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T-Track jig for jointing and cross-cutting wide panels on the table saw

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Blog entry by GregD posted 1744 days ago 4795 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is yet another jig that works for jointing and also cross-cutting wide panels on the table saw.

The idea is pretty simple: Use a T-Track as a runner in a miter gage slot and a couple of simple hold-downs to clamp the T-Track to the work piece. In my case I used a 48” T-Track from Rockler for the runner. I caught it on sale as a kit with a selection of bolts and knobs. The hold-downs are short sections of 1×2 with 2 holes. One hole is for the T-Track bolt, the second has a 1/4” T-nut to hold a bolt with the corners of the bolt head ground off to make the head round. Also, because the head of the bolt will be pressed into the T-Track, I filed the head flat. Pretty simple to construct. I also added some self-stick sandpaper to the ends that contact the work piece.

My jig looks like this:
T-Track jig #1

Here is a close-up of the bottom of the hold-down clamps.

The heads of the 1/4” bolts are rounded so that the bolt will rotate freely when the bolt head is in the T-Track.

T-Track jig #2

Here is a shot of my first use of the jig.
In this case I just want to put a straight edge on a piece of scrap. The blade is down so I could take the picture. The picture is cropped here; click on it to see the whole image.
Using the T-Track jig

In order to help locate the jig relative to a cut line I put a 3/4” square steel tube in my right miter gage slot and used it as a fence to rip the above piece of scrap so it was exactly as wide as the distance between the blade and the edge of the miter slot. I can then clamp the scrap with one edge aligned to the cut line, and then hold the T-Track up against the other side of the scrap while tightening the knobs of the hold-down clamps.

To locate the jig for a square cross-cut on a panel, I clamp my aluminum level to the reference edge of the panel so it sticks up a bit. I then hold a drafting square against the level and the T-Track against the drafting square with one hand while carefully tightening the knobs of the hold-down clamps.

Getting good results with the jig took a bit of practice. The T-Track is slightly undersized for the miter gage slots on my table saw, so I keep pressure on the work piece toward the blade as I make the cut. The T-Track is not particularly rigid, so I try not to overdue this pressure. I’m also very careful when placing the T-Track into the miter slot to avoid bending it.

-- Greg D.



3 comments so far

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1181 days


#1 posted 1108 days ago

Genius!!!! Very simple yet very useful!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2371 days


#2 posted 1107 days ago

This is a good one that fell through the cracks. Thanks for making mention of it again.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15582 posts in 1493 days


#3 posted 1107 days ago

This is a good idea and I can see how there might be other uses for the same concept. Thanks.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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