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There is nothing more frustrating than trying to assemble parts to a woodworking project and finding out they don't align properly. Many times we blame ourselves for not being more careful in our cuts or for not taking enough time to make proper measurements, but in many cases it's simply that the tools we are using have come out of alignment and need to be re-tuned or re-set.
On the table saw the item that needs to be re-set the most if ... of course the fence. It is the most used item on the table saw and is constantly being moved back and forth and tightened and loosened and all this activity, will, over time create a small amount of wear which results in the fence being out of alignment.
Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube - https://youtu.be/RDW58ZPr-XE
Every fence for every table saw has some sort of adjustment mechanism. Some are better than others, but all of them can be adjusted. My first table saw has such and awful fence that even when I adjusted it, every time I moved it to a new location, I still had to check and set the front and back separately. It was terribly slow to use, but it was all I could afford and it did the job for me. More advanced and expensive fences are easier to set by simply turning a small set screw but regardless of the fence ... they ALL need to be checked and re-checked from time to time ...
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I am amazed at how many times I need to rip thin strips of wood ... for all sorts of things. Often they are shorter stips, less than 24 inches, but often I seem to make multiple versions of them, like when I am making banding and gluing together many small strips of wood. Then other times I am need a thin strip of wood to cover the edge of a board, like a shelf that I made from plywood and I want to cover the front of the plywood with a nice strip of natural wood. Many, many reasongs for cutting thin strips ...
I remember the first thin strip jig I ever made, it was quick and crude but it worked well until it got lost in the shuffle and probably ended up in another jig or some other project, which mean the next time I needed a thin strip I neede to re-make that jig all over again.
Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube - https://youtu.be/bGxskWwOYeE
Later, after purchasing a pair of magnetic switches, I used them to make another version of the thin strip ripping jig. This version worked well, but it was a bit slower and you could rip almost any lenght of wood with it. That jig and article are featured here, and to see the part of the video, you need to move along to 6:50 in the video Thin Strip Jig
The new creation I am making in this episode is a different kind of ripping jig ...
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I love making woodworking jigs, it's fun and intereting to see what improvements of adaptions can be made to suite every different woodworker's needs. This jig has been around for many, many years and has changed little during that time. Rather than follow one of the plans that are readily available on-line, I decided I needed to make this jig to fit my own needs that may or may not be available in the plans someone else has created. My main objective was to ensure that both legs of the jig would straddle the insert throat plate in my saw, after all, that was the whole purpose ... to build a jig that would accurately set or measure the distance from the top of a table saw blade to the top deck of my table saw and not to a measurement from the top of the blade to base of the throat plate, which is often the case.
To start off with I would need something thicker than 3/4 inch material for the main body of the jig because I wanted to use one of my plastic off-cuts of mitre slot material. I wanted something harder than many woods as this jig will be used a lot and I don't want the measuring arm to get dinted and chewed up by the table saw blades over time.
Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube - https://youtu.be/wbNhRwEAzTM
I started off with a block of wood that was 8 inches wide, 5 inches high and 1.25 inches deep. From this block, the first thing I did was to carefully cut a dado slot that would fit the plastic mitre slot material I wanted to use as the center measuring post. ...
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The table saw is easily my favorite tool. For me, it is amazingly versatile in what it can do and when you start adding jigs to it, the table saw can do some amazing things. I am currently on my fourth, and possibly my last table saw. Since none of my saw, including this one, hand the same fences, many of my jigs I have had to re-make, including this bevel cutting jig. Hopefully this version will also be my last because I am going to make it with a small amount of adjustability in mind. Something I neglected on my last versions. To be honest, the last versions of the Bevel Cutting Jig that I made, were all rushed together quickly to satisfy an immediate need. This one I am making without that immediate need and with the knowledge that I will be using it in the future.
The biggest problems I had in the past with this jig was - storage. All my jigs needed to be stored in an unheated outdoor shed. This means the wood moved a lot. In the winter it is cold and damp and the wood expands to around 14% moisture content. In the summer it's often hot and dry the wood shrinks down to 8%. Now all this is not huge, but when you are working with close tolerances, like on a metal table saw fence. A jig I make in the summer, will certainly not slide back and forth on the table saw fence in the winter, in fact, some won't even fit over the fence they have expanded so much.
Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube - https://youtu.be/r4FNdr1VO0M
This time I am going to select my wood carefully and make the part the slides over the table saw fence, slightly adjustable without having to take it apart and re-make it ...