I grew up on a ranch, a place where you have to be able to do just about everything yourself. Plumber, mechanic, veterinarian, heavy equipment operator, you name it. Having been raised that way, I can’t stand to pay anyone for anything I think I can do myself – my wife would say that is why nothing gets done around here!
I make a lot of my own jigs and fixtures. Some of them only get used once, some of them are used so much they almost never get put away. Either way, they are tools that allow me to work faster, safer, and more accurately.
Lots of people with more experience and expertise than me have written books and articles about jigs. A couple of my favorite books are by R.J. “Cris” DeCristoforo and Kerry Pierce, from whom I have gleaned a lot of great ideas. I have also recently become acquainted with the ideas of Niki Avrahami who is a regular contributor to LumberJocks.com and an expert on doing more with less. In fact, many of the members of LumberJocks.com have generously provided great ideas and suggestions that I have been able to incorporate into my designs for current and future jigs.
Most of the books and articles I have read about jigs have been project instructions – they told me how to build a jig to perform a specific function. Instead of giving a tutorial of how to make my favorite jigs, I’d like to discuss the process behind designing jigs and fixtures.