Simple Jigs and Techniques

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Blog series by shipwright updated 02-23-2021 01:57 AM 16 parts 100929 reads 254 comments total

Part 1: Simple Precision Arc Inlay Jig

06-20-2012 12:44 AM by shipwright | 24 comments »

I had the need this afternoon for a way to cut a curved groove for a veneer inlay. It needed to be absolutely accurate and easy enough that even I couldn’t screw it up. A half hour later I had this little jig. I thought someone else may find it useful. The first photos are self explanatory and show the simple construction and assembly of the base and pivot arm. The featured performer is one of my personal favourite Harbour Freight tools, the trim router. In the next photo ...

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Part 2: Precision Router Jig for Straight Lines.

07-13-2012 12:12 AM by shipwright | 19 comments »

This is basically the same as the arc jig in the first segment but for a straight line rebate in a spot where it would be a bit of a shame to miss the target. It starts out as a piece of 1/4” MDF glued to a piece of 1/8” plywood. The plywood is more than 1/2 the width of the router base. Use the bit you plan to use for the cut and trim the plywood using the MDF as a guide. Now when you set up to make the cut you can see exactly where it will fall on the workpiece. No me...

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Part 3: Matching Short Grain Veneer Border

06-30-2013 12:56 AM by shipwright | 13 comments »

As the series title says, this is a simple technique but when I discovered it it was a “Dohhh !!!” moment so I thought I might spare someone the pain. I like to use short grain borders, especially nice straight grains like cedar on picture frames, table tops and that sort of thing. I never had a problem getting good fits at the joints but often matching the grain was a bit of a challenge….. then one day this arrived in my (slow) brain and now it is a breeze even when the gra...

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Part 4: Veneer Press Screws for $4.50

03-04-2014 09:05 PM by shipwright | 25 comments »

When I built my small veneer press in Green Valley I made six holes for screws, like my bigger one at home but only installed four screws because they are expensive and I wasn’t sure I really needed six. Then I stole one to make my Miter Jack. That left me somewhat deficient in veneer press screws so I decided to try something I have been thinking about for a while now. I remember looking at the $6, six Inch “C” clamps at HF and wondering how hard it would be t...

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Part 5: All Wood Button Catch

03-25-2014 10:50 PM by shipwright | 14 comments »

I have had several requests for a blog on the construction of my Chart Box but I don’t really think that I did much that isn’t already well covered in my other blogs. So any of you who are curious about marquetry in general, please check out my LJ blogs. There is however one sort of new thing in the chart box …...... and that’s the catch. OK, Here’s the catch. The catch I used on my recently posted Chart Box was derived from the one I used last year on my ...

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Part 6: Fresh Air Supply Without Breaking the Bank

04-26-2014 12:35 AM by shipwright | 22 comments »

Back in my boat building days I periodically had the need to spray some very toxic paints. A fresh air supply is highly recommended for these occasions but they are very expensive for infrequent use. I found this today as I was doing a deep spring turf-out of my shop and thought it might save someone a few bucks. This is what I came up with to save my lungs without the cash outlay for a compressor operated one with filters and coolers. (The filters and coolers are to remove the oil and hea...

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Part 7: Veneer Matching Mirrors

06-11-2014 12:55 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

There’s certainly nothing new about using mirrors to check veneer matches but this week, when I needed to do some matching I had an idea that some of you may want to try. I hate having glass around all the hard steel tools and I hate even more the idea of suffering seven years bad luck for breaking mirrors. (At my age that could be a large percentage of what I’ve got left…...) So here’s the plan. I decided to try acrylic mirror stock and make half cuts in it to elim...

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Part 8: Chevalight

09-27-2014 12:17 AM by shipwright | 14 comments »

As I get older my eyes seem to require more and more light to see fine detail. That is a problem when cutting on the chevalet, especially when cutting piece by piece (classic) style where line following is critical. After trying all sorts of floor mounted lamp solutions I finally decided to put a little thought into a chevalet mounted light source that would1) give good illumination from the left side of the blade,2) not interfere with my left hand manipulating the packet,3) not interfere wit...

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Part 9: Table Saw Sled Mod for ShopSmith

11-11-2014 08:40 PM by shipwright | 10 comments »

I just posted my new table saw sled, inspired by Kiefer's versatile version. There is a problem, however, with using such a sled on a ShopSmith and that is simply that because on a SS the table tilts, the line on which the saw blade intersects with the plane of the table top moves as you change the angle. My solution was to make a 45 degree ramp to fit my new sled. I have made these before as stand alone jigs with a miter slot fitting strip on the bottom but this one is part of the new...

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Part 10: Easy DIY Safety Straightedge

01-10-2015 06:23 AM by shipwright | 17 comments »

Today I had a little knife and straightedge work to do and I know how (painfully) easy it is to slice a tiny piece of finger off while concentrating on the veneer. I hate getting blood on my veneer …. so I decided to take the time and make something that would keep my skin attached and my veneer clean. Turns out it only took about ten minutes and it works really well.I had a bit of aluminium angle around and with a bit of oak scrap and a couple of screws it was done. I’m not p...

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Part 11: Modular Veneer Press Build

02-03-2015 12:14 AM by shipwright | 5 comments »

Just a few more pictures and explanations than the project post had room for. The concept is simple and can be adapted in many ways but here is what I did. First off I selected knot free parts of 8’ construction 2X4’s and ripped them into 1X4’s. Then I laminated them up in half laps so that the result looks like a box joint but is easier to get perfect fit and glue ups. I used PVA glue because I had it around and threw a few staples in to keep things aligned while I quick...

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Part 12: Locating Critical Insert Nuts

09-08-2015 01:08 AM by shipwright | 17 comments »

This is pretty simple but I hadn’t thought of it before. Maybe someone else can use this little tip. When I was making the adjustable jaws for my school chevys, I needed to locate some insert nuts really accurately so the jaws wouldn’t bind. The slot in the jaw is 1/4” but the hole for the insert nut needs to be 3/8”. I’m sure there are lots of good ways to do this but here’s what I did. It was really easy and absolutely accurate. First I marked with ...

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Part 13: Making Fine Dust for Marquetry Mastic

02-11-2016 05:05 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

This is a little videoI did last summer after having a “Doh!” moment. Very fine sanding dust is difficult to generate and contain in a clean, uncontaminated condition. The go to method has been hand sanding with ~220 grit paper.This is just a little trick that came to me while I was sanding a spindle one day. I thought it was worth sharing. Thanks for lookng in. Paul

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Part 14: Fast Accurate Louis Cubes

12-31-2017 06:04 AM by shipwright | 23 comments »

Louis cubes have been around for ever and with good reason. They are just a great 3D illusion.I was making some this week for a couple of parquetry panels in my current project and took some pictures of the way I do it.Maybe someone can use the ideas. First I rough ripped the strips of ribbon Bloodwood veneer on my sled with a covering piece of 3/4” plywood. Then I trued them to exact width with a simple shooting board. On to the guillotine to chop the trapezoids. If you get t...

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Part 15: Hot Pipe Bending

01-07-2018 12:04 AM by shipwright | 11 comments »

I’ve read about this technique in Pierre Ramond’s books but never had a need for it before. I wish I had tried it out sooner. It is an amazing little technique and so easy that my first attempt was good enough to use and I had four rings like the one In the photos done in about a half hour. The pipe (or bar) needs to be about 200 – 220 degrees F. I’ll let the photos explain the procedure. Here’s the setup. A quick online search will turn up this style of jig in severa...

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Part 16: Re-design of my Veneer Guillotine

02-23-2021 01:57 AM by shipwright | 10 comments »

I’ve built two wooden veneer chopping guillotines I the past and they have worked very well for me but faced with the task of producing over a thousand little fillets for the parquetry on my current project, I decided to go metal. After a (very) little thought I decided that the easy way to go would be pipe fittings. So ….. I give you the steampunk veneer guillotine!

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