|Project by CueballRosendaul||posted 03-23-2015 04:23 PM||2711 views||14 times favorited||6 comments|
When I made my last project, the ultimate cutting board, it became apparent that I really needed a thin rip jig. I couldn’t see spending money on such a simple piece, so I hit the cutoff bin and pulled out a piece of walnut that had some discoloration and was too small for anything else. The only thing I needed to buy was the miter slot kit, which I picked up at the Rockler store. The miter slot fixture kit was cheap, but overall, that was an expensive visit to the store! I should say that the miter guide blocks had a little slop in the track but a few blows of the hammer on the ends was just enough to widen it and make it fit perfectly.
There were a few blemishes in the walnut on the face, so after I installed the wheel, I used the jig to rip a 1/8” strip of quilted maple to inlay into a few dado slots on the face. The roller bearing is a shower door bearing that I had on hand and it works perfectly because there’s no slack in the bearings and it has a captive nut on one side.
I never trust the ruler markings on things like these, so I opted for a set of feelers instead of a rule. After the jig was complete, I made a batch of feeler pieces from a thick piece of hard maple. Now that my woodworking has been elevated to the level of working in thousandths of an inch for some projects, the setup blocks and my dial caliper will keep me in good shape.
A nice looking and accurate jig like this deserves a nice storage box, so I mitered a box out of 1/2” white oak and used a piece of 3/4” oak veneer plywood for the bottom so I could cut a slot for the miter guide. When I put it in the box, I can stack the feelers up on the flat side and hold them in place by turning the knob to lock the jig in the slot. The lid is a piece of 1/4” birch veneer plywood that fit perfectly.
To use the jig, I can set the feeler blocks on the outside edge of the blade and bring the rip jig up so the wheel touches the feeler and snug the miter slot handle enough that it locks the jig in position, but not enough to secure it in the slot. Then I can simply run the jig down the slot to the bottom section and tighten it in the track.
I decided a while back that I was going to build any jigs and fixtures out of nice pieces of wood and finish them well since they are some of the only pieces I build that I get to enjoy myself. Seems like everything else I build ends up belonging to someone else! The finish is 5 coats of satin water based poly with quite a bit of steel wool and wax to make it satiny smooth like a finish you can’t keep your hands off. I really like the poly that I use most often, it’s actually hardwood floor poly which has some aluminum oxide in it and is VERY tough and durable. It’s Varathane and can be bought in quarts and gallons. I actually started using it when I had some leftover from doing our hardwood floors and now I’m hooked on it and buy quarts whenever I run low.
-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.