Jigs are extremely useful in the shop and in my opinion they’re kind of like clamps… you can never have too many. I make a router jig and a new taper jig in this project. Keep reading to find out how to make both…

It’s funny how one project can stem another project which can then stem another and another and another, well you get the point. This all started with my Outfeed Assembly Table (click here to see that project). Once I finished the Outfeed Assembly Table I needed to add the t-tracks and miter tracks for the router area. I went through he motions of trying to figure out the best method to route the slots for the tracks and ultimately came up with a guide or template for the router to “ride” in. The first step in figuring this out was to measure the width of my router base, which in my case is seven inches. So, I reached for the longest pieces of scrap wood I had in the shop, which happened to be plywood from the table I just made. These pieces are what the router would ride against and ideally would be longer than what you need to route. Next, I cut a couple of pieces of plywood exactly seven inches, the width of my router base, and to go between the two long pieces at each end. All of these pieces will lay flat on the surface that you’re routing. The last couple of pieces of scrap wood that you’ll need doesn’t have to be any certain size, you’ll just need them to attach the small pieces (seven inch pieces) to the larger pieces much like a strap (see image).

router base router jig router jig setup

I mentioned in the video that you can get creative and add t-tracks into the jig itself to make it more permanent, but I just used clamps and screws. The purpose of the clamp that you see in the image is to hold the long pieces against the seven inch piece securely while the “strap” piece is attached with screws. After the screws are in place the clamp can be removed. Now, if you were to install t-tracks into the long pieces and drill a hole in the “strap” to accept a t-bolt with star knob you wouldn’t need the clamp or the screws, but you would have to attach the seven inch pieces to the straps either with screws, glue or some other method.

To use the jig is simple, just start by placing the router in the jig and centering it over the work area to be routed. Lower the router bit close to the work surface and make sure the router bit cutter edge will only route the desired area. Do this by first unplugging the router and then turning the bit in every direction to verify the area that will be cut away. You’ll want to line up the edges as well as the stopping point. Once you have the router set in place clamp the jig down on that side. Move down to the other end and do the same thing, but on this end you might have to adjust the seven inch piece to the desired stopping point. Make sure that the edges are lined up properly and clamp the jig down on this end as well. Before you start routing your work piece, verify that you’re still centered on both ends by sliding the router from one end to the other checking for accuracy. *Note: it might help the router slide easier by rubbing paste wax on the inside edges of the jig where the router contacts the wood. Depending on the depth of the cut, you might want to take several shallow passes to be sure not to burn the work piece or put stress on the router and bit. In my case I had to be very careful not to hit any screws as I was routing slots into my table top where I had previously installed a support grid on the under side which was installed using screws. So, be careful and know what’s in the wood that you’re working with. I have a small metal detector that I keep in the shop for this very reason. i.e… much like a wand that security would scan you with before entering a building. (Like this)

Tools and materials used in making these jigs:

T-track: http://amzn.to/2pcK7HS

Miter track: http://amzn.to/2p9H1n5

Dovetail clamps: http://amzn.to/2rzq63f

Dovetail router bit: http://amzn.to/2r6dkYy

Table saw: http://amzn.to/2nASQps

circular saw (alternative to the table saw): http://amzn.to/2nj39MQ

Tape measure: http://amzn.to/2nVlZg4

Drills: http://amzn.to/2nj2KKb

Counter sink bits: http://amzn.to/2nVkm21

Sander: http://amzn.to/2n4qIH7

Router: http://amzn.to/2q3poGW

Router bits: http://amzn.to/2robwuX

more tools… http://www.stoneandsons.net/tools

Once I made the router jig and got the t-tracks and miter tracks installed in my router table setup, I had to try it out. So, I made a new taper jig, plus I had a couple of the dovetail clamps that I really wanted to try out as well. This was the first time using my new router table setup in the new Outfeed Assembly Table and I must say that I can’t ever see myself not having a setup like this. It is so useful and convenient that I will always have some sort of router table in my shop. I recommend working a router table into your shop somehow if you don’t already have one. Getting back to the taper jig, I used a dovetail router bit (linked above) to route the dovetail slots into the taper jig at various measurements along the board. To accept the dovetail clamps, the slots have to be 3/8″ deep, 1/2″ wide tail with a 14 degree angle. This sounds pretty particular, but I already had a 1/2″ dovetail bit in my small collection of router bits, so it’s likely you do, too. Once you have the router bit at the appropriate height and the router fence set at the desired distance you can start routing the dovetail slots (be safe, I recommend using push blocks). Make a pass with the jig board and then turn the board 180 degrees and route another slot before moving the fence. Do this until you have all the desired slots cut. I also added a stop block to the end of my jig, which needs to be redesigned. With the current stop block in place I’m limited to the length of board I can taper. A better solution would be to have a t-track and adjustable stop block instead of the fixed piece.
Dovetail clamping taper jigDovetail clamping taper jigDovetail clamping taper jig

Once you’re ready to use the taper jig, mark your work piece with the taper you want, line up the marks with the edges of the jig and clamp it down. Be sure that the end of the clamp is not sticking out past the edge of the jig as the edge of the jig will ride against the blade of the table saw. To add repeatability to this jig all you would need to do is add stop blocks along the edge of the work piece opposite the cut side. You can do this several ways, if there is an available dovetail slot you could use that, you could use double sided tape and scrap wood, or you could even attach stop blocks with screws. Any of these methods would work, but my preference would be the order in which I mentioned each one. Another option that could be added to this jig is a runner on the bottom side to help with stability while pushing the jig through the cut.

If you have any questions about the jigs I’ve shown you today, please feel free to reach out to me with a comment here and I will be sure to answer you. If you prefer to email me you can use the Contact page and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading and I hope you will consider subscribing to my YouTube channel to keep up with what we do. An even better way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to our newsletter to receive future blog posts.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/dScGAhl-10o
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