Hints and Tips #10: Template Sawing on the Table Saw

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 09-03-2015 05:50 PM 1995 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Occasional Pocket Hole Joinery Part 10 of Hints and Tips series Part 11: Get a Grip on Your Spray Cans! »

If you remember my Tip #7, I showed how I jointed one edge of a board by taping a straight edge to a board and running it along the fence of a table saw.

Well, sometimes I think I’m just stupid! There’s an easier way to do this and I already had the jig for it made. My wife asked me for a piece of wood to shore up one side of an electronic keyboard at her school. I had a piece in mind, but wanted to square it up and paint it black. After I did all of this, using the method described in Tip #7, She informed me that she actually needed a thicker piece.

I had a piece of scrap which would work, but again it needed squaring up. These two pieces were scrap from cutting out for an air conditioner. So It occurred to me that I could just attach the old piece to the thicker piece and use my template jig instead of doing it the hard way. Here’s some pictures to really drive it home. Maybe I won’t forget next time!

[Below] Here you can see the old, too-thin piece attached to the rough, thicker piece. I used two finishing nails to put them together, leaving the heads proud for easy removal.

[Below] This is the jig I’m talking about. It’s basically a right angle which clamps to the fence and ‘floats’ just above the surface of the wood you need to cut and barely touching the blade, (adjust blade height to suit).

[Below] With the two pieces attached, I’m running the old piece, or template along the edge of the jig. If you have things set up correctly the piece you cut will end up exactly the same size as your template.

[Below] Here’s what the first cut looks like. Without changing anything aside from the position of the piece, you can just run all four sides through the saw.

[Below] Then I just remove the two nails, sand the edges and put the paint on before handing it over to my wife.

This method should also work for jointing the edge of a board. You just need a straight edge as long as the board you’re jointing to run along the jig.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

4 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3169 posts in 3205 days

#1 posted 09-03-2015 06:06 PM

Both this method and your previous Tip #7 have a place in the wood shop, especially when the table saw is the smaller table-top type. Both work well, but this method described here in Tip #10 provides a good solution when the boards to be cut are wider than the blade to fence measurment permits.
This is one of the main reasons why I like woodworking, always a problem to figure out, which keeps the mind sharp.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4162 days

#2 posted 09-04-2015 12:10 AM

I’ve seen these “L” fences before, but it’s a good reminder of how useful they are!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 4807 days

#3 posted 09-04-2015 12:36 AM

Good thinking Dave. That’s a good way to copy pieces on the table saw, and you could use double stick tape when nails are not an option.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2008 posts in 3203 days

#4 posted 09-04-2015 01:02 AM

Even though the manual that came with my TS showed me how to make the L-fence, I first saw it used this way on a short Tommy Mac video on YouTube.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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