Easier Thin Ripping Jig

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Project by ratchet posted 02-29-2008 04:47 AM 5828 views 17 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m relatively new to woodworking and LJ’s. You rock! I needed a thin ripping jig for an upcoming project and found a few plans out there and here. The one I liked required a double dado with oak inserts for the top slider to move on. Well my first try wasn’t a success. It seems I can make a dado fit for glueing (but not slide evenly apparently). So, I simply made the base a little wider and adding side rails. Works like a charm and was made totally from scrap (note the big knot) excluding the (3) 1/4-20×3” flat head bolts, 2 plastic knobs, and few other small bits.

The plans I used included a front roller bearing, but I havent found one yet. Not sure I’m going to add one as this jig works VERY well w/o one.

Question: does thin ripping go better on these jigs with a roller bearing on the business end?

21 comments so far

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 5290 days

#1 posted 02-29-2008 05:26 AM

I think binding or catching can be an issue on jigs such as these, hence the bearing. I’d hesitated building one like this for some time now for lack of easily obtainable bearings. I hate to pay shipping that costs more than the part I am ordering…..

You’re probably ok with this jig, but I’m confident that the addition of the bearing will in fact make it safer…..If you find a source, keep us posted!


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 5254 days

#2 posted 02-29-2008 05:33 AM

If you go to Lowes or Home depot you can get rollers that are made for sliding screen doors. These are cheap. If you have the extra bearings that can be added to your router bits these work as well. If all else fails a cheap small wooden wheel can be used.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5301 days

#3 posted 02-29-2008 06:35 AM

I have thought about one of these jigs but I think the magswitch featherboard will still do the trick. Looks like that one would work very well Ratchet.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5237 days

#4 posted 02-29-2008 06:49 AM

Thank you all for the comments and advice! I am very happy that the suggested addition of a wheel or bearing will improve performance. I off to look for a workable low cost wheel.

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 5320 days

#5 posted 02-29-2008 06:52 PM

I’ve made one somethng like this without a bearing. I used a small piece of PVC plastic shaped like a point. It has worked fine for me. It allow the wood to slide easly. Since they are so easy to make I would like to use the bearing idea from jeff the wood wacker. I sure it would work better on softer woods. NICE PROJECT. THANKS FOR SHARING.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5237 days

#6 posted 02-29-2008 07:49 PM

Ok; I went to the big box stores and took a look at the screen door rollers and felt the were too small in diameter and kind of thin as well so I passed.

They also do not carry any roller bearings. Anyone know a good source? Any help appreciated.

View jerry118's profile


22 posts in 5191 days

#7 posted 02-29-2008 08:07 PM

How about a bushing from a router bit set designed for rabeting? Check out MLCS at

-- Jerry, Wichita KS

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5332 days

#8 posted 02-29-2008 08:23 PM

Roller skate bearings. Steal them from a kid or buy them at any place that sells sports equipment. 5/16” bolt fits fine although they really are 8mm metric.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 5442 days

#9 posted 03-02-2008 06:55 AM

Great idea there Steve… I’ll have to keep that in mind for when I need a bearing.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5325 days

#10 posted 03-02-2008 08:46 PM

Did you check your local hardware store? I don’t think they should be that hard to find. Bearings are pretty common. Nice jig though. This will make things a lot easier for you.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Kevin Violette's profile

Kevin Violette

235 posts in 5314 days

#11 posted 03-04-2008 08:05 PM

This looks like the easiest design I have seen yet. Nice job!

-- Kevin

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 5188 days

#12 posted 03-24-2008 05:37 PM

Hi There,

Quick question from a newbie. This seems to work like a feather board but without the safety feature. Why is it better please?

Is it easier to slide pieces passed to saw blade? etc …?


-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5237 days

#13 posted 03-24-2008 07:10 PM

Yettiman; Basically a featherboard flexs and as such would give you varying thickness as you cut. This jig has no flex and once set allows you to rip repeated consistent widths from wider stock. Note: the wider part of the ripping stock is between the fence and the blade with the falloff being the thin strip you are cutting. This is safer than if the thinner piece was between the blade and fence where it could cause a squeeze / kickback.
Hope I explained that ok.

View tmiller's profile


103 posts in 4763 days

#14 posted 05-19-2009 11:09 PM

Target and Walmart sell skateboard bearings. I am not sure how expensive they are but they are about an inch in diameter. This would be similar to the already recommended roller skate bearings.

I am I not supposed to use retail store names on this site?


View tmiller's profile


103 posts in 4763 days

#15 posted 05-19-2009 11:11 PM

Forgot to say sweet jig.

I am going to make one like it. I think I already have an old skate board to steal the bearing from.


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