The shop #5: jigs jigs jigs

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Blog entry by scottb posted 03-20-2008 02:48 AM 12064 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: A first - a "Daddy Day" in the shop! Part 5 of The shop series Part 6: moving on up »

This morning I finally got around to making a sled for my tablesaw. Thanks Niki! great plans. easier to follow than the 2 or 3 others I’d been eyeing, but never got around to making. I expected this to take all morning – and despite spending a LOT of time trying to get a perfect fit with the runners everything went together quite well. I even added a box (half of a hexagonal column wrap) on the back as an added safety measure.

Never mind the arrow I drew on, that was a reminder to me that there was a little slop in the fit, and how to push it when using it.., but I fixed it and now it rides nice and true.

How does it cut? Awesome! I don’t even trust my miter box for cuts this square!

I’d been holding off on making my next box project for this sled, which I rough dimensioned this afternoon. The irony is that I finally got this jig made now that my table saw seems to be on it’s last legs. – It still runs just fine – whether it’s turned on or not! Needs to get me some sort of “off” switch rigged, as a new table saw isn’t as forthcoming as I would like (The visit from the Tax fairy wasn’t as nice as we’d been hoping)

So, so keep myself, and my shop humming, I put some scrap to work, and saved myself a bunch of cash…

Here’s my “wolverine grinding jig:”

My gouges have never sharpened so well – or consistently!

and here’s my pen blank drilling jig:

I’d originally made this for my (all but useless) mini drill press… but as I realized it didn’t have enough quill travel, I modified this for the Shopsmith. I had issues with the first couple of blanks breaking (well exploding). A couple of thin shims and a clamp to hold it shut (rather than relying on myself to hold it shut) took care of that. (Too bad I lost my only bloodwood and blackwood blanks from Karson ;( Why oh why didn’t I test it on scrap first?! Initially I thought the blanks might have had a crack, but I’ve solved the problem – I was able to salvage a couple of the blanks that cracked. Those turned out nicely. as for the first two… I’ll have to pick some up at my semi-local hardwood supplier, or trade for ‘em again in the next round of the “travelling pen swap”. (Or maybe now for some Bamboo blanks?)

Anywho… who needs fancy jigs, when you have a shop full of scrap, a couple of clamps, and your fellow LJ’s to inspire!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

12 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4523 days

#1 posted 03-20-2008 02:50 AM

That sled really needs that safety thing at the back! Good job on all of them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4862 days

#2 posted 03-20-2008 02:57 AM

yep. I can cut 5/4 stock with some safety zone to spare.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4357 days

#3 posted 03-20-2008 03:33 AM

Hi Scott,

That is one nice sled. I have one of these on my to do list (among many others) but I do like the guard on the back.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 4493 days

#4 posted 03-20-2008 03:41 AM

I like the pen blank jig. I’ve never seen one of those before.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4431 days

#5 posted 03-20-2008 03:54 AM

Jigs are so important. Your’s look great!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4303 days

#6 posted 03-20-2008 04:04 AM

A shop without ‘Jigs’ is like driving a car without power steering (if you are old enough to have done that). And of course I like any jig with a safety feature.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4862 days

#7 posted 03-20-2008 05:21 AM

pre-powersteering, and rolling down the window for “A/C”? I vaguely recall such times.

another good attachment to the safety box on the sled would be a clear acrylic top – to keep that from acting like a chimney directing sawdust right in your face. I’ve seen another version of this sled with a piece of plexi connecting the back and front fence as even more protection from fingers/eyes along the cutting line.

Kevin, the Pen jig is similar, though simpler than the $50 automatic centering ones you can pick up from the Pen turning supply catalogs. I’m using a hinged piece of wood to double for the clamping – and manually finding center (and straight) by lining up the table with the drill bit. – hence drilling all the same size/dame diameter pieces at one time. Unless I get into heavy production mode, it’ll fit the bill for the foreseeable future. (If only I can convince my wife to let me spend the $50 I saved on that, and whatever the going rate is on the gouge sharpening jig ;)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4601 days

#8 posted 03-20-2008 07:38 AM

Scott, I have a couple of jigs for pen making that you could make fairly easily. I will try to get some pictures of them and post them for you tomorrow. One is for drilling the blanks and the other is for pressing the parts together. I’ve made a TON of pens with them and they work like a charm. Best part is the cost – other than the wood you would only have to buy a pair of small hinges and a 1/2” or so copper end cap. I’ll try to post them tomorrow for you.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View pyromedic602's profile


164 posts in 4283 days

#9 posted 03-20-2008 05:25 PM

I really like the sled. I need to build one myself but have not came up with anything that I like for use on my shopsmith. I think I will use your design and modify slightly.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4421 days

#10 posted 03-20-2008 07:45 PM

I just made a project similar to yours, good job! I like the red tape idea I am/was planning to use red paint to do the same thing but your idea is good.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4629 days

#11 posted 03-21-2008 05:55 AM

Jigtacular! Thanks for sharing. Gotta love a good, useful jig (or 3).

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4779 days

#12 posted 03-22-2008 04:09 PM

Jigs it make a shop good as Milk it does the body good. keep on jiggin. jig on jiggin

Thanks for sharing.

-- Joel Tille

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