Rocking Chair: An Online Course #12: Bandsaw Finger JIG or Push Point

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 03-18-2016 01:15 PM 2164 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Followed Advice about Router Guide Rails Part 12 of Rocking Chair: An Online Course series Part 13: Pattern JIG for Bandsaw Completed »

My rocking chair instructor used a large block of wood in which he cut a Vee pointy end to cut his back slats for the chair. He clamped this block that he called a “push point” to the table of his bandsaw at a distance of 3/4 inch from the blade. With the initial patterned curve on a wide board cutout he held that curved side against the Vee and thus cut off each slat on the bandsaw.

I attempted to make my own push point, but I had difficulties with it. First, I did not have far reaching clamps so I could securely fasten it tightly to the bandsaw’s table, but I could not even after several practice cuts to get a consistent curved cut of the splats. This experience is what lead me to find a better solution for myself.

I did a lot of searching on the internet and in my woodworking library. I discovered that Michael C Fortune had done an article for Fine Woodworking Magazine in which he demonstrated a pattern cutting JIG for the bandsaw. I am not sure if he or someone else called it a “finger JIG”. I went ahead and built one of these JIGs for my bandsaw. It had a few different twists to the JIG. Those changes were more to use what things I already had on hand in my shop so I did not have to make another trip to a home center or to my local Woodcraft store. What I came up with is shown in the photos below.

I still need to tweak it some. Like I need a way to hold the tip of the JIG tightly to the bandsaw’s table surface. Also I need to cut the length of the board sized to the thickness of the board I will be cutting the back slats from. In order to cut 3/4 inch wide slats I need to take into account the width of the bandsaw blade’s kerf; thus this matched thickness board under the plywood top of the JIG needs to be trimmed down in its length.

Notice the clamps holding this JIG to the back of my bandsaw’s table.

To cut my slats I have used double-side tape to hold my slat pattern to the board I will get my slats from. As I hold the pattern’s edge agains the tip of the “finger JIG” I will get the bandsaw to replicate the curve in my board. After setting the pattern back by an offest of 3/4 inch plus the width of blade’s kerf I can then make another cut on my bandsaw.

Note: I am not satisfied with the pattern cuts I get with this jig. I will perform some other tests.

-- --- Happy Howie

2 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4846 days

#1 posted 03-18-2016 01:40 PM

Nice! Then you can use the exact same jig on the spindle sander to sweeten up the curves and remove the bandsaw blade marks.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View HappyHowie's profile


485 posts in 3233 days

#2 posted 03-18-2016 02:08 PM

Yep, between a flush cut router bit and the pattern and a spindle sander or even some hand tools such as my block plane and spokeshaves, I should get the blade marks and any small defects cleaned up well.

You can see here how well I got the first curve cut. Run this on my router table with a flush cut straight bit should have it ready for the next cut in no time.

-- --- Happy Howie

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