Spline cutting jig

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Project by dnick posted 07-10-2012 04:01 AM 8989 views 68 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I started thinking about designing a spline jig, I knew I wanted a handle to hold it tight to the fence & table, & maybe a handle to push forward, & I didn’t want a bridge over the fence ( don’t like those). So after some time, this is what I came up with. I know some will think it’s overkill for such a small cut. But this way, I can secure even a good size frame & have my hands free to apply pressure where needed As I get older, I try to get safer. The left side face has oversized holes that fit over the 5/16” x 6” carriage bolts. An old rubber pad,( in a previous life it was under a scroll saw) protects the workpiece. I like the versatility the clamp slots give me. I used bolts to attach the arms, with 2 thoughts in mind. I could remove the front fence if I wanted to make a spline miter joint, & when the bottom got chewed up, I could remove the arms, rip off the hardboard face & replace the faces. Easier to do with bolts instead of screws I think. I think with smaller frames, I probably won’t need the knobs tightened, just apply pressure. Made this from a piece of Birch (not Baltic) plywood from Lowes. Lot’s of plies but lots of voids & a bit of warping. Veneer was really brittle & unforgiving. It was an interesting jig to design & build. Good therapy for a guy getting hammered by the recession, especially the architectural industry.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

19 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile


3379 posts in 4187 days

#1 posted 07-10-2012 05:07 AM

dnick I really like the jig you built….by and change do you have a blog on building this or any plans you drew up? I am much better at using jigs than I am building them..

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 3416 days

#2 posted 07-10-2012 05:11 AM

*LIKE IT look good and it looks like it works good and Now some day I will have to make me one lol keep up the good work nice

-- Nimkee** Joe

View harry1's profile


537 posts in 3451 days

#3 posted 07-10-2012 05:18 AM

That is a clever albeit relatively complex jig. Whilst I’m a great believer in jigs, I first look for an easier and faster method. This is how I’ve been cutting slots for splines for many years.


-- Harry, Western Australia

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 3342 days

#4 posted 07-10-2012 11:02 AM

Great spline jig. Thanks for posting.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4485 days

#5 posted 07-10-2012 12:02 PM

WOW. That is one fine looking jig. You should be proud!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4965 days

#6 posted 07-10-2012 02:16 PM

Cool design, well thought out and fine execution. Bravo.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Danpaddles's profile


588 posts in 3478 days

#7 posted 07-10-2012 04:24 PM

That makes the two pieces of crap plywood and the 2×6 I’ve been using look like….. firewood!

-- Dan V. in Indy

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1120 posts in 4339 days

#8 posted 07-10-2012 06:31 PM

Great jig.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View WRAAdesign's profile


46 posts in 3564 days

#9 posted 07-10-2012 08:00 PM

Great jig, thanks for sharing. Now if we can only do something about our hurting architecural/construction industry. Hope more work finds you if you are looking…


View usnavyac1's profile


20 posts in 3325 days

#10 posted 07-10-2012 11:16 PM

Wow, super nice jig.

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3959 days

#11 posted 07-11-2012 12:01 AM

Very good job. Nice details. A #1 all the way.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3548 days

#12 posted 07-11-2012 12:16 AM

Thanks for the kind comments. My friend says I always find the most complicated way to make anything. I’m sure the jigs that Harry1 & Danpaddles made, do the same job as mine. Lets face it, if I was still getting work, I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to design this, much less build it. Lately I design everyhing with the idea that I want it to have every feature I could ever want. That way I won’t have build a new improved version in the future. I hope.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3354 days

#13 posted 07-11-2012 03:55 AM

Wow, thanks for the lessons guys!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View harry1's profile


537 posts in 3451 days

#14 posted 07-11-2012 05:23 AM

I do hope that my post didn’t in any way come over as if I was claiming that my method was better or safer than yours. Every hobbyist wood and metalworker that I’ve come across over the years, myself included, have gone through periods of making tools and jigs and have derived great pleasure from doing so. After selling our last home of 35 years, as I was packing my shed, a MAJOR job, I came across several incredibly complex jigs made from wood and metal and for the life of me I couldn’t remember what they were made for, but I’m certain that I derived great pleasure from making them and am certain that they were for a specific purpose and were successful, otherwise they would have gone into a junk box for re-cycling the material.

-- Harry, Western Australia

View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 3321 days

#15 posted 07-13-2012 07:41 PM

Yep, making one of those for sure. Thanks for posting it.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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