Koa Kerfmaker

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 04-12-2011 07:24 PM 15722 views 40 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was again challenged to try to make one of these neat little kerfmakers. I had looked at the video for Bridge City Tools and still cannot figure out how it is used with the second gapped area so I made one of my own design that is easily understood. It was just bit more tricky to fit everything in. I was designing on the fly while milling the body. It is a bit longer because it has a range of up to 2”. The blade gap slide has been changed to brass and I added new photos to show how it is used and how it is assembled.
That little critter works really slick. The only measurement was to check the height of the cut to be half the board thickness. I was amazed at how quick you can make dados fit together with a Kerfmaker.
I used Hawaiian Koa wood because it is so hard on tools and stable, it is finished with Deft semi-gloss.

I must add for clarity that the brass knurled nut that is used to set the blade width, is floating in the groove and does not clamp down on the wood, just the brass slide.

This one was inspired by Mads from way back. Thank you , Mads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

20 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3232 days

#1 posted 04-12-2011 08:10 PM

congratĀ“s with your new toy :-)
and it does look very nice in Koa , nothing wrong with the design :-)

thankĀ“s for sharing it

take care

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 04-12-2011 08:15 PM

That is a neat kerfmaker. Well done!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View degoose's profile


7238 posts in 3471 days

#3 posted 04-12-2011 08:31 PM

That looks better than the original…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2926 days

#4 posted 04-12-2011 08:58 PM

Nice work there :)

I ordert the damm thing from bridge citytolls and it was a preorder and also the tenonmarker and even before i got the tenonmarker mafe had made one!
Then it got stock in custom and it costed me besides the normal price 65dollars more!

Thats the bad thing when you live in europe and order from USA. So next time i see something smart and i cant figured it out i will ordert it at Mafe`s workshop :D

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3232 days

#5 posted 04-12-2011 09:21 PM

when do we ever learn Thomas and just go to toolstreet number one and enter the door
with the sign Mafetooldesignlumberny ….LOL


View sedcokid's profile


2733 posts in 3715 days

#6 posted 04-12-2011 09:35 PM

Good look’in tool there Jim, I have never used one of these tools, but looks handy!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View rance's profile


4261 posts in 3277 days

#7 posted 04-12-2011 10:15 PM

That one sure looks nice. Could I suggest you add Kerfmaker in your tags for this post? :) This helps when the next person does a search.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3206 days

#8 posted 04-12-2011 10:58 PM

Hi Jim,
Thats a really nice Kerfmarker you have made there.
I guess it works that you first set the wood size, and then the blade after, or can you lock the blade gauge.
Thank you for the thought, it was nice of you.
Now perhaps you can be the first to follow me on the tennon marker, I have been wondering if it will never happen.
Napoleon and Dennis, I smile.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Grumpy's profile


24263 posts in 3968 days

#9 posted 04-13-2011 01:05 AM

Nice job Jim & very neat as well.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View jack1's profile


2109 posts in 4144 days

#10 posted 04-13-2011 02:48 AM

Nice work as usual! lots of time, lots of thought, lots of use.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3713 days

#11 posted 04-13-2011 04:03 AM

It’s even cooler in person Awesome job Jim

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2544 posts in 3800 days

#12 posted 04-13-2011 07:41 AM

Nice project Jim, have never used one.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Chad Hamilton's profile

Chad Hamilton

16 posts in 2764 days

#13 posted 04-13-2011 05:40 PM

Hi Jim,
It was a real treat being able to play with your version of the kerfmaker at the West MI Woodworker’s Guild


View steliart's profile


2780 posts in 2805 days

#14 posted 04-17-2011 09:47 AM

very nicely build KM

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21108 posts in 3222 days

#15 posted 05-15-2011 12:50 AM

Hi Mads. You can set the blade width first and then the wood width because the hand wheel that tightens the blade width is cleared out to be tight on the brass slide and the top slide can slide around it.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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