ShopNotes Thin Strip Ripping Jig

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Project by garbonsai posted 176 days ago 2512 views 34 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A little while back, I was showing my Dad the drill press table in ShopNotes issue #94 that I had started building, and we flipped past the thin strip ripping jig featured in the same issue (and, apparently, in other issues—you can download the plans from ShopNotes website, where they indicate it comes from issue #105). “Hold on”, he said, and ran downstairs. A few minutes later he returned, triumphantly holding the 1-1/2” bearing I ended up using in this jig. Apparently, he has a whole box of them.

Anyway, I had some spare birch plywood, and decided to go ahead and put this jig together. I had to modify the plan a bit to accommodate the press-fit shaft that was already installed in the bearing, as it was already taller than a single piece of 3/4” plywood is thick (hence the 1/2” MDF added to the base). I also changed where the miter bar (maple) mounted to give myself a wider range of possible strip widths. Finally, the plans I used called for 1/4” slots and 1/4” hardboard runners. 1/4” for hardboard is nominal thickness—it actually varies anywhere from 5/32” to 7/32”—so I ended up using MDF for the runners, as 1/4” MDF is actually 1/4”. The knobs are from the same batch as I used on my table saw fence/blade alignment jig.

The tape measure is a cheap pocket ruler I picked up at Harbor Freight that I cut to length with a Dremel. The indicator is a 3/8” piece of polycarbonate (scrap from yet another project) that I scribed a line on the back side of. I slotted the holes in the indicator, so I can zero it out on blades with various kerfs.

The pictures were taken just after I finished zeroing out the indicator, hence the placement next to—rather than in front of—the blade. It works well—certainly better than the back corner of one of my featherboards, tilted at an angle.

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

15 comments so far

View jeff robinson's profile

jeff robinson

99 posts in 2359 days

#1 posted 176 days ago

nicely done

-- jeff robinson, panama city, fl

View Northwest29's profile


725 posts in 1122 days

#2 posted 176 days ago

Wow, that should take care of any problems making thin strips. Very nicely crafted – should last a very long time.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View cyclops4069's profile


60 posts in 209 days

#3 posted 176 days ago

great simple jig…..nice work.

-- regards, cyclops4069

View hoss12992's profile


2584 posts in 525 days

#4 posted 176 days ago

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Delain's profile


27 posts in 555 days

#5 posted 176 days ago

Looks like it rolled right out of the SN magazine. Very good work.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1048 posts in 242 days

#6 posted 176 days ago

this is awesome, I need to build one of these, thanks for the plans

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View NormG's profile


4112 posts in 1635 days

#7 posted 176 days ago

Great looking jig, they are very useful

-- Norman

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 456 days

#8 posted 176 days ago

Great job, nice practical project that I am sure will get lots and lots of use…well done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Woodwrecker's profile


3588 posts in 2207 days

#9 posted 176 days ago

You did a great job building that.
It looks professionally made, and I am sure will serve you well for a long time to come.

-- Having fun...Eric

View jakeprater's profile


52 posts in 221 days

#10 posted 176 days ago

Great job, as always. I copied your blade/fence alignment jig to use on my Craftsman 113.xxxxxxx table saw. Los like I’ll need to copy yet another one of your designs! I’ve got some glider bearings sitting around, so those should work.
Thanks for the ideas!

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

View jimmyb's profile


172 posts in 524 days

#11 posted 175 days ago

Nice job.

Question. Just how thin can you rip with this jig?

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View garbonsai's profile


135 posts in 587 days

#12 posted 175 days ago

Thanks for all the kind words, folks.

@jakeprater: You’re welcome. I’m just glad ShopNotes was generous enough to post the plans on their website—I wasn’t entirely comfortable with including a photo of the plans directly from the physical copy of issue #94 I have at home.

@jimmyb: In theory, right down to nothing, as you can adjust the bearing to touch the blade (and actually go slightly past it, which is in no way helpful, but I digress). In practice? Unsure. The thinnest pieces I’ve had to rip thus far were 5/16” or so (miter bar). Certainly, you’d want to use a zero clearance insert, especially when you start getting down to really thin pieces. Any particular reason why you’re asking?

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View dougmk's profile


10 posts in 233 days

#13 posted 175 days ago

Nice jig, thanks for sharing the plans. I am definitely going to make one.

View LJackson's profile


151 posts in 226 days

#14 posted 175 days ago

How do you ensure that the wood you are ripping runs across the sawblade in a straight line? If it were to angle, kickback could occur.

View garbonsai's profile


135 posts in 587 days

#15 posted 175 days ago

@LJackson: If you read through the ShopNotes article linked above, they do a pretty good job of explaining how to use the jig. Basically, you set the jig to the desired strip width, bring your wood into contact with the bearing, then bring your fence into contact with the other side of the wood and lock it down. Rip your strip, unlock the fence, and repeat as many times as you need. So the jig acts more like a stop block than a fence—it offers repeatability. Make sense?

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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