LumberJocks

My take on the thin rip jig

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Project by lumberjoe posted 669 days ago 4587 views 26 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This took a few tries to work as I wanted it to. I make a decent amount of cutting boards and often cut thin bands for splines or to hide plywood edges and end grain. I’m not super comfortable working with the fence less than an inch from the blade. These are commercially available, however they are also fun to make. This went through a few iterations. Cliffs notes at the bottom.

The final product:

It’s about 10” long, 4/4 red oak
Two 1/4” slots cut to attach to miter gauge (got to buy another whiteside router bit sinice my old cheap MCLS 1/4 bit kissed concrete the day before I made this)
I used an old router bit bearing in the end as a guide.
It rides in a miter slot runner for an old featherboard I replaced with a MagSwitch

It works awesome. I set it for a 1/2” rip and cut some slices off of some scrap ash about 3 feet long. It took a tad bit of trial and error to get the exact setting. Measuring blade kerf is not an exact science. I got dead on 1/2” on the dial calipers on my 3rd attempt. I ripped 6 strips. All were dead on 1/2”. I was very pleased and now have a lot of beautiful ash finish/stain stirrers.

The lessons learned
Number 1 – If you don’t use a bearing in the end, you are going to have a bad time

The first round was straight 45 degree angle. It worked, but it would deflect almost every time. A small flat spot worked much better than a point on the end, but I still got some deflection. A bearing is perfect. For those wondering, the inside diamater of this bearing matches a #10 wood screw exactly. I hollowed out a recess with a chisel then marked the center of the bearing. I drilled a pilot hole and scewed the bearing down. The screw has no threads toward the end, but just enough threads to bite into the bottom. Once through I sawed off the excess screw and filed/sanded it flush. Sorry fror the crappy pic, My camera saw my reflection in the cast iron and got a little awestruck:

Number 2 – One slot is a bad idea
Even with the bearing, held down in the center only, I could get the jig to move if I wanted it to. Two slots removes the piviot point fulcrum and locks it in place. It makes alignment a little tricky, however I’ve found with the bearing in the end, it doesn’t need to be perfectly 90 degrees to the workpiece. Bearings are round and spin, and you have a tiny little point of contact.

So for those of you that don’t like to read long posts, here are the cliffs notes:

1 – Two slots are better than one
2 – Use a guide bearing from an old router bit in the tip
3 – A #10 woodscrew fits right through the bearing with almost no play

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts





18 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12983 posts in 1280 days


#1 posted 669 days ago

Great little jig!

Do you have a condensed version of the cliff notes??? LOL.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View mloy365's profile

mloy365

429 posts in 1735 days


#2 posted 669 days ago

I really like it! I got a lot from reading your notes. Thank you!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View AngieO's profile

AngieO

1135 posts in 753 days


#3 posted 669 days ago

Thanks for sharing. This is something ill need.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4386 posts in 898 days


#4 posted 669 days ago

Nice project! Nice write up. And, great observations on dual tracts and advantages of using a ball bearing. Thanks for your post as I been thinking about doing pretty much what you’ve come up with and glad to know it works.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 854 days


#5 posted 669 days ago

Thanks everyone. I actually made another one and found another good tip. Intead of hollowing out the recess for the bearing with a chisel, I made several very light passes on the router table before I tapered the ends down (piece still square at the end). After that, taper your sides off and you are good to go. That is a lot cleaner and a lot less work.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1489 posts in 1033 days


#6 posted 669 days ago

Thanks for the “tip”

Me ,,thinking .. Would a nylon roller work?

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 854 days


#7 posted 669 days ago

I’m sure it would work just fine. I just happen to have a ton of bearings kicking around. I like to have spares as I have had a few quit on me from time to time

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#8 posted 669 days ago

Jolly good show a simple but effective jig.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1438 days


#9 posted 669 days ago

Aw dude, it’s so sweet! =)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 854 days


#10 posted 669 days ago

This thing is great. I’m working on yet another one with some sort of indexing mechanism so my common thin cuts can be easily set

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View bubbs's profile

bubbs

72 posts in 683 days


#11 posted 669 days ago

I must admit, I feel like a dummy. In all my years of woodworking, I’ve never encountered this kind of jig. Can you explain the technique on how it’s used? I’m sure I’ll have to make one ;-)

-- Cats, beer and wood...perfect.

View rance's profile

rance

4126 posts in 1766 days


#12 posted 669 days ago

LJ, I’ll ask you the same thing I asked Rex.

I am always on the lookout for thin ripping jigs to get consistently accurate strips for use in making corner splines. Fitting these into a 1/8” blade kerf slot demands very tight tolerances. How consistent have you found yours to be from one strip to the next?

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

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2829 posts in 854 days


#13 posted 668 days ago

Bubbs, this is used to rip thin strips of wood. Rather than have the thin side between the fence and the blade, you set this on the other (off cut) side of the blade to make repeated thin rips. This way you can keep the bulk of the wood between the fence and the blade, making the cut safer.

Rance, accuracy is dead on with some practice. Setting the initial cut is a tad tricky as I described, but once set and with careful fence movement/positioning, I was able to get 6 half inch strips that were all the exact same size (measured with a dial caliper). I’ve found it helps also to run the same edge against the fence every time as well. Once you get a feel for it, it becomes pretty mindless.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Roger's profile

Roger

14177 posts in 1409 days


#14 posted 668 days ago

Looks like a fantastic jig

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1732 posts in 794 days


#15 posted 668 days ago

Hey Joe,

Nicely done! I’m not totally clear on how to use it but I get the concept. I like the bearing idea and the stability of the 2 thumb bolts. Thanks very much for sharing and explaining.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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