’ll find some of these that are
made for your saw just need to know the manufacturer of your saw this one’s made
out of ultra high molecular weight or UHMW it’s got a splitter in it already
but the material I really like to use for this is this multi ply plywood we
talked about a little bit earlier this is half-inch the same thickness as a
throat plate that you’re replacing and all you do to make these issues your
existing throat plate as a template trace the outlines and cut them on the
table saw and bandsaw and sand them to size slide them into the opening slide
your fence over the top and just crank that spinning blade up and then back
down again the groove that’s cut in there will be exactly the width of the
table saw blade and you’ll get no chip out anymore and it’s a lot safer you
won’t find pieces of material getting stuck between the blade and the saw you
won’t find pieces shoot into the bottom of the table it works really well one of
the problems you’re gonna find though is that when you insert this piece of
plywood that you cut into the table saw to make that first cut it’s not going to
fit down into the saw and that’s because none of these table saw blades go much
deeper than a quarter of an inch into the table they never had to because they
were going through a very thin piece of metal that was already cut for them so a
couple options you can route a groove down the inside to allow a little bit
more clearance so she can get the plate in there and then crank the blade up but
I found it’s a lot easier just replace your 10-inch table saw blade with an
8-inch dado blade do the same operation crank that blade up and down through it
then swap those blades back out to put your 10-inch blade back in there
and you’re set to go make one of these for every cut you’re planning on making
for using different size dado blades make more of these if you’re doing it on
an angle make more still with a magic marker mark them you’ll find you’ll use
them all the time it’s a great way to improve the accuracy of your cut and
keep any that chip out from happening now to provide the leveling for this
plate all you need to do is use the same screws that came from your existing
throat plate although I would suggest that you buy new ones they’re available
at all hardware stores there’s really no need to tap these holes just drill four
holes use an Allen wrench to drive those screws in there until the nibs protrude
from the other side making adjustments there will provide a perfectly flat
plate very much like the throat plate that you had the next must-have is dealing with your
miter gauge now the standard miter gauge that comes with your saw is generally a
little bit too small to do anything with it’s hard to grip on here smaller pieces
are very problematic to cut and most importantly the distance between the
edge of that miter gauge and the blade is so broad that any time that you cut
anything there’s normally chip out on the backside what I’m going to suggest
you do is provide an extension for this this is how I did it here’s a miter
gauge I decided to modify what I did is I used a piece of MDF 3/4 inch MDF and I
cut a slot down the backside that matches up to the holes in your miter
gauge now if your miter gauge doesn’t have holes then drill a couple in there
what I found is that I can insert a toilet bowl bolt through that T slot and
adjusting that onto the back of the fence provides a really great extension
to cut that slot I used either a t slot bit or in this case a keyhole bit now
sometimes a keyhole bit won’t cut quite a wide enough groove to be able to allow
that bowl to stay together so make your first pass in the router table then come
back at it a second time until that bolt slides easily once you’ve tightened
these nuts you can adjust that fence all the way over the top of the blade so
that either cutting at 90 degrees or 45 will be fully supported cutting small
pieces is very easy to do we’ve also designed a small little stop block
they’ll allow you to cut in multiple pieces the same size and as this piece
of MDF wears out just slide it over a little bit to a nice fresh piece and
remember again this is MDF so it’s not going to hurt your saw blades at all
it’s a great add-on to your miter gauge another great add-on a real must-have
for your saw is a sacrificial fence you really do have to protect your fence
when using a dado blade and rabbiting on the table saw you can buy commercial
units but I found that this one made of MDF works just great it’s a couple of
pieces of 3/4 inch MDF spaced out by a few blocks of hardwood this has been
glued and screwed together you know I clamped it to a flat surface so that
after the the clamps are removed this is a perfectly parallel sacrificial fence
I left the screws out of the center part of this because that’s where the saw
blade is going to contact it and the openings in here allow me to take a
couple of clamps like this and attach it to my existing fence real easy way to do
it once you’ve attached it you’re gonna find that after a while the sight of
this is going to be really beat up and all cut up by the dado blades that
you’re using and ultimately you may have to measure between that blade and the
face of that fence to do some operation and it’s really hard with all of those
saw marks in there so the nice part here is that because this is parallel you can
flip it to the clean side make whatever measurement you’re gonna make between
the blade in this fence and once you’ve gotten them flip it back to the dirty
side and re clamp it now another thing is don’t make this fence real tall you
have to make sure that the clamps that you have can slide through the openings
here and attach low enough so that you’re not making this fence just a
little bit tippy you’ll also find that this fence sits flat on the table so
very thin material will glide past the face of this and not slide underneath
the fence like they sometimes do with your existing one lastly make two of
these make one the length of your table saw fence and use that for daily work
but make one a couple of feet longer when this is clamped into place and you
put a piece of plywood on here you’ll have a much bigger area to start that
plywood before you go over the blade then you would have had you been using
your existing fence with just this last little foot this is a great add-on it
works really well and again out of MDF you don’t have to worry about your table
saw blades contacting it because nothing will get hurt now the last of our must-haves is some
kind of an off feed table for your table saw I found it’s really nice especially
with longer or wider material as you’re cutting them they have some place to
support them as they come off the saw and in this case what we’ve done is we
built what’s called a three-in-one work support on this particular one
especially used with the table saw we have a series of ball bearings it allows
for a nice easy glide off the back of the saw there’s a second part of this
three-in-one support it is made with UHMW ultra high molecular weight great
way to position things maybe off a drill press and the last way to hold your work
is with nice broad flat table like this and they all work the same way there are
a series of runners on the bottom that connect this to the basic stand and I
want to show you how that works now are moving the knobs on both sides you can
see the extension this has got a hole in it which of course line up to the three
different tops so swapping these out is really fast making the height elevation
is done on a side with a small little knob and nut that run in at each rack
it’s a great way to very quickly raise this for a table saw or raise it even
higher for a drill press the one thing I will tell you though is that when I cut
this opening on the router table for the T track I was a little bit concerned
about messing up this original piece so I was glad that I made an extension a
little bit longer and cut off that piece so that I can take the router bit and
use this scrap piece to be able to lay out the perfect spot for the extension
it works really well you’ll use this near shop all the time in between those
three pieces you’ll never be without some kind of support and one last tip
when I was gluing these runners to the platform here and the other two I found
out the glue made things kind of loose and they moved all over the place it was
really hard to keep them aligned so I made a couple of brackets little blocks
on both sides that helped me Center this a whole lot easier i clamped those in
place so that when I inverted this to put them on the tops of these runners it
stayed in the same spot when you’re clamping this too you may not have
clamps that are broad enough to be able to clamp each one of
these little runners down to the side all I did was make a couple of calls
like this so clamping it from the outside put pressure on these runners
and really did a great job of gluing this at top
follow these couple little tips when you’re gluing it and it’ll save an awful
lot of frustration well we’ve showed you the must-haves and
now it’s time to move on to the nice-to-haves this first jig is called a
raised panel jig it allows you to raise panels on your table saw without the
need for a router or router table and the construction is fairly
straightforward we’ve used 3/4 inch MDF a larger piece in the bottom and a
vertical piece here to support that board the bar in the front is a clamping
bar it’s got a real slight call or bow to it so it allows a little bit of
pressure to be placed on the center of that panel keeping it a lot more stable
small piece of sandpaper on the face of this that keeps that board a little bit
more stable on the front of this and finally it runs in a runner and then
that runner runs into the track on the right side of the blade the basic plans
for this will tell you how to construct it but the one important part for your
saw is to make sure that the runner fits in your groove and all the grooves are a
little bit different so when you cut one make sure that it fits in that groove
nicely it does not stick in there but does not have any side play in it it’ll
allow this to run a lot smoother the last thing is the gussets that are in
the back of this helped maintain the pressure against the front of this to
keep that face nice and flat but they don’t always guarantee square so make
sure that when you’re doing the glue up here invite some kind of clamping
brackets that will attach to this with clamps that will hold this at square or
90 degrees so that when the glue up is done you’re sure that it’s at a perfect
90 degrees to the table that’s how this jig works let me show you by actually
doing a raised panel now I’ve set the saw up to cut a 2-inch groove all the
way around the face part of this panel that’s how we get started knowing a
raised panel so we’ll do that first so here’s the start of our race panel
you notice the grooves all the way around now it’s time to put the jig in
we’re gonna set the saw blade to an angle and we’re gonna cut all of the
raised panels on this now I’ve assembled this panel good face out and set the
blade at about 15 degrees so what I’m going to do is pass this panel in front
of it and rotate and do all four sides you’ll see how the cut comes out you’ll
have a beautiful raised panel and there you go beautiful raised panel
a little bit of sanding around the edges and you got it what an easy way to do
raised panels on your table saw with this raised panel jig this is a ninety-degree crosscut sled it
allows you to cut material is wide as 16 inches extremely accurately on your
table saw the component parts of this from the plans are fairly universal and
you can make them up to look just like this the key is how you adapt this then
to work on your saw so the first thing we have to do is provide the two runners
that this will run in the grooves on the saws are almost all the same they are
3/8 thick and 3/4 inches wide but they do have some slight variances so make
these runners to fit in your saw so that they don’t bind but at the same time
slide nicely in the grooves so once we’ve got those two I want to attach the
top to those runners now because I cut these a little bit thin I want them
slightly below the opening one of the ways to help make that alignment is by
just using a couple of pennies so I’ll put a couple of pennies in the groove
first like this these will then sit just a little bit higher so now it allows me
to set the top onto these runners the other very important thing is to make
sure that your fence is perfectly aligned with these grooves you don’t
want any variances here because this is how we’re actually going to set this
sled and that’s what’s going to maintain its accuracy I’m going to put a couple
of pieces of double stick tape on here set the top on those runners which will
help Willa fix it and then I’ll mount them permanently with a couple of screws now I’ve attached the runners to the
sled the idea now is to raise the saw blade and make one cut from the back all
the way through to the front now that I’ve got that saw line through
the base of this jig I’m going to measure four inches over from the end of
that kerf and put a small mark at the bottom of this jig and then extend that
line of the backside that’s going to help me space this spacer block now to
finish this jig up we’re just going to apply this tape measure this has a
self-adhesive backing I’ll pull the backer off to adhere it and then the
last thing is to put in this small piece of acrylic I’ve scored a line on there
that I’ve kind of made a little cursor with that adjust to the block at now
that four inch mark and in a minute you’re gonna see how to use this jig you
got a nice wide piece of material this is a glue up we did a little bit earlier
and it’s fairly broad you know how tough it is to try and square up one edge of
this before you cut a whole bunch of pieces to size well it’s real easy with
this kind of a jig what I’m gonna do first
is slide this in and square off one edge and then let’s just say we want 18-inch
long pieces I’ll adjust the cursor 18 I just slide them up and I can cut dozens
of them exactly the same and perfectly square now here is a board with nice perfect
90-degree corners much much easier to do than trying to do it on your miter gauge
or maybe even up against your fence this is a great chick now on to my favorite jig and that’s the
taper jig not only because of its simplicity it does great great tapers
but it also does four-sided tapers which can be a little bit tough with your
standard tapering jig we’ll talk about that in a second
generally when you use one of these taper jigs they all work about the same
you slide the fence up to the blades so that the jig just fits between the fence
and the blade anything clamped to the outside of that when it’s cut off
provides that taper now let’s talk a little bit about the construction here
this is relatively straightforward the bottom is a piece of 3/4 inch multiply
plywood the top is a quarter inch hard board to put the t-slots in there all
we’ll do is put a 5/8 dado blade set 3/16 of an inch above the table and cut
dedos in that plywood board in this space is specified once we’ve cut all of
those we’re gonna glue this piece of quarter-inch hard board at the top of it
once that’s glued switch your 5/8 dado blade to a quarter-inch dado blade and
now provide centered cuts over the top now that gives you the T slots you
either use toilet bowl bolts or regular hex head bolts quarter-twenty through
those slots and that’s what holds these hold downs in place now a couple little
tips when you’re doing this when you glue this piece of hardboard to the top
of the plywood make sure you clamp it to a known flat surface by doing that you
assure a nice flat glue up when you’re done if you don’t have clamps long
enough to bridge this I suggest making a series of calls these can be placed
across the top edge here they have a slight little arch on the bottom of them
and when you clamp down you’ll put a little bit more pressure over the entire
globe the second thing is while the glue up is
happening my suggestion is cut some small thin strips and slide them in and
out of those slots that way you’ll clear any of the glue up that may be dripping
on the inside makes it a whole lot easier later to be able to put those
bolts in there once you’ve done that it’s now time to make these little stop
blocks you’ll notice in here that they’re also 3/4 inch plywood and they
have a small quarter inch grooved on the bottom that rides in the dado slot that
you put in great way to hold something together now one of the things I found
when I put these together the bolt that’s going through there is
quarter-twenty the piece that’s in here this small little shim that’s in here is
so quarter of an inch and when using the drill press and drilling a hole through
there you have a real good chance of blowing the sides of that out so what I
did is I created a small little female block so I cut a quarter inch dado in
there when that goes through the center it holds that piece in line so that when
the drill bit goes through there it won’t get a chance to blow out that
small piece of quarter-inch shim that’s in the bottom actually works really well
these then right in the slots each of them rides on that quarter 20 bolt and
provide some great hold down power throughout the length of this jig now it
may be a little bit easier as we talk about this jig to actually show you a
taper so what I’m going to do is show you a four-sided leg taper when you
think about it cutting two sides of a leg is real easy so you’re cutting one
edge and flipping the jig and cutting a second one but when you cut a four-sided
taper the third cut and the fourth cut result in the taper being next to the
hole downs and there’s nothing to grip it to sometimes you have to use a shim
to hold it the beauty of this jig is at this end we have a small little pivot
block and this pivot block has a quarter twenty bolt coming out of it that will
help index the end of that leg I’ll show you how this works it couldn’t be easier
I made up a small leg here which I’d like to consider is a little table like
what we’ve got at the top is a four inch shoulder I’d like this to be the part
that’s not tapered and it’s going to taper down the length of each one of
these sides about a quarter of an inch so to do that I’ve marked the edges on
each edge about a quarter of an inch in you’ll also notice that I put a hole in
the center of this by doing cross lines and then drilling a quarter inch hole
it’s this hole it’s going to index into this small little screw at the end
of our pivot block now the pivot block is going to adjust up or down or in or
out so that what you’ll get out of that is this little line laid out exactly on
the quarter inch mark these that are held in place at the top edge by our
clamps like this so as I run this past the table saw blade this is the part
that is not going to be cut and slowly but surely it’ll taper down to that cut
and because it’s indexing against this little hole at this end what I’m going
to do is pull it off flip it and put it in again and even after I start working
into the tapers it’s still going to be indexed off this same edge there’s one
more thing I want to add when you look at a table leg you want to make sure
that the tapers on all of these are always ending up on the same floor sides
so to do that each one of these blocks is adjusted so that it always indexes in
the same spot but what makes it really nice on this jig is this small little
quarter inch nut it’s a little nylon nut once I’ve adjusted this block right up
against the edge of the shoulder so I know it’s always going to be in the same
place all I do is take a wrench and tighten down that nut so even after I’ve
loosened the clamp this stop is not going to move allows me each time to be
able to slide that piece in and taper it I’ll get a perfect line across the top
and I’ll get a beautiful taper down the side here’s how it’s done now what you’ll notice here is that as
we flip this leg the second and the third and the fourth time a taper began
to show up against the bottom edge and because of this pivot block we wouldn’t
have had any other way to clamp that but the pivot block holds it in that same
position so on each side that taper is maintained if you look on the inside
edge of this you’ll notice it in this particular spot the clamp itself in the
back side here is only holding it down but the little stop block has already
lost its function because the taper is moving away the top block because of
that little lock washer that little lock nut on the top is holding it up against
that shoulder so that every cut is exactly the same this is a great way to
do a four-sided taper and a great jig to do it on and one more thing if you’re
doing a table with four legs you have 16 setups to make if you were trying to do
it with a standard taper jig with this once the pivot block and the stop block
is set at the top all 16 of those go very quickly now can I give you one more
tip in most cases the joinery between the top of this leg and the table is
going to be through some kind of a mortise or maybe even a biscuit do
yourself a favor and put that mortise in or put the biscuit slots in before you
do the taper otherwise you really won’t enjoy the experience at the drill press
or on your mortising table now I told you this was a versatile jig here’s
another thing it can do I found a piece of pretty wild edge stock here in the
shop and I thought what I do is show you how this will also operate as a jointer
what I’m gonna do is clamp this board as you see just so that a little bit of
this edge of the board hangs over the outside edge I’ve slid my clamps up I
removed that pivot block in the front and move these clamps to a more
appropriate spot i clamped this down I’m still going to
adjust the fence to the table saw blade like we did before when I run the jig
through there it’s gonna create a perfect jointed edge on that board by
using a taper jig here’s how you do it now here is our jointed edge beautiful
flat straight jointed edge on a taper jig what a great jag all in all
you’ll probably won’t find a nicer jig I guess that’s why it’s my favorite mortise and tenon joinery has always
been the hallmark in quality furniture making it’s strong and it’s invisible
and I’ve got a couple of jigs here that will make you an expert in no time now a
couple of things to think about first I would suggest that you follow the 1/3
rule whenever you’re making mortises and Tenon’s I would suggest that the Tenon’s
themselves are the width of the mortises be one-third to thickness of this dock
so on 3/4 inch material we’re talking about a quarter-inch tenon the second
thing is make sure that you mill all of your stock evenly before you start and
the third thing is do all of your mortising first it’s much easier to
create a tenon to fit the mortise than it is the reverse now let me show you
these jigs one at a time the first one is cutting the shoulders on this
particular piece and the second one will be cutting the cheeks let’s do the
shoulder cutting one first the first of these two jigs as a shoulder cutting jig
this is a very easy jig to build it’s made for your particular saw so we have
here first is an adjustment with a couple of screws through the back that
attached this jig to the fence you’ll see a support block sticking out of the
backside of this in the front we have a stop block that allows me to adjust the
length of the tenon and finally a small little shelf that’s put over the top of
the base that’ll keep any fall-off and getting stuck on the saw what I did with
this is following the rule of thirds I’m going to take my piece of stock and
first I’m going to set my tenon length to inch and three-eighths I just thought
that was a nice length and the second thing I’m going to do is set my blade
about a quarter of an inch above that base plate so that I’m doing is creating
a quarter shoulder on one side a quarter shoulder on the other side which leaves
a full quarter inch tenon behind so the idea is this is going to slide up
against the stop block and I’m going to run it over the blade and flip it four
times to cut a perfect even shoulder all the way around here’s how you do it the shoulder cuts are done nice clean
and sharp all thanks to that really nice shoulder cutting jig we used it’s now
time to cut the cheeks so we have to remove the material all the way around
to do that there’s a few different ways the first is using a dado blade on your
table saw a lot of woodworkers do that second is to go to a bandsaw cut the
cheeks on the bandsaw that leaves slight ripple lines much like the dado blade
does that you have to sand out the third way to do it brings us to the second one
of our jigs and this is the cheap cutting jig it’s a beauty I want to show
you a few things about it first and then we’ll actually cut the cheeks on this
jig this is made to fit your saw in this case what we’ve done is we’ve made the
two outside pieces of wood here match exactly around your existing fence it
needs to be nice and tight and it needs to sit flat on the tabletop and we put a
top over there to hold it the second thing is we’ve attached this face along
the front of it and added a couple of small gussets on the back to hold at
ninety-degree and again make sure that it’s at a perfect 90 degree when you set
this up and the last thing we’ve done is that a clamping block to the backside
the way that this jig works is I align it up against the blade and I put my
piece of material on this face we then use this little toggle clamp to hold it
this is passed over the blade and the cheeks are cut on both ends and then
turned around and cut on both faces it’s a real easy extremely stable jig I think
you’re gonna like the way this works now in actual practice what you’d be
doing you should be cutting this tenon and and slowly getting it narrower or
narrower until it finally fits the mortise that you pre-drill in all of
your pieces and once you get this to where the width that you want and it
fits nicely because it’s once it’s set you can cut all your tenants at the same
time so spend a little bit of time getting this to fit exactly right by
moving your jig just a little bit and once you’ve gotten it you’ll have a
perfect setting for all the Tenon’s into all of the mortises you’ve created aren’t these a nice set of boxes and
isn’t this a good-looking frame one of the things you’re going to notice on all
of these is that we’ve done a little corner treatment and we did it because
the joints and these our miter joints and by design miter joints are just not
that strong so we’ve done is we’ve inserted a spline
in each one of those corners it’s really gonna beef up that corner but it’s also
going to add some decorative beauty there’s two very simple jigs that we’ve
used to do it and I’ll show you how to do it actually we’ll cut a corner and
show you how it’s done now this spline jig is a height to
frugality this is a found 2×4 I mean you can pick these up almost anywhere and a
small piece of quarter-inch hard board all i’ve done in that is cut a V in the
front of it and to do that set your table saw blade at 45 and on your miter
gauge run one pass on one side flip it to the other side and cut it again and
that creates the V on the bottom side I’m going to set this so that my cut
line from the table saw blade is 3/8 of an inch from the edge of that cut line
to the back of this hardboard that way with most 3/4 inch material I’m putting
that spline right down the middle now you can vary these depending upon
what your interests are but I’m gonna start with it this way here’s how this
works we’re just going to run on the table saw blade and cut a corner through
a frame you’ll see how well it works and here is a beautifully cut spline
board now you just saw the jig that cut a groove for that spline down the center
of the frame very nice very decorative very
supportive same type of operation was done here but after we placed the
splines in them we actually cut down the sides of the
box on an angle changes a whole look of things lastly if you want to build a
more supportive a little bit more beefier type jig like this one and angle
your table saw blade at 15 degrees by doing that and running a box like this
through it what we found is that you’re putting kind of like a diamond shape on
these it’s a really nice look yeah it’s just as much support but a little bit
more flesh to it there’s a lot of ideas here you can let your creativity kind of
flow all these things have one thing in common what we did is we cut the grooves
in here we still have to cut the splines to go in them I’ve got a great jig to
show you how to do there now the grooves that I’m trying to fit
in here is an eighth of an inch that’s normally because I like to use an eighth
of an inch saw blade when I do it this is the material I was thinking about
using it’s a piece of walnut and the color contrasts to look pretty nice so
the idea is to try and cut 1/8 thin strip of this and make sure that it’s
perfect so it fits real nicely in that groove that when you sand it off will
look real clean like it does here a couple different ways to do that the
first is you can actually slide your fence up to within 1/8 of the saw blade
and make a cut like that I’m not real fond of that there’s no real way to get
a push stick in there to be able to push that piece through you certainly can’t
hope that it will go through by pushing on the opposite side the second way to
do it is use a scrap block of wood like this with a small foot on one end take
your fence and slide it over to where that piece of scrap just touches the saw
blade and in effect now that becomes your new 0 so on the fence in the back I
can look and see whatever that that that number is if I want to cut an 8 inch
piece by looking at the fence and moving that 1/8 of an inch
I will now expose an edge that’s an eighth of an inch away from the blade
and by putting my piece of wood in here pass it forward and cut that off it does
work one of the problems is is that piece passes through the blade there’s
no way to hold it in the back and that little vibration on there can leave some
saw marks which may be tough to get off the third way to do this in the what
with the one I would kind of suggest is with what’s called a thin strip ripping
gauge now we’ve had this around for a while and it works just great the jist
of it is I have a small little ruler underneath this piece of plexiglass and
a screw at the other end what I’m going to do is I’m going to set this in the
slot I’m going to adjust my cursor to match zero on that gauge in this little
brass school I’m going to turn it in or back it off until it just touches a left
facing tooth on my saw blade so when this is set at zero I know that the edge
of this screw is exactly where that saw blade is going to cut it now if I want
to cut an eighth of an inch piece of material all I need to do is move
that cursor 1/8 of an inch so what I’ve done now is I’ve moved this screw head
1/8 of an inch away from the saw blade here’s the material that I want to cut
using my fence as a gauge I’m going to slide that until that piece of wood just
touches that exposed screw head and now what I’ve got is a piece of wood that
will have 1/8 inch left after I make the cut
it’s a great way to do it me run it through and I’ll show you what I’m
talking about and here is my eighth inch piece of wood
it’s also another way to add a decorative piece of wood to cover that
piece of plywood edge that exposed plywood edge and a cabinets you’re
working on one of the nice parts about this is that all you’re going to do is
run your material up against the edge and the cut off piece becomes the part
that you glue to the end of the plywood it’s a perfect way to disguise it if you
try and make one of these jigs to cut a thin strip off and you’re planning on
covering an 8-foot long piece of plywood on the edge this block has to be eight
feet long in this case by using a thin strip ripping gauge it works just great this is a piece of crown molding you’ve
probably seen this at a lot of the home improvement stores and what’s nice about
crown molding is this very gentle little coal fat both the top and the bottom of
the molding these are normally done at big factories with molding machines but
I’ll bet you’d be surprised to find out that you can do that on your table saw
it’s a very easy process and all you really need is a couple of pieces of
scrap wood this is the jig that I’ve made for this at one end of this I put a
small hinge the backside extends like this with one edge being attached to the
fence the other side going diagonally across the top of the blade and this
swing arm helps provide a permanent attachment for that arm all we’re going
to do is take a piece of material and run a diagonally over that blade and
going diagonally we’re gonna begin to create that cove now I’ll show you that
cut in just a second but I want to give you a couple little tips first the first
is whenever you’re set up for a job like this make sure that you use a piece of
scrap for the same thickness and width to kind of determine where that Cove is
going to go and you can make adjustments in there the second thing is whenever
you’re planning on doing any kind of custom trim make sure that you make more
than enough trim you’re gonna find that you’ll never be able to recreate that
trim if you go back and fix a mistake so make it as long as you can allow plenty
of room for excess and the third thing is as you’re cutting these make the most
minor of height adjustments every time you raise that blade you only want a
very slight increase because the smoothness of that cut depends on how
little you’re taking off at each time may seem a little bit more involved and
take a little bit more time but you’ll really save time in the sanding aspect
later so here’s how we do this now this may not be the cleanest of
operations even with the best of vacuum control but you’ll find that putting a
cove on a board like this really opens up the possibilities of creating custom
molding for your projects or for your home it’s a great jig easy to put
together and easy to use now I know that this may look like a lack of
organizational skills but it actually represents all the jigs we’ve shown you
in this video and you’ll find even more jigs in wood magazine in addition to
those jigs and the ones that you’ve seen here I’m sure you can create jigs of
your own to help you in your workshop you’re gonna find like we have that the
addition of a few jigs can greatly increase the accuracy and the
versatility of your table saw hopefully this will give you the enthusiasm to get
back into that shop and work on that project you’ve been holding off on

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Reader Comments

  1. heiiRabln

    The crosscut jig looks pretty good, especially with that perspex for safety! Is there a way as an european to download the plan? It seems like the website has a geo-filter.. :/

  2. Meticularius

    5/13/2019 USA Grandpa Bill: Jim, This is the tightest, best organized and articulated video I have seen among the YouTube videos describing processes. In 1965-66 I worked in a radio station as a newsman and announcer. Your voice, manners, and stability are outstanding and make you a consummate professional. Thank you to you and Wood Magazine for this performance.

  3. Nathan Johnson

    Man I liked this video! So many awesome jigs. I am humbled by your knowledge sir. Big Thank You!
    I'm 37, and this really took me back 20 years or so to shop class.
    Our shop teacher was such a good man, and taught us so much.
    Definitely having some strong feelings about wanting to get back into wood working after this video.
    Thanks again ! From Edmonton Alberta

  4. De Leeuw Verstappen

    Dear Jim and WOOD Magazine, I live in Belgium and am fascinated by your super jigs. How can I download the plans? Neither link to login to download or subscribe seem to function. I always get a 404 error.
    Kind regards, Gunter

  5. weldabar

    I completely disagree with which jigs are must-have vs nice-to-have. But I'm glad you showed them all to us so we can make the ones we find useful.

  6. Andy Bennett

    Great jigs. I'm surprised and concerned that you would publish a video of a table saw being used without a splitter or riving knife. The use of splitters has revolutionized table-saw safety. They are so widely available as after-market add-ons or as shop build that there is no excuse for not using them. WOOD magazine should lead the way in promoting the safest practices.

  7. Siegfried Becker

    Love the video. Very Helpful. However, I am surprised to hear somebody from Wood Magazin refer to MDF as being a paper based product. Wow.

  8. Nagamendo

    What a great video! These jigs are phantastic and so well explained. I will shurely do some for my table saw. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Greetings from Switzerland

  9. The Devil In The Circuit

    @4:55, instead of cutting a zero-clearance throat plate on the band saw, use double-stick tape to mate the factory throat plate to your plywood and use a pattern bit in your router to cut the plywood. The factory plate is your pattern. Also, @42:16 (cove cutting jig), flip the brace so the wild end lays over the top of the saw's fence; the brace is now out of your way. Cheers!

  10. TheMozzaok

    Orse, Orse, Pass The Sauce. Top notch instructional video, I feel smarter and more useful just by watching it. Thanks from Australia, Mr Jim H, a truly awesome vid, which almost makes me wish I still had access to joinery shops. When I did we were just pumping out basic stuff most of the time, and I could not wait to get out of the joint and back on site. If I had been left to play around making artfully designed furniture, instead of utilitarian shopfitting cabinetry and windows and doors and stuff, I may have liked workshops more.

  11. Glyn Jones

    What an amazing video! So many solutions described in such a short space of time, very precise and expertly delivered. This was an absolute joy to watch. Thank you for making and sharing this video 💎

  12. Beckie Eastham-Buckley

    WOW – I’m in love! I can’t believe all the stuff I can make just using a table saw. I’m making loads of these jigs. Great video, best I’ve seen in a long time. You’ve a new subscriber!

  13. luap ynneb

    I'm a new person to all this with a new but basic 250/10" table saw(ParkerBrand PTS-250 High Power Table Saw)
    What blade is on that saw you are using ?

    My saw came with a 24 tooth blade, can you advise as to what blade (ie 24/40/48/60 ect ect) would be the best all round to make these jigs and then to use with them ?
    I understand one blade will not suit all situations, but if you only had one blade, which would you use ?
    Fantastic video by the way.

    Thx Paul (UK)

  14. Pedro Arellano

    Click on the minute mark to go straight to the spot in the video. Wish they would have done this themselves. I knew I'd be back to this video several times. I figured it could be useful for others also.
    Before You Start Making Jigs
    0:30 1. Assure the blade is at 90 degrees to the table
    0:51 2. Assure the fence is parallel to the blade
    1:20 3. Assure the miter is square

    1:45 Types of materials to use

    Must-Have Jigs
    3:36 Zero clearance insert
    6:36 Miter gauge extension and precision stop
    8:19 Auxillary rip fence, aka sacrificial fence
    10:30 Off-feed table

    Nice-To-Have Jigs
    13:00 Raised Panel (for cabinet doors, etc.)
    16:30 Ninety-degree crosscut sled
    20:50 Four-sided tapering
    29:30 Tenons
    34:30 Spline-cutting (for the corners of boxes and frames)
    37:00, suggested one at 38:30 Thin-strip ripping (to fill the splines from the previous jig)
    40:35 cove-cutting (create crown mouldings)

  15. Jeph629

    @21:23 Where'd the aluminum parts to the hold-downs come from? or From what are they fashioned? Excellent vid! (BTW @42:45, fingers awfully close to moving blade!! I don't touch the wood from a recent cut until the blade has stopped.)

  16. R-Butler

    Jim I'm an amateur working out of my garage in Auckland, New Zealand. I have learned more off your video in 40 minutes than I have in 10 years. Thank you for making this excellent video. As we've been known to say in New Zealand parlance – Bloody Ripper!

  17. Frank Kirschner

    How do you bring the saw blade up through a zero-clearance insert at a 40 degree angle? The motion of the blade isn't in the plane of the blade. I can't figure out how to make the cut. What's your secret?

    Thanks, and thanks for this helpful video.

  18. Mark Foreman

    Jim one very very important setting to check is to make sure the blade is parallel to the groves cut in the table saw top. I bought a brand new Grizzly table saw and could not figure out why this saw wasn't cutting square cross cuts and seemed to be binding. It turned out the blade was over 1/8" out of parallel to the groves in the top and that is just from the front of the blade to the back of the blade. It was so bad I didn't have enough adjustment to correct it. It was also years later that I found this out and had no warranty and had to take it apart and get the pieces machined to correct the problem. It is an advanced setting but one that can and should be checked when even you get a new saw.

  19. brian bell

    Every time he finishes a segment he has a signature little mustache grin as if to say, "Yeah… that just happened" Love it. Loved the video. Love the magazine. I've been putting around my garage for the past few years. I need to take my stuff to the next level.

  20. John Jacob JinglehimerSchmidt

    Well how do you make the zero clearance plate for a 45 degree cut? Won't you get a humongous slot trying to drive that blade up through the plate?

  21. Ron B

    On the raised panel jig, one of the demo cuts was made with the bottom of the jig raised fractionally above the saw table top – the panel was clamped too far down – and so the panel was not vertical to the saw table. On another cut the panel was clearly not clamped vertically – that clamp plus sandpaper is not adequate for good results.

  22. Cecil x

    Why does the adjustment brace for the last jig extend over the work area rather than over the fence? Also, you state that this operation is not repeatable, and therefore one should make extra. If the jig had a stop cleat on the leading edge, so it could be located the same every time, and the adjustment brace were marked, and the distance of the fence from the blade were measured and tracked, this would be repeatable.

  23. John Thompson

    On cove cutting jig, installing the adjustment bar the opposite direction (going over fence) will keep you from having to swap push blocks over the bar during cut.

  24. Gregory Halye

    On that last jig, the cove cutting jig. You built it wrong, my friend!

    That brace that goes across the other two parts should have the very end permanently attached to the slanted fence, while the other end should be adjustable and be able to hang over the fence of the table saw. This would allow the operator to smoothly feed the work over the saw blade without having to dance around that overhanging brace!

    My only other nit to pick is that you did not touch on personal safety equipment at the start. Eye protection, hearing protection, and shop made push sticks are all essential must-haves. Push sticks and handling tools are also great tools or jigs that anybody can make with a little time and a small investment in materials.

    Great video overall! Take care out there!

  25. Trevor Howard

    After 11 minutes of video tips I decided to subscribe. Jim Heavey is not your usual shouty, condescending knowall trying to show how knowledgeable he is, whilst bombarding me with electronic "music" or cacophonous heavy rock. Sensible and affordable ideas. So far, so good.

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