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Forum topic by rhett posted 02-09-2011 11:20 PM 1038 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3633 days

02-09-2011 11:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

Let me preface this topic with a little disclosure. There is a jig in my shop which I made. It is probably the 5th version, as I have been tweeking the design each time. Every woodworker who has seen it has asked for my “plans” or has made one from memory. Therefore, I am thinking of making a small batch and trying to sell them on ebay or my etsey store.

So, are you more likely to make or to buy a jig that you would use for multiple projects? What would you feel comfortable paying for just the plans to make a jig?

Understand I have to keep the idea close to my chest at this time, so I must be vague. The jig is to aid in joinery when making jewelry boxes.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

8 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3629 days

#1 posted 02-09-2011 11:27 PM

rhett—At first blush, I might buy plans.

I have only purchased 3 jigs (dovetail, tenon, and box-joint) ... the rest I have made myself either from my own design or plans that I found/bought/downloaded online.

The problem is, it is going to be hard to sell without some disclosure as to what it looks like or does and going through the patent process to protect your intellectual property can consume considerable time and money.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 02-09-2011 11:45 PM

I’d pay a few dollars for good jig plans because I don’t like to waste time making and perfecting the jig. I’m the kind of person who’d go through several iterations very quickly at significant expense of time and money.

Now if they are plans to complicated jig or machine, e.g. shopmade slot mortiser or drum sander, I might be willing to pay more.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View traupmann's profile


124 posts in 2753 days

#3 posted 02-09-2011 11:53 PM

I also would pay for a design—why not see if Wood Mag might publish it for you, and then offer the design for a fee.

-- chas -- looking for Serta sponsorship to go Pro...

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2976 days

#4 posted 02-10-2011 12:12 AM

One point I could add – there is a difference between a good idea and good plans. If just seeing photos of your jig allows people to easily make their own versions, in other words if it’s just the idea that is important, you might not have much success in selling plans, at least to a guy like me.

On the other hand, if the plans are important and really reduce the labor of figuring out many complicated and interdependent dimensions and if they tell the person where to source the needed specialized hardware, etc., then they are really valuable and you will sell a lot of plans.

Long story short – you need to be real with yourself whether you have a good idea that is very easily executed or whether the jig itself is complicated/difficult to build. That will probably help you determine whether production, plans, or something else will be the best route.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3788 days

#5 posted 02-10-2011 12:15 AM

Rhett, I would generally buy only those jigs I could not make- basically because I am cheap.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3633 days

#6 posted 02-10-2011 01:03 AM

I am quite sure any accomplished woodworker could build this jig just by looking at it. It is not a super complicated build by any means. I am simply trying to get ahead of the trend of new woodworkers. Seems with all interest in woodworking, a growing market, a business minded individual could stand to make a few dollars providing an end product to the novice craftsman.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3254 days

#7 posted 02-10-2011 01:15 AM

I would pay for the plans maybe about $3-$4 but it’s still a good idea to have an option to buy the jig already built cuz some of us are lazy and would like something built very nice looking and usefull. Again the plans others would like to add their little twist to it you know either a different wood or even to make it better.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2873 days

#8 posted 02-10-2011 03:02 AM

I would rather buy a jig then make one if it’s a jig that is a little complicated or versatile, I’m lazy. I did this with my circle cutting jig for my band saw. The jig wasn’t that expensive and was much better than anything I could have made. I did try to make a finger joint jig from a plan and it turned out crappy. The miter spline jig I made is kind of crappy too but it works. I’ll make another one when I pick some better materials. If the jig is high quality, versatile and reasonability priced I would rather buy. By that I mean that if the cost is close to what it would cost me to buy the materials and the time I have to put into it to build I would opt to buy.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

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