Shop fixture: simple thin rip tablesaw jig

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Project by rogerw posted 04-29-2011 04:19 PM 3558 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

They say necessity is the mother of invention and before you say anything, no I did not invent this. I’m just too cheap to spend what little money I have access to on something that can be made.
I was about to start ripping floorboards for my dollhouse out of 1/8” plywood I found in the vanity section at the local big box store when I realized I needed a way to get consistent widths from each cut. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I am college educated, so this shouldn’t be too hard to figure out and I am a veteran of the sawdust factory so…

The first one I made was just a 2”x1/2” stick with the end cut on two 30 degree angles making a 120 degree point. This one worked for about 1 sheet and then I noticed the point was wearing down and the last few rips were a little bit wider than the first few. RRRR! back to the drawing board!

The second one: same 120 degree point. this one I covered with a piece of sheet metal I formed around it. More than one way to skin a cat! (It’s just a saying… I’m not into animal cruelty) This one seemed to work better. I emphasize seemed. Turns out, I discovered after I was done ripping all these boards and installing them in the dollhouse, the sheet metal was flexing at the point and my widths of cuts were even less consistent than before. RRRR! Son of a B….!

OK… 3’s a charm, right? Well I needed to rip some more floorboards to cover the porches on this dollhouse and was determined to come up with a better solution. I remembered I had some hardware in a baggie in a drawer from an old bandsaw I use to own. When I got rid of the bandsaw I kept everything that I could: motor, blade guides, roller bearings, etc.
This one is made from a piece of oak I had in my scrap bucket. I drilled a few holes in it, put a split down the middle and installed one of the thrust bearings from that bandsaw. It worked great! I got a pile of floorboards and when I checked with the verniers, they were all within a few thousandths of each other. This one is basically just a stick that is clamped to the table. One of these days I will probably make a fancier one that uses the miter slot and is adjustable.

Question: how do you make those pieces that tighten up in a miter slot?

Thanks for looking.

end result… a pile of boards all the same width!

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

7 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1977 days

#1 posted 04-29-2011 04:45 PM

Hi Roger.

I think you want the miter slot guide that you can tighten to hold it in place, right? If so, it’s easy. Drill a hold through the guide about 2 inches from the end and countersink it, cut a thin slot from the end to the bolt hole and a bit past it, then put a 1/4 bolt with a flat head in the hole and put on a washer and nut on the top. Tightening the nut pulls the tapered head of the bolt into the countersink, spreading the guide in the slot until it’s jammed in holding the guide tight.

Try it with a piece of scrap first to see how well it fills the need. If it works well enough, you’re set. You might want to do it at both ends. A knob instead of just a nut works easier, but the knobs may get in the way if they’re too close to your work.

Hope this helps.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 2385 days

#2 posted 04-29-2011 04:48 PM

nice, i need one of those

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you

View rogerw's profile


262 posts in 1779 days

#3 posted 04-29-2011 07:34 PM

Big Tiny – yes that is what I’m talking about. Sounds simple enough. Thought it was kinda like that but figured I’d ask to take out all the experiments! lol


-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View jm82435's profile


1284 posts in 2831 days

#4 posted 04-29-2011 10:01 PM

Whatever works. I have never had need for one of these, but appreciate your approach to the problem.
BTW – Use a “T” nut. they sell them either a t bolt or nut like these:

or make your own like like this guy:

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Steve's profile


119 posts in 2219 days

#5 posted 04-30-2011 01:15 PM

BTW it’s called a thin rip guide. You just saved yourself a bit of cash. Here’s one from Rockler. I love home made solutions. Being frugal (read cheap) myself.

View rogerw's profile


262 posts in 1779 days

#6 posted 04-30-2011 03:36 PM

thanx steve. ok everyone, i have officially changed the title of this to “thin rip tablesaw jig”

yea… $25 bucks i get to spend on something else!

i suppose the one at rockler is probably what my fancy one will kinda look like when i get around to making it.


-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View Roger's profile


17850 posts in 1893 days

#7 posted 01-29-2012 05:35 PM

roger that roger from roger: this is a very simple and nice jig. i may make one like this. the one i’ve been usin is pretty simple also, and works gr8 when u have a wider board to start with. when it gets thin, u gotta be careful or you’ll be in trouble. a splitter helps a lot also

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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