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Woodworking Jigs - Why? How to Build?

Sep 1, 2008
Woodworking equipment and hand tools need jigs and fixtures to achieve their full potential. A table saw can cut up wood adequately but tenon making necessitates a fixture. Drilling holes in line on the drill press demans a fence. You can Bandsaw circles free hand. If you want two of them the same diameter, you'll need a jig.

Hand tools are just as reliant on jigs. A corner chisel needs a guide to chisel a square mortise corner. Most cutting tools require assistance to achieve their chosen task. Routers are the worst-case situation - they are purely needy and dependent on support.

You might think that the key to getting control of the router is difficult. Instinctively, you would think a spinning tool enclosed in a metal case is not good for jigs and fixtures, but it is.

Commercial jigs are available, as some experts suggest. Can you make your own? If done correctly, they are better than most commercial jigs and cost a lot less. You can make better the jig after building your first one. As this evolution continues, your work improves. Often, you find more uses for the same jig.

The point is jigs aid you to become a quality woodworker. Besides, your skills will increase as you make woodworking jigs!

A good woodworking jig allows quick set-ups, and efficient cuttings. With a better-quality jig, few mistakes are possible and not much skill is necessary for good results. Can you ask for more?

Some jigs take time to make. Once finished, you can use them repeatedly over a period of years. This is an excellent reason to use first-rate materials and take your time to align the pieces.

Let's discuss a couple of the woodworking jigs that you can make. These jigs are superior to Commercial Jigs.

Mortise Jig

Why bother with a mortise jig? The mortise and tenon is the best joint for furniture. The joint resists tension and twist, and work great in compression and shear. In addition, registration of your joint is perfect.

Some people use hand chisels or a drill press with hollow square chisels. For the most precise and repeatable mortises, you should consider a mortise jig. For a perfect fit, you want the tenon to fit the mortise exactly.

The Mortise Jig gives excellent results without compromising quality. The mortise and tenon joint will last for a lifetime. You can make mortises of nearly any length, width or depth. Moreover, they are repeatable for multiple cuts.

How does the mortise jig work?
The beauty of this system is simplicity.
The set up is quick.
The cuttings are efficient.
It supports the workpiece in all directions.
It locks in the router to remove only the mortise needed.
It is repeatable for several pieces, such as multiple drawers' cavities on each side of a desk.
It makes the joint uniform and strong.

Tenon Jig

A Tenon Jig is easy to make. It provides precise four-faced tenons of nearly any length and width. It has fewer parts than the Mortise Jig, yet is just as precise.

With a Tenon Jig, the cutting results are excellent, the process fast, and guaranteed safety. All that you need is a little patience to make a Tenon Jig. Along with the Mortise Jig, you can instantly have a mortise and tenon joint that fits snugly and aligns correctly.

Using these two woodworking jigs, you can craft precise mortise and tenon joints in less time than any other method. You get accurate alignment for both parts. Can you ask for more?

You can build many woodworking jigs. Examples: Baby Crib Spindles Jig, Circle Cutting Jig, Edge Guides, Inlay Jig & Templates, Lapping Jig, Notching Jig, and Router Insert Plate Jig & Template, just to name a few.

You will gain confidence with making jigs. It gives you more flexibility with your projects. With a little practice, you can't go wrong!

Have fun making Great Woodworking Jigs with safety in mind!

For more information on Woodworking Jigs, including pictures and tips, please visit http://www.provenwoodworking.com/woodworking-jigs.html
About the Author
Jim is a woodworker with over 36 years of experience. He helps many woodworkers increase their skills with techniques, tips, plans, and jigs. Helping woodworkers is Jim's expertise. Visit his Specialty Site for loads of Proven Tips & Techniques.
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