Working Smarter with Jigs

While it is not exactly a bold idea, employing jigs in your woodworking to be more accurate, safe and effective is a wise choice. When it comes to routing a groove in exactly the right place and without the danger of the router bit drifting off course, a jig is the real deal. If you need to cut angles repeatedly and with 100 percent accuracy, a mitering jig is your friend. Whether they are store-bought or shop-made, jigs are often the difference between a positive shop experience and the need to go to a confessional next Sunday. I enjoy inventing and building my own purpose-made jigs, but I also will buy a good quality manufactured jig when it makes sense. My shop is full of them, and when I put them to use I am a happy camper.

So take it from an old shop rat: jigs are one of the keys to woodworking happiness!

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

How to Cut Cross Lap Joints

The cross lap joint is a strong woodworking joint that is easy to make with the Rockler Cross Lap Jig and a table saw. When you need to cut multiple cross lap joints with uniform spacing, reach for the Rockler Cross Lap Jig. Screw it to your miter gauge and use it with your table saw and a dado stack to cut the half-lap joints for anything with a wooden grid: lattice, wine racks, grilles/mullions for glass doors, and torsion boxes for your workbenches and table tops. The jig’s indexing key is width-adjustable for stock ranging from 1/8″ to 3/4″ wide. The distance from the indexing key to the blade determines the spacing of your grid, and is easily adjustable with the ergonomic knobs. Simply make your cut, push the key into the kerf you just made, then make the next cut.

Cutting Box Joints with a Router Table Box Joint Jig

Box joints are strong and attractive, and with the help of Rockler’s Router Table Box Joint Jig, they’re also straightforward to make. This jig uses precision-machined solid brass indexing keys to ensure uniform finger spacing and an airtight fit. Keys are included for three finger widths: 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″, and can be used with stock up to 3/4″ thick. The smooth-sliding sled features long “skis” that keep it square to the bit and tabs on the bottom that stop the sled at the end of the cut. Lock it into the miter slot of your table with comfortable Easy-to-Grip knobs and you’re ready to rout.

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