|Project by SNSpencer||posted 12-16-2009 02:31 AM||3798 views||21 times favorited||13 comments|
OK, I have seen a couple of Feather Key cutting jigs on this site and I decided to throw my design into the mix. I took an existing design that I saw somewhere and added a few tweaks of my own, some for function and some for safety. The entire thing is made from scrap. Some plywood for the base, Oak, Cherry and a scrap of Plexiglas.
Picture 1 – Overall shot of the jig which rides on rails that slip into the miter slots on my table saw.
Picture 2 – The backside, and most dangerous part of the jig. In an effort to make this operation safer, I added a “No Fingers” box and stained it RED. This completely encompasses the spinning saw blade as it exits the jig. It’s kind of hard to see it in the picture but the top of covered with a piece of Plexiglas. This box makes it all but impossible to lose a finger by accident unless you run the jig all the way through the blade. I normally move the jig forward into the blade to make the cut then just slide it back. Also, you will notice a small space at the very back of the box. This is there so that any trapped sawdust can be emptied out. My first version of this had a hole drilled through the bottom inside the box but I ran into sawdust falling through and the jig would “lift” from the table on the return trip as it slid on a thin layer of sawdust.
Picture 3 – Close up of the trough where the box to be keyed resides. I drew in a ½” scale and the stop block is infinitely adjustable. Simply unclamp, move and reclamp. I also extended the cut line mark to the very rear of the trough for easy reference when the slot is covered by the piece being milled.
Picture 4 – Just a picture of the front side of the jig. Notice the tall Oak cross member at the very front. It keeps the jig from warping since you would be cutting through 2/3 of base.
Picture 5 – Glued directly to the jig is an example of what this contraption is for. I have a little piece of Yellowheart as an example of the feather key process. I also labeled for which table saw it was designed for. (Someday I hope to be confused by having multiple saws in the shop, come on Lottery) Mainly when I have nosy friends over they inevitably ask what some of the things in the shop are for. This makes it real easy to explain.
For now the jig only has the slot cut for a feather key that is perpendicular to the workpiece. It could easily be run through the saw with the blade angled as well. I have found that this can lead to problems with chip out if the corner of the box is not backed by the jig tray on both sides of the cut. If I ever decide to do this I would either make a separate jig for that type of cut. Unfortunately, I did not think ahead and just make the jig two sided with the rails off center. (“No Fingers” box and a cross member on the front and back. I could also do the appropriate scale on either side.)
-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet - http://www.etsy.com/shop/RefinedPallet