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Forum topic by trz posted 1104 days ago 824 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View trz's profile


65 posts in 1121 days

1104 days ago

what kind of materials do you find work best for your jigs? plywood,mdo,mdf other ?

13 replies so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 1462 days

#1 posted 1104 days ago

MDF primarily because it is the cheapest longest lasting and most stable MDO would work too but I just doint have that much access to it.


View richgreer's profile


4522 posts in 1709 days

#2 posted 1104 days ago

Recently, I completely a big project in which I made 72 new pew end panels for the pews at our church. After glue up, we did a rough cut with a combination of plunge saw, band saw and jig saw. Then, I attached a jig/template to the material to do the final cut with a straight bit with a guide bearing on the router table.

I used OSB for the template because I had some laying around. It worked great initially. Then, the edges of the OSB started to break down and I got rough edges on the material I was shaping.

I share this story so others don’t make the same mistake. The lesson – OSB does not hold up for extended use.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View gfadvm's profile


10740 posts in 1325 days

#3 posted 1104 days ago

Most of my sleds, jigs, etc are made from 1/2 ” Baltic Birch plywood. It has held up well, is lighter than mdf, and the edges stay “crisp”.

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

View a1Jim's profile


112018 posts in 2212 days

#4 posted 1104 days ago

It depends on the jig but I use what ever I have left over sometimes mdf, 3/4 ply or osb.

-- Custom furniture

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5020 posts in 1943 days

#5 posted 1104 days ago

I use baltic birch ply for jigs I keep and use the most. I find it to be durable. I have made mdf jigs also but prefer the ply.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View usnret's profile


184 posts in 1143 days

#6 posted 1104 days ago

I use MDF mostly because its cheap and easy to find.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

View jumbojack's profile


1176 posts in 1259 days

#7 posted 1104 days ago

I prefer ply, but I have so much MDF scored free from a super market renovation that some seldom used jigs are made with MDF. I have a sled made of cast off 1×2, finger joint jig made of hard pine. It just seems I make jigs and such from the best material for the job keeping i mind how often I will use it and how much abuse it will be asked to take.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1211 days

#8 posted 1104 days ago

For jigs I’ll be keeping for a long time, baltic birch for sure. MDF for one-offs.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View trz's profile


65 posts in 1121 days

#9 posted 1104 days ago

Thanks. I was wondereing cuz i’m going to build a cutoff sled and was thinking of useing mdf as the base. would like to use baltic birch but I don’t think it’s availabel locally. The big box stores don’t seem to carry it anyway!

View canadianchips's profile


1831 posts in 1632 days

#10 posted 1104 days ago

Our Home Depot carries
Baltic Birch it in small panels. (2’x4’) Quite expensive !
Plywood is my favorite. I rarely have MDF left over (I hate working with it in the first place)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View mailee's profile


44 posts in 1113 days

#11 posted 1103 days ago

I always use MDF for my jigs that I use occasionally. For my well used jigs I prefer to make them out of laminate. Mainly because I have them on hand in the shop.


View LeeInAZ's profile


37 posts in 1110 days

#12 posted 1101 days ago

My local Lowes will special order small quantities (even a single sheet) of Baltic Birch for a pretty reasonable price. You need to talk with someone at their Pro desk and get them to do some calling.

-- Lee - Phoenix, AZ

View Tedstor's profile


1369 posts in 1267 days

#13 posted 1101 days ago

I use MDF or Baltic ply pretty much interchangably. I have no preference between them, whatever I have on-hand.
For smaller stuff like auxillary/sacrificial fences I typically use laminate “hardwood” flooring. I have gobs of leftovers from the flooring job we had done a few years ago. Works great. I even use it for miter slot runners. I see laminate flooring on Craigslist all the time for free/cheap.

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