Jointers are usually very expensive, bulky and not meant to be moved from one location to another. They are the best tools for straightening boards. You can use it to make one flat surface on a table saw, to square the board. Moreover, you can always buy one or build it in your workshop.
Table saws often have a simple jig that can do the work of a jointer. Therefore, today we will look at how you can easily build a table saw jointer jig, which can give you straight and clean edges that you can work on and make other joints.
Tools and Materials Needed
The difficulty level of this woodworking is moderate to easy, with zero finishing. You can complete it within 1-2 hours. Besides, this jig configuration plan is for boards no longer than 4 feet, in length.
- A table saw
- Cordless drill or power drill
- ½-inch straight-cutting router bit
- Fixed-base router with a router table
- Tape measure
- 1-1x6x3 inches SPF Lumber
- 1-12×4 inch piece of ¾-inch sanded AC, plywood
- 2-½ x2 inch hex bolts with two flat washers, two lock washers as well as two wing nuts
- 1-¼ inch deck screws
- ¾ inch wood screw
- ½ inch chisel
- Two quick-release toggle clamps
Cut Guide Slots
In this tutorial, you will need ¾-inch plywood, of 12W by 48L inches and a 1×6 cut to 36-inches lengthwise. You will also need a 60-inch long strip of stock ripped to 3/4 by 3/8 or any other straight scrap stock.
Set the fixed base router with a ½ straight cutting bit, and then place it on the router table. Adjust bit height to 1/8 above table surface.
Make two slots on the 1×6, each an inch from the board′s end, perpendicular to its long axis. Each slot should stop at ¾ inch from the board′s edge.
The fence of the router table should be 1-inch away from the edge of the bit and make pencil marks on the fence, ¾-inch on each direction from edges of the bit. The pencil marks will indicate the beginning and end of points of the slot.
After which, you can start the router, ease the board down the bit with the leading edge at the far end of the pencil′s mark. Guide the board along the fence until its trailing edge meets the pencil mark trail, lift it off the bit and repeat the same process on the other slot.
You can then raise the router bit to another 1/8-inch and repeat the slot cuts until you finish. Take care when pushing the end grain against the fence on the router table, as it can bind to the fence, leading to kickbacks.
Moreover, work slowly and sure, dropping the speed of your router bit, a little to prevent the bit from burning.
Drill Bolt Holes
Cut 1/2-inch diameter holes on lower plywood. This is where the two hex bolts will go through and then to the slots that allow the jig to joint various board widths.
Here you will position upper board on plywood and center on the long axis, six inches from each end and 2-1/2 inch from the right edge of the lower plywood.
Make your pencil markings on each left side of the slot and into the plywood below. Then remove the upper board and drill 1/2 –inch hole on the plywood, at the two pencil markings.
Recess Bolt Head
First turn the plywood base of jointer jig and insert two bolts in the ½-inch bolts holes. Use a pencil to mark the edges of the hex bolts.
Remove the bolts and enough material to recess their heads into the base of the plywood. You can use a ½-inch bevel-edged chisel.
Assemble Jointer Jig
Turn plywood base over and attach upper half of jig by positioning slots over bolts. Finish each bolt with a flat washer, then a lock washer and finally a wingnut. Remember the lower half of the jointer jig has recessed hex bolts.
You can then test if the upper half will slide against the lower half, and be held securely and tightly with the wingnuts.
Attach and Adjust Clamps
Attach quick-release toggle clamps on upper jig portion, using four ¾ wood screws. Positioning, each clamp base evenly, about ¼-inch from the right edge of the upper jointer jig, about 2-inches inside the slots.
Then adjust the pads of the clamps, so they can secure/ hold any piece of one-by stock, be it 1×6 or 1×8. You can use any scrap piece of stock in the clamps, during the adjustment.
However, do not make it so tight, as the pressure can tear the clamps off the jig. You can use a pair of open-end wrenches.
Cut Miter Strip
Rip a piece of stock on your table saw, 5-feet and fit it on the left miter slot of your table saw. Verify your saw miter slot first, but it usually ranges from 3/4W-3/8H or more. Make sure the strip glides easily, with minimal play through the miter slot.
Attach Miter Strip
Attach miter strip to jig base. Face the table saw, measure left side of the saw blade to the right edge of left miter slot, and then add 1/8-inch to this measurement.
Then turn over the jig, measure right-hand side distance. Use a straight edge to mark a parallel line at this distance from the right edge of the jig.
Lastly, position the strip′s wide edge against jointer jig base, on the edge of the line that is opposite the right side of jointer jig. Use 1-1/4-inch deck screws for attaching.
Moreover, pre-drill and countersink the deck screws to ensure their heads recess and never protrude past the face of the strip.
Trim Jointer Jig
Trim the edges of the jig, but first, make sure that the miter slot and jointer jig glides smoothly through the entire table length. After which, pull the jig toward your body, raise the blade over 3/4-inch start the saw and trim right side edge of jointer jig and you are through.
Additional Information on Use
Using a table saw jointer jig is very easy. Just position the wood board you want to square in the jig. Place the parts you want to remove just over the right edge of the jig, raise the blade a bit higher above the stock, start the saw, and trim the stock nicely.
Use a table saw with a fence if you plan to trim the other side of the stock, as a table saw jointer jig only straightens one side of the board edge.
Moreover, you can adjust the wingnuts, to narrow or widen the clamps, in order to accommodate various board widths.
Also, exercise caution and stand on the left side of the blade in case of a kickback. Never stand behind it.
There you have, an easy and straightforward way to building a table saw jointer jig. Follow these steps and you will never go wrong in any way.