Table Saw Jigs
Table saw’s are great tools to have in any workshop or job site. But are you getting the most out of it? Its probably safe to say that you have done a fair bit of ripping and cross cutting and maybe the odd bevel cut. To really begin to realize the potential of your table saw, you will have to use jigs. All a jig really is, is a tool that you can either easily make or buy that will allow you to perform a certain type of cut on your table saw. Now the great thing is there are dozens of free plans available that enable you to create jigs from scraps of timber and ply that you may have laying around your workshop. If you haven’t the time to make a jig, or prefer something more harder wearing and accurate there are some great jigs available to buy. Lets have a look at the type f table saw jigs that are available.
Cross Cut Sled
having a cross cut sled in your table saw tool kit will let you safely and accurately cut perfectly square angles across your table. Instead of using the fence to run your work piece against, you use a jig than runs in the miter slot. Now making a cross cut sled is something that you can easily make yourself. An excellent tutorial is this one from The Wood Whisperer, Its a very detailed video that gives you all the information you need to make your own cross cut sled, as well as a good method on how to check that it cuts at exactly 90 degrees. Now,If you feel you don’t have time to make your own, because lets face it a lot of us want to spend time making our projects and not making tools , then it may be worth having a look at one of the manufactured cross cut sleds, such as the one from Rockler. There are many on the market, so its worth having a look around to see whats suits your requirements and pocket This sled from Rockler, fits in a standard miter track and is fully adjustable. so you can easily and quickly use it to set angles and know that it will be accurate.
Now the tapering jig, as its name suggests, allows you to cut a tapered piece on your table saw. The most common jig runs against your table saw fence, which is perfectly square to the blade. the jig pivots at one end and can be set at various angles to allow tapers to be cut. Now it is also possible to make a simple jig which is similar to Now just like the cross cut sled, there are versions that you can purchase or make yourself that will run in the miter slot, which again are fully adjustable. Alan Turner over at www.finewoodworking.com has a great video on how to make a simple tapering jig that uses the miter slot where as the following you tube video shows a step by step guide on how to make a tapering jig that runs against the dence
Now you may not know this but table saws are great way to cut tenons. Using either a shop bought or home made tenoning jig allows you to accurately and safely cut tenons. A tenoning jig like this one from Grizzly Grizzly H7583 Tenoning Jig works by running in the miter slot of your table saw. Your piece of timber is clamped to the jig. You then adjust the jig adjust the cut. This should give you the confidence to make an accurate cut without the worry of the piece being kicked back If you don’t have the money to buy a tenoning jig or you simply prefer to do things yourself. An alternative is to make your own jig and there are some really good plans available on the internet. This one by Robert Wang which was featured on www.popularwoodworking.com shows a very simple tenoning jig that slides along the saw fence
When you think of feather boards, you may automatically think of router tables. but used correctly that can really help you make cuts with your table saw. when ripping stock, especially smaller pieces on you saw, it can be possible for the workpiece to move away from the fence. Gord Graff from lumberjocks.com has come up with great design for a simple adjustable featherboard for your saw.
If you don’t have the time and would prefer to simply buy one, this is the sort of thing that is commercially available from your local hardware store. Big Horn 19134 Wood Featherboard
One of the best and simplest jigs you can use with your table saw is a push stick. when you are cutting narrow stock and you don’t want to get your fingers too close to the blade, you use a push stick. And the great thing about them is that they are easy to make, and cheap to buy. some thing like the DeWalt Push Stick can be picked up for under $10. but if you need something quickly then something can be knocked up in probably less than 30 minutes. Head over to woodgears.ca to see how its done.