I like McDonald’s. It’s not haute cuisine, but I like it. One of the things that makes me like McDonald’s is that whether I order my Sausage McMuffin with Egg and an extra hash brown in Ohio, Texas, Florida or anywhere else, I know how it’ll taste (delicious). The brilliance of Ray Kroc, the man who made McDonald’s what it is, was his insistence on consistency. Billions of burgers later, the golden arches are proof that consistency pays.
Any woodworker knows that consistency pays off in the shop as well. An extra 32nd here and a missing 16th there, and pretty soon nothing fits right. That’s where a shop-made jig or fixture can save your bacon.
Our newest e-mag, Jigs & Fixtures, features 11 articles from the Popular Woodworking Magazine archives that introduce 28 jigs and fixtures you can use to improve the consistency and accuracy of your work – and it’s only $4.99.
In “Dirt Simple Router Jigs,” Glen Huey, a power-tool power user, shows 11 jigs and techniques to improve your router work, from square edges to sliding dovetails. Then, build and use Glen’s “Panel-cutting Sled” to add to the utility of your table saw.
Christopher Schwarz reaches back more than 300 years in woodworking history to show how “Moxon’s Ingenious Bench Vise” can save your back, save you time and improve your hand-tool work. In “Bench Hook,” Christopher shows you how three pieces of wood are used to make one of the simplest – and most useful – fixtures for your shop.
Robert W. Lang shows you how to make a “Table Saw Tenon Jig” from just five pieces of wood and a clamp, then how to use this jig to make vertical cuts safely. Bob also gives you step-by-step instructions to build the “Best Band Saw Fence,” and teaches you how to “Hold Handwork Without a Vise.”
Chuck Bender knows a little something about making fine furniture – and he shares some of his extensive know-how by sharing his “5 Favorite Jigs” – including a shop-made sliding dovetail jig, sharpening jig, edge-routing jig and more.
Wrestling huge sheets of plywood can be a chore, and even be dangerous at times. Nick Engler can help – In “Make Precision Cuts With a Circular Saw,” Nick shows how a simple saw guide and cutting grid makes breaking down sheet goods a snap. And while the cliché that you can never have too many clamps may have a bit of truth to it, sometimes clamps alone aren’t enough. Nick shows you some tricks and solutions to three knotty assembly problems in “Clamp Assist.”
And Steve Shanesy teaches you how to build a “Drill Press Table” with T-track, MDF and other low-cost materials to add utility to your drill press without straining your bank account.
You might save enough to take someone to lunch.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.