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Tablesaw Spline Jig with a story

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Project by Blackie_ posted 535 days ago 2620 views 7 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first miter joint spline jig, I’ve been wanting to add splines to my box miter joints for sometime now along with the inspiration from others here on LJ’s so a couple days ago I decided it was time to move it to the top priority of my to-do list, I found an online video on how to make one that slides over the fence, only I made it to fit my personal use and to the size I wanted. The wood I used is reclaimed hard wood that was demoed from my parents 1960 kitchen during the time I was upgrading their kitchen. the cradle measures 13 1/2 Long x 9” High on the V walls.

I used the jig once but it didn’t go so well the first time.

Story: The jig was not the cause, it was because the box I put in it was not square, the boxes I make are not your typical, average traditional mitered corner box, they are my own designed boxes, A new design, I like to refer to as hybrid’s, I take a bandsaw box (inner) and wrap it with mitered facing boards (outer) and thus I hide all blade enter points, and you see when you enter the box from the side with a saw blade and run it through clear into the next cavity for the drawers, the thickness of the blade takes that much wood out, this particular box had two entry points from one side so roughly about a 1/6 of an inch was removed cause the box to warp a bit, once the box is all glued up and cured I fix the top warp as it’s visible to the necked eye by placing the bottom of the box up against the fence and setting the blade so that it’s just barely on the wood at the short end then running the box through planes the top flush no loner visible to the eye, OK so when I placed the box in the spline jig I didn’t account or take into consideration that the box was not square so when placing the box with the top of the box facing the upright plate closest to the fence in the jig where the corner sat in the V, it was flush against the upright plate there but at the top of the V it separated away from the back plate by about a 1/4” unknowingly I forced the box up against the plate and made my pass I saw that it wasn’t deep enough so I raised the blade and gave a second pass but still unknowingly the position of the box was critical I gave another pass this time no holding the box against the plate and cut a whole new spline joint ruining the box I tried to cover it up with larger spline joints but wand up just butchering it all the time still unknowingly the box was out of square, it wasn’t until later that all of this came to light and I realized what I just told you in this message that it was out of square never even dawned on me so now what do I do in order to make these splines work? My conclusion and I’d like to hear from others on this, if I just let the corner of the box rest in the V and hold it firm there flush in the cradle without pulling it up against the back plate it should cut accurate on all corners and cuts, that’s what I’m thinking.

The Box in question was one of my most extensive builds and once the butcher was done, I thought all was lost, my stomach dropped and I was sick the thought of having to scrap in my mind one of my most masterpieces, after walking away from it and putting thought into it, I was able to come up with a fix and a salvage to my mistake and brought it back to life, it is now in the finishing stages and will be posted soon.

Thanks for looking and reading my story look forward to comments :)

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs





15 comments so far

View GeneR's profile

GeneR

146 posts in 536 days


#1 posted 535 days ago

Great idea to use the fence to support the jig, but did you have any problems spline placement or the saw blade tearing up the bottom of the jig from moving the whole jig for different spline locations?

I made one about 2 years ago and being that it was the first jig I had ever made, i utilized the miter slots to holdd it then made a locking movable side wall to brace my project and adjust the spline location. I felt that this design would keep the blade in the same location which made aligning the spline location fairly easy.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3290 posts in 1111 days


#2 posted 535 days ago

Thanks GeneR

If I understand your setup you have your jig so that you move the box and not the jig since it rides in the miter slots, so as to use the same slot in all positions? That makes better since and to answer your question I fear that over time this jig will have to be replaced depending on how many different places it’s aligned to, also on mine I failed to mention that I have to take into account the 3/4” added difference from the fence to the blade due to the back plate.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View GeneR's profile

GeneR

146 posts in 536 days


#3 posted 535 days ago

Correct, my box will move in the jig that way I can mark the spline locations on the box and align the mark with the blade location. It seems to work very well.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1787 days


#4 posted 535 days ago

Nice work I use mine alot. I plan on making another one for my router table to do Dove Tails on the boxes.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View GeneR's profile

GeneR

146 posts in 536 days


#5 posted 535 days ago

Ken, let us know how the router table one works out and post some pictures as I was thinking of doing the same since my hand cut dovetails come out looking like a blind monkey chopped a watermelon with a dull axe.

Dovetauls are my nemesis. Grrrrrr.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#6 posted 535 days ago

A very useful jig.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4088 posts in 1455 days


#7 posted 535 days ago

Randy my work is definitely rarely square so I clamp my to the sled
within the cradle I also use the miter track. The joint can be a fair bit
above the corner, I will glue on a piece of scrap to stop break out.
I hope this makes a wee bit of sense?

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3290 posts in 1111 days


#8 posted 535 days ago

Jamie when you say break out are you also referring to tear out? As in splintering the wood when the blade exits?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4348 posts in 891 days


#9 posted 535 days ago

I’m sure it will be a very useful jig for your work—best wishes.

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

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4738 posts in 1441 days


#10 posted 535 days ago

Nice step forward. Interested in seeing your save.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4088 posts in 1455 days


#11 posted 535 days ago

Randy Yes,

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

10557 posts in 1288 days


#12 posted 534 days ago

Randy- I posted my spline jig (also a fence rider) some time ago and I think it would solve your problem. Mine has an open bottom and has a ‘window’ in the non-fence end so I can see/set the blade height. Tearout was a concern that I have addressed several ways: tape the spline areas (what I usually do) ,tape a 1/8” backer board to the back side of the jig cradle, and use really sharp sawblades (Freud box cutter set). I have also used mine on the router table with straight spiral cut bits (but you have to hold it firmly against the router fence or it will wander away from it).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11063 posts in 1704 days


#13 posted 534 days ago

Nice one, Randy!!.............Jim

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

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1410 posts in 866 days


#14 posted 534 days ago

Randy, here is my tutorial on making and using a spline cutting jig.

I am afraid your design is limited by the boards at the end of the V trough and that the slide will have too much play in it.

Some hints. Put a box in the jig and spread the v trough until the corner bottoms out on the sliding board at the bottom of the jig. Since your box touches the sliding board, you can take direct measurements to determine the blade height.

Hold one or more of those brass set up bars at a 45 degree angle on the corner of your box to estimate how deep a cut you will need to make. You then use the same bar to set the height of your dado blade. Since the box touches the bottom board when in the V trough, you can just put the bar on the bottom board and set the dado height directly.

I position the box for where I want my splines with a pencil line drawn on a tape. If the ends of your trough are open you can easily slide the box side to side. I use the fence pressing on the side of the bottom sliding board to take all the play out of the slide action. It works very well for me.

Looking at the link will help make this clearer.

-- Big Al in IN

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3290 posts in 1111 days


#15 posted 534 days ago

Thanks Big Al and Andy, I like each miter spline jig from both of you, thanks so much for posting, I’m going to file this jig away and start over.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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