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TABLE SAW LONG PIECE CUTTING JIG

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Forum topic by Kelly posted 06-12-2016 04:34 PM 832 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kelly

1114 posts in 2412 days


06-12-2016 04:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw tablesaw jig guide long cuts long pieces cutting jig table saw jig tablesaw jig forty-fives 45s miter miter slot miter guide rail guide rail cutting flat stock cutting sheet goods sheet good cuts

I have a Unisaw with a 52” fence. Needless to say, cutting a forty-five on 3/4” stock longer than its capabilities is a challenge.

I could run against a sacrificial fence, but that requires me to rely on the cut portion, in back of the blade, to keep the cut straight. Experience will, more likely than not, shift and give a less than perfect cut.

I was working a piece of flat stock 36” wide by 60” long. I had to put 45’s on the 36” ends.

I could have built a sled, but it would have been huge. Instead, I made an absurdly simple jig, which relies on the miter slot and the piece being cut to perform the task.

[CONSTRUCTING THE JIG]

The jig can be constructed from wood, aluminum, iron or a combination of any of those things. At the least, a hard wood should be used for the rail that follows the miter track.

I keep 3/8” aluminum flat stock on hand and cut it into rails for jigs that rely on the miter slots of my band saw, table saw, or sanders. Since cutting aluminum on a table saw is not the most fun I’ve had, I try to cut extras, when cutting a rail. As such, I had one 3/8”x3/4”x48” rail already cut, so I used it for the guide rail, which will ride the table saw miter slot. For the top, I just used a strip of poplar I had in my odds-and-ends collection.

I drilled holes about three inches apart and just big enough to allow me to thread them to take 1/4×20 screws. I didn’t bother with the six or so inches to the left and right of center, since cuts that small could be done on my miter, and narrow pieces would be better done on a sled.

Once the holes were threaded, I counter sunk the side that will ride on the miter track. This allowed me to run 1/4×20 flat head screw flush with the bottom of the jig, to avoid having the screws hang up going in the miter slot, or holding the material up, off of the table.

I used a piece of poplar for the top. I cut it to the same length as the aluminum bar, but left it at about 1-1/2” wide and 1” thick, since its dimensions were not as critical as the guide bar.

I drilled holes in the poplar that matched the holes in the aluminum stock. This allows it to drop down over the screws mounted in the guide bar.

The different holes allow me to move the screws closer together or farther apart to accommodate different wood dimensions. For example, my project required me to use two holes about forty inches apart, to hold a pieces of plywood five feet long and three feet wide.

I used 3” long 1/4” x 20 (threads per inch [TPI]) flat head screws, mounted from the underside of the bottom rail (previously countersunk). With the screws in position for the piece I was cutting, I installed the top piece and two locking knobs.

When positioning my jig guide rails, I like to leave a little bit of the rail sticking out the front of my jigs, so they start tracking the miter slot before the wood contacts the blade.


[JIG SET UP and USE]

This set up is for cutting forty-five degree cuts on the end of an already squared piece of stock. The jig can also be used for cutting pieces not already cut to size. In those situations you would adjust the position of your fence away from the blade according to need.

When in use, the jig clamps to the piece being cut and forces it to follow the path of the miter track. How closely it follows depends on how tightly your guide bar rides in the track.

To set the jig up for the cut:

1) Set the blade to forty-five degrees;

2) Set the fence to zero (so the blade is just touching the fence);

3) Drop the blade below the table;

4) Drop the jig in the miter slot;

5) Slide the stock into the jig and, with it pressed against the fence, lock it in the jig;

6) Move the fence well back from the blade. Regardless of the cut, the fence is only used for setup;

7) Slide the stock back from the blade;

8) Raise the blade;

9) Turn the table saw on;

10) Run the stock using the miter guide and rail to guide it.


10 replies so far

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 464 days


#1 posted 06-12-2016 05:52 PM

I don’t have your specific problem to solve, but this is a clever idea for dealing with very large panels like you have.

I can see where steel tubing on top would allow the top piece to perhaps apply more even pressure, but I can’t say that that would actually make it better.

Any slipping problems?

Wondering if putting some non-slip material on the two piece where they contact the stock would improve that. If it even needs improving.

Again, clever idea, well done!

-- Clin

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2412 days


#2 posted 06-12-2016 06:47 PM

That’s why I used the wider poplar for the top. When I clamp it clamps so tightly at the edges my 45’s fit like a glove. Not bad for a three foot long forty-five on a five foot long sheet.

If it were a problem, I’d cut a top board thicker in the middle, to push down more in the center.


I don t have your specific problem to solve, but this is a clever idea for dealing with very large panels like you have.

I can see where steel tubing on top would allow the top piece to perhaps apply more even pressure, but I can t say that that would actually make it better.

Any slipping problems?

Wondering if putting some non-slip material on the two piece where they contact the stock would improve that. If it even needs improving.

Again, clever idea, well done!

- clin


View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 464 days


#3 posted 06-12-2016 08:34 PM

Assuming you tighten the screws to the same amount, it will be the same total force. Just not sure if it would be more or less likely to slip if that force is concentrated at the edges (as yours is), or spread out. But it sounds like what you have is working well, so if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

-- Clin

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#4 posted 06-12-2016 08:45 PM

Sometimes it’s eraser to take the tool to the work. In those situations I’d probably use my track saw.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View BoxO's profile

BoxO

29 posts in 284 days


#5 posted 06-12-2016 09:06 PM

Track saw would be perfect to use here, But sadly I do not own one YET.

Any chance you can attach a straight edge and use a router?

Whiteside Router Bits 2310 Chamfer Bit with 45-Degree 1-1/2-Inch Cutting Length

Grizzly C1134 45-Degree Chamfer Bit, 1/2-Inch Shank, 1-7/8-Inch Diameter
by Grizzly
$33.83Prime
I have had luck before but needed to be clamped down tightly.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2412 days


#6 posted 06-12-2016 11:34 PM

I have nice circular saws and tracks for flat stock from two to eight feet, but I have never been impressed with having to set it up. For example, I have to move the fence out of the way and use the table top or set up saw horses, then set up for the cut. In the end, it’s about the same, but boils down to a kind of Ford vs Chevy thing.

Add to all this, my shop is full of cabinets and such. Making room for a track on other than my table saw doesn’t appeal to me.

Of course, using the table saw is good for a bit of irony. It’s like the guys who put their hats on backward, then shield their eyes with their hand.


Track saw would be perfect to use here, But sadly I do not own one YET.

Any chance you can attach a straight edge and use a router?

Whiteside Router Bits 2310 Chamfer Bit with 45-Degree 1-1/2-Inch Cutting Length

Grizzly C1134 45-Degree Chamfer Bit, 1/2-Inch Shank, 1-7/8-Inch Diameter
by Grizzly
$33.83Prime
I have had luck before but needed to be clamped down tightly.

- BoxO


View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#7 posted 06-12-2016 11:46 PM

I think it boils down to shop set ups. I lay the sheet on my 4×8 work table. Lay the track where I want the cut (the track is hanging right there on the wall) to be and do the cut.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2412 days


#8 posted 06-13-2016 03:13 AM

Shop layout is,as you say, much of it. Add to that investment. My space is spent on edge sanders, a duplicating machine, and over-arm pin router, and all the usual (band saw, cabinet saw, three dust collectors, a miter, a sanding station and so on).


I think it boils down to shop set ups. I lay the sheet on my 4×8 work table. Lay the track where I want the cut (the track is hanging right there on the wall) to be and do the cut.

- AlaskaGuy


View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#9 posted 06-13-2016 03:51 AM

Can you flip your router carver table completely upside down and use that as a table. (the side with out the duplicator mounted to it/)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2412 days


#10 posted 06-13-2016 04:13 AM

No, but a good idea. I set it up to stop in the vertical and horizontal positions. Because of that, I can add storage for the accessories, bits and so forth (which is in the plan, but behind the other twenty drawers I have to build for the other tool bases) behind/underneath the table.


Can you flip your router carver table completely upside down and use that as a table. (the side with out the duplicator mounted to it/)

- AlaskaGuy


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