Jigs Part 2
Table Saw Jointing, Gauge Block, Panel Raising, Box Joint, Circular Saw Crosscut, Taper, and Tenoning Jigs
The table saw jointing jig is actually a sled with a straight face on one side that rides against the fence and a bed on the other side to which a crooked piece of wood can be secured. When the sled is pushed through a table saw the straight side of the jig follows the fence, moving the crooked edge through the blade in a perfectly straight line.
For years, woodworkers have clamped whatever piece of scrap was nearby to their fences to use as a gauge block. That works, but being the creative bunch that we are, a purpose-built fixture just seems like a better idea. And, we can improve on this idea a little.
I normally make raised panels on the router table with my large-diameter Jesada bits, turned by a 3 1/2 -horsepower Craftsman router. However, there are times when using this jig on the table saw is better, like when working with plywood or MDF for shutters and other outdoor projects. Also, there are many woodworkers who just like raising panels on the table saw.
While many forms of joinery conceal end grain, there are times when the contrast exposed end grain provides is an attractive alternative. Box joints are a simple, economic way to produce such a joint. Best of all, you can build a basic table saw jig in your own shop, often with remnants from your scrap bin.
I often had trouble making square cuts in "two-by" stock with a circular saw. So I solved this problem by making a simple guide jig. Two guide pieces are screwed to the top of the box at right angles to the "two by" stock. And the guides are spaced to match the width of the shoe on the saw.
The table saw tenoning jig is an accessory that can speed up cutting tenons, while increasing the accuracy and safety of the process. The tenon is the counter part to the mortise. Together, they make the mortise and tenon joint. While tenons can easily be cut on the table saw using a dado blade, the resulting tenon will not be as smooth as one cut with a single saw blade and tenon jig. Some feel the toothed effect left by the dado blade will strengthen the joint, as it gives the glue a better hold on the pieces. Much like a barbed fitting. Makes sense to me, but I've never had a joint fail, cut either way.
These simple jigs make cutting tapers, safe and easy. Whether you choose to make one yourself, or spend about twenty bucks, on a commercially made unit, either will serve you well. The on shown below is made from aluminum, and will last two life times.
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