Getting my tools ready #19: MY STRAIGHTEDGE ROUGH CUTTING JIG.

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Blog entry by DocSavage45 posted 04-30-2015 01:23 AM 3454 reads 6 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Adding dust collection to my jointer and my planer Part 19 of Getting my tools ready series Part 20: Murphy's Drill Press Table! »

First picture (jig with spalted Maple)

The first picture you see is why I built the jig. If you have been following my journey and saw the other jig that I built for my band saw you know that this is the next step.

I am truly in awe of what Mother Nature has given me.

Picture 2 ( side view of completed straightedge jig with six-inch hold downs)

The next picture is my rough drawing of what a poor man’s jig looks like

I decided to use my bandsaw and make some hold downs. I am using whatever stock I have in my shop. I found a leftover piece of one-inch plywood that I glued together to make a base for an oak top for our bathroom vanity. I cut my hold downs out of the one-inch plywood, which look a lot like a dog bone, LOL! The ends are cams providing a rounded surface. They are drilled out to 3/8 of an inch to provide some space for the up-and-down movement of the hold downs.

I found a half inch sheet of plywood and attached a guide strip made from cedar as I have no hardwood. I then trimmed the sides by running the base through the tablesaw on both sides. The width is approximately 11 inches.

I next secured some 5 inch long quarter-inch carriage bolts. I flipped the base over and drilled out the depth of the carriage bolt head. Using some nuts and washers I secured three bolts to the base.

As with my previous projects I used waterborne poly to seal the ends and surfaces due to the fact I have extremely high humidity in my shop in the summertime. Upwards of 90% even with the air conditioner running full blast.
Picture four (spalted maple too small for 6 inch hold downs)

I ran the test cut on a wide piece of spalted Maple which turned out just as I had planned. I then found a narrower piece of spalted Maple (the one pictured) and realized my hold downs would not work for narrower pieces. I thought about drilling more holes, but the center track to run on the tablesaw was in the way.

Picture four (straightedge jig with 11 inch hold downs)

Since I’m having so much fun with my bandsaw, I laid out three more hold downs, the approximate width of the base. I sanded and sealed them with waterborne poly and when it dried ran a test trial. It was a success! I think it Murphy went down south! LOL!

Picture five(straightedge jig with 11 inch hold downs showing a straight edge cut)

With this success I proceeded to trim a straightedge on the small logs I had cut with my band saw jig. I cut the rest of the spalted Maple, some small Walnut logs, some cedar, and the Elm.

I’m pretty excited that I will have some very nice wood to make smaller projects or do some book match veneers with the next jig I will be making for the bandsaw.

As always, comments and humor from lumberjacks and lumber Jill’s is appreciated.
Thanks for looking!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

25 comments so far

View CharlieK's profile


595 posts in 4393 days

#1 posted 04-30-2015 01:28 AM

Hi Tom,

The jig looks great! Simple and functional, what more could you ask for?


-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#2 posted 04-30-2015 01:41 AM

Thanks Charlie!

Money?? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 04-30-2015 01:45 AM

I like these jigs Tom, I’ll have make some myself, thanks for sharing.

Does it ride the mitter slot?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#4 posted 04-30-2015 01:50 AM


Yes.Got the basic idea from Norm and Charles Neil. I anchored some hardwood to ride in the miter slot and trimmed both sides with the blade.

I will be posting some more jigs later.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View doubleDD's profile


8952 posts in 2644 days

#5 posted 04-30-2015 04:56 AM

I like it . Simple and straight forward. Does the job of expensive ones.
How about those 11’’ hold downs, talk about a long reach? Great.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3621 days

#6 posted 04-30-2015 05:09 AM

I really like this one Tom.. I find many boards that are rough and this would work great. So to find a straight edge you mount the board and the straight edge is cut right along the edge of the plywood and blade…correct? No need to adjust any other way except the hold downs, correct?

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#7 posted 04-30-2015 05:32 AM


Thanks! I set the plank from edge to edge to remove the curved edge. Once you have a straight edge (only one needed You can then run it against your fence to dimension the lumber and maximize the good parts. Then use yore miter slide to finish,

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#8 posted 04-30-2015 05:35 AM


The 11 inch were an afterthought cause I really thought the 6 inch hold downs would do the job. An “oh dah” moment! LOL! The 11 inch do not require any raising of the pivot side.

Thanks for checking it out!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3904 days

#9 posted 04-30-2015 12:30 PM

nice going tom, when i saw your jig i thought your hold downs needed to be longer, and wella the next picture shows you made longer ones….lol..its a great jig, my only suggestion would be to have nicer and bigger knobs for your hold downs, and yes i know money was an issue , so maybe when you hit the jackpot, you can change your hold downs to a plastic one or just make nice wooden ones, they are easy to make, if you need any help with them i would gladly offer mine…:).....its pretty exciting having these new jigs, they open the door for great milling…have fun, and thanks for the blog, good job…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#10 posted 04-30-2015 05:07 PM


Used a prettier piece of the Maple to catch the eye. And what looks good on paper needs tweaking in the real world?

Time is an issue, seeing clients and doing maintenance, billing, and dealing with sometimes crazy folks. Believe it or not those wing nuts tighten securely without stress to my hands.

I’ve got a couple more milling /re sawing jigs to post. Waiting on some new 3 tpi blades.

Take care of yourself.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View LiePie's profile


7 posts in 3608 days

#11 posted 04-30-2015 09:06 PM

Hi Tom,
I can understand what you mean by the high humidity that you experience in southwest MN. I was born and raised further southwest of you on a farm outside of Adrian, MN. I get out there every summer to see my Mom and brother, and usually get to experience a day or two or more of those dripping wet shirt days. Your jig is high on my list of projects. Do you by chance have a longer jig for longer boards? I was wondering how far apart did you space the clamps? Lyle

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#12 posted 05-01-2015 01:31 AM


Thanks for checking in. Part of what is here is due to the 1/2 inch good plywood panels that I had. LOL!

The holes are set so the 6 inch hold downs would reache the end of the base. Also had to work arounfd the wood that rides the Miter slide slot.

Good luck!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3290 days

#13 posted 05-01-2015 01:42 AM

Tom, I just took a second look and have a suggestion: cut some circles with a hole saw, press a 1/4” hex nut in from the top, and presto – knobs to tighten your clamps that are easier on your fingers. My knobs are MDF but ply would work just as well. No glue or epoxy needed.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#14 posted 05-01-2015 01:55 AM

Andy, Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll put it on the to do list. LOL! I do have mdf. Had a similar thought but adding some epoxy?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


8881 posts in 3443 days

#15 posted 05-01-2015 01:58 AM

I really haven’t had a problem with the wing nuts. I add a lock washer.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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