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Woodworking Jig Plans
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Woodworking Jig Plans

When I was first getting started with woodworking I was talking to a more experienced woodworker to try and gain some advice and just learn a little bit about how he did things. A question came up that left me embarrassingly stumped. It was a simple question though, he just asked me, "What kind of jigs are you using? Have you built anything useful?" What? Jigs? I have a saw... I did not know what to tell him because I did not know what he meant by jigs. I hated having to ask him because now I looked like a complete and total newbie.

As a way of helping I thought I might go over what a jig is and what some common ones are. A jig is really just something that makes your job as a woodworker a little easier. It is used in conjunction with your other tools like your saw and router. They can be used to speed up repetitive tasks, give you more accurate cutting and measuring and they can help you "bookmark" different sizes and positions for your work. This sounds like a lot but it really comes down to little pieces of wood that act as your guide.

For instance the most common type of jig is one you probably already use. It is called a featherboard. This is just using a small piece of wood to push a larger piece of wood into your saw so you do not cut your fingers off. Pretty simple right? The next kind is the circular cutting jig. This is basically a piece that you put on top of your wood that acts as a swivel to allow you to cut perfect circles. The piece itself spins around from a central point while you cut with the saw. Then you have framing jigs which are clamps that are used to make sure that you have proper right angles when pieces of a frame are connected.

The list goes on and on and many professional woodworkers like to build their own jigs that suits their needs the best. I only know of one woodworking plans resource that take jigs into consideration and will even show you how to build a lot of really cool ones. Amateurs often buy their own jigs, but if you want to be a real woodworker, you're going to have to build your own and build a lot as the need arises. Learning how to do so is a simple as pie.


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