ShopNotes Thin Strip Ripping Jig

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Project by garbonsai posted 03-04-2014 05:46 PM 10287 views 43 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A little while back, I was showing my Dad the drill press table in ShopNotes issue #94 that I had started building, and we flipped past the thin strip ripping jig featured in the same issue (and, apparently, in other issues—you can download the plans from ShopNotes website, where they indicate it comes from issue #105). “Hold on”, he said, and ran downstairs. A few minutes later he returned, triumphantly holding the 1-1/2” bearing I ended up using in this jig. Apparently, he has a whole box of them.

Anyway, I had some spare birch plywood, and decided to go ahead and put this jig together. I had to modify the plan a bit to accommodate the press-fit shaft that was already installed in the bearing, as it was already taller than a single piece of 3/4” plywood is thick (hence the 1/2” MDF added to the base). I also changed where the miter bar (maple) mounted to give myself a wider range of possible strip widths. Finally, the plans I used called for 1/4” slots and 1/4” hardboard runners. 1/4” for hardboard is nominal thickness—it actually varies anywhere from 5/32” to 7/32”—so I ended up using MDF for the runners, as 1/4” MDF is actually 1/4”. The knobs are from the same batch as I used on my table saw fence/blade alignment jig.

The tape measure is a cheap pocket ruler I picked up at Harbor Freight that I cut to length with a Dremel. The indicator is a 3/8” piece of polycarbonate (scrap from yet another project) that I scribed a line on the back side of. I slotted the holes in the indicator, so I can zero it out on blades with various kerfs.

The pictures were taken just after I finished zeroing out the indicator, hence the placement next to—rather than in front of—the blade. It works well—certainly better than the back corner of one of my featherboards, tilted at an angle.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

15 comments so far

View jeff robinson's profile

jeff robinson

115 posts in 4944 days

#1 posted 03-04-2014 07:36 PM

nicely done

-- jeff robinson, panama city, fl

View Northwest29's profile


1711 posts in 3708 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 08:20 PM

Wow, that should take care of any problems making thin strips. Very nicely crafted – should last a very long time.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View cyclops4069's profile


66 posts in 2794 days

#3 posted 03-04-2014 08:53 PM

great simple jig…..nice work.

-- regards, cyclops4069

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3110 days

#4 posted 03-04-2014 09:24 PM

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Delain's profile


41 posts in 3141 days

#5 posted 03-04-2014 10:19 PM

Looks like it rolled right out of the SN magazine. Very good work.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2828 days

#6 posted 03-04-2014 10:42 PM

this is awesome, I need to build one of these, thanks for the plans

-- steve, simple and effective

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4221 days

#7 posted 03-04-2014 11:22 PM

Great looking jig, they are very useful

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3041 days

#8 posted 03-04-2014 11:48 PM

Great job, nice practical project that I am sure will get lots and lots of use…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4793 days

#9 posted 03-05-2014 01:10 AM

You did a great job building that.
It looks professionally made, and I am sure will serve you well for a long time to come.

View jakeprater's profile


90 posts in 2806 days

#10 posted 03-05-2014 04:08 AM

Great job, as always. I copied your blade/fence alignment jig to use on my Craftsman 113.xxxxxxx table saw. Los like I’ll need to copy yet another one of your designs! I’ve got some glider bearings sitting around, so those should work.
Thanks for the ideas!

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

View jimmyb's profile


186 posts in 3109 days

#11 posted 03-05-2014 01:09 PM

Nice job.

Question. Just how thin can you rip with this jig?

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3173 days

#12 posted 03-05-2014 03:03 PM

Thanks for all the kind words, folks.

@jakeprater: You’re welcome. I’m just glad ShopNotes was generous enough to post the plans on their website—I wasn’t entirely comfortable with including a photo of the plans directly from the physical copy of issue #94 I have at home.

@jimmyb: In theory, right down to nothing, as you can adjust the bearing to touch the blade (and actually go slightly past it, which is in no way helpful, but I digress). In practice? Unsure. The thinnest pieces I’ve had to rip thus far were 5/16” or so (miter bar). Certainly, you’d want to use a zero clearance insert, especially when you start getting down to really thin pieces. Any particular reason why you’re asking?

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View dougmk's profile


17 posts in 2818 days

#13 posted 03-05-2014 05:13 PM

Nice jig, thanks for sharing the plans. I am definitely going to make one.

View LJackson's profile


295 posts in 2811 days

#14 posted 03-05-2014 09:49 PM

How do you ensure that the wood you are ripping runs across the sawblade in a straight line? If it were to angle, kickback could occur.

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3173 days

#15 posted 03-05-2014 09:56 PM

@LJackson: If you read through the ShopNotes article linked above, they do a pretty good job of explaining how to use the jig. Basically, you set the jig to the desired strip width, bring your wood into contact with the bearing, then bring your fence into contact with the other side of the wood and lock it down. Rip your strip, unlock the fence, and repeat as many times as you need. So the jig acts more like a stop block than a fence—it offers repeatability. Make sense?

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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