Spline jig #1: First attempt

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Blog entry by Sanman posted 12-23-2011 08:03 PM 2091 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Spline jig series Part 2: The box from the jig »

I made this from scap pallet pieces.


Lot’s of problems. My thought was to leave the fence in the same place and move the box from side to side inside the jig to make larger spline cuts. This way I would only have the one cut through the jig.

Not enough support. The box was moving as I cut and I ended up with different size spline cuts that were not square to the box.

I plan on increasing the size of the whole thing, but will need to purchase wood to do this. I still like the idea of leaving the fence in the same place, but this time I’ll add shims to change the size of the spline cuts.

-- I'll get it done when I get a-round-tuit.

5 comments so far

View boxcarmarty's profile


16311 posts in 2389 days

#1 posted 12-23-2011 09:56 PM

The shims will give you a repeat cut and help save your jig….. Do you have a good metal detector for those skids? A hidden nail and a new set of knives for my planer cured me of used lumber.

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 12-23-2011 11:48 PM

I use a stop on my jig to keep the box in place. I agree on moving the box to save from cutting up the jig.
On yours you could easily c-clamp a stop. I set it, cut all 4 corners, then reset the stop and cut 4 more corners, until I have done all the splines.


View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 12-24-2011 03:58 AM

I make quite a few boxes with splines. I usually shim the box in the jig to move the placement of the splines. I cut up a lot of jigs, but they are so easy to make I just toss em when they get ratty and build a new one. Oh I leave the fence in the same place always.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 12-24-2011 04:48 AM

I’ll try to post a pic of my spline jig as it solves most of your concerns but a description will have to do for tonight: the cradle portion of my jig is open at the bottom so it never gets cut. The jig also rides the tablesaw fence so I don’t have to worry about it wandering. I clamp the boxes to the jig and this stops movement from wallowing out the splines. In use I never pull the box back through the blade and this results in very consistent splines. I’ll try to do pics this weekend.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2664 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 07:05 PM

I built my 2 spline jigs for 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick splines and slotted them in 4 places with the slots being 1/2 inch apart. I use my router table to cut the slots and move the jig and fence until the bit moves freely through the slot then lock the fence down. My next project is to build 2 more jigs in the same way to cut dovetail splines in both 1/4 and 1/2 inch sizes.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

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