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Forum topic by zindel posted 03-21-2012 01:46 PM 2008 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2647 days

03-21-2012 01:46 PM

Is it just me or does it seem like when i start a new project i spend just as much time making jigs for my project as i do making my project? okay maybe that is a bit over the top but think about it…how much time do you spend making jigs compared to making projects? BTW not complaining just an observation.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

16 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3350 days

#1 posted 03-21-2012 02:05 PM

Ditto. Just made another one a week or so ago. Did, in my on going shop clean up/rearrange project cut a bunch of old ones up and stacked the remains in my firewood pile. I don’t think I spend a lot of time making them though, couldn’t even guess how much, I just do it. And it usually then makes the process go quicker and improves accuracy and repeatability. So all in all worth it IMO.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2647 days

#2 posted 03-21-2012 02:40 PM

Oh it is always worth it! especially if your making more than one of something but i just find it interesting as to how much time i spend on making things for my shop vs how much time i spend making things. I always enjoy both but just kinda laughed at it the other day.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 02:48 PM

My whole ceiling has tons of jigs hanging down. What also gets me is when I have to make a jig that helps me make another Jig. I guess if we really didn’t like making jigs we wouldn’t make them.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2647 days

#4 posted 03-21-2012 02:51 PM

Jim, you are right. i think it can be the challenge of the whole process that i enjoy. I always think what can i make to make this easier and better. I never throw jigs away either i am getting quite the collection.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3872 days

#5 posted 03-21-2012 03:12 PM

There is something very satisfying about using a tool or jig that you’ve made.

-- -- --

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2574 days

#6 posted 03-21-2012 05:36 PM

Most of my time on a project is spent on planning and jig making. But the more time I spend on those aspects, the less time and more smooth the actual project goes.
Preparation is key.

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8041 posts in 2326 days

#7 posted 03-21-2012 05:41 PM

CNC = no jigs :^)

just a hard drive full of CAD files

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 2445 days

#8 posted 03-21-2012 05:52 PM

Jigs are a necessary thing. I honestly don’t have that many. (not “too many” I guess) There have been a few I made just to get though something and tossed them in the fire-pit. But most of mine are pretty well made pieces that I built right and plan to keep for a good long while and have several uses.

I think most of my “jigs” are table-saw sleds in one form or another. I’ve got a mitering sled, corner spline sled, cross-cut sled, tapering sled, a trim the sides of my laminated turning blanks sled, and I’m in the process of making a sled to mount my Incra V-120 miter gauge into so I can have an adjustable angle miter sled with repeatability. And if I went down and looked round, I know I could find 3 or 4 more sleds.

Not to change the subject, but do the rest of you end up with a ton of table-saw sleds, or just me?

-- Kenny

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2647 days

#9 posted 03-21-2012 06:01 PM

I only have one sled at the moment but i plan to make at least a few more, 1 for box joints, 1 for 45 degrees, and i will rebuild the one i have to improve it.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View handi's profile


141 posts in 4437 days

#10 posted 03-22-2012 12:47 AM

Hey Sub Vet, you are wrong! I have made hundreds of jigs for CNCs over the years! You just need different kinds. I do a bit of complex milling that often calls for secondary operations or precise milling of already sized parts. Holding fixtures are a big part of that.

I have been a professional jig maker for 20 years. The first step is deciding if you actually need a jig. I then try to see if I can build one for more than one task.


-- Watch Woodcademy free on Amazon Prime!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2687 days

#11 posted 03-22-2012 02:55 AM

I honestly think I enjoy building jigs more than building projects. Probably because you can’t screw them up when you go to finish them! LOL I’ve made a lot of jigs for my fellow woodworkers as ‘thank yous’ for help, advice, etc but mostly because they are so rewarding to make.

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

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3241 days

#12 posted 03-22-2012 03:57 PM

Think of jigs as trial runs. The better you make the jig, the better the project will turn out. I make and use them all the time and never consider it a waste of time.

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2647 days

#13 posted 03-22-2012 04:03 PM

MrRon I a well never think of them as a waste of time, no time in the shop is a waste of time! :)

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3283 days

#14 posted 04-02-2012 09:28 PM

When I built my home shop about 6 years ago, I spent much of my time building jigs—good jigs. Now I spend most of my time being productive—because I have good jigs.


View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2295 days

#15 posted 04-03-2012 03:41 AM

I ‘m working on a project right now, that requires me to make 16 in.dia. spoked wheels, with 8 spokes and a 3” hub. per wheel.

It’s funny because I started out thinking I can make these fairly acuractely with no jigs at all, just make the hub in 2 sections with slots routed across to sandwich the spokes in between, well that failed miserably, the spokes were way out of line,

so attempt 2 was to make a jig, to holf the hub and drill holes and use dowels to attach the spokes to the hub, that failed miserably, because the jig was made very slopply,

so by this time I decided to go all out and make a jig for each operation, and make each jig to perfection this time,

I had to decide first how the spokes would attach to the hub, the most acurate way for me to do this would be to use splines, so I had to make 2 jigs one to hold the spoke upright to rout a groove in the end, and another jig to hold the hub for routing a groove, along its perimenter,

then I needed a jig to hold the octogon frame to rout both the inside and ooutside diameters for the rim, then I needed one more jig to locate the hub on center with the rim clamped down, to assemble the spokes to the rim and hub.

Once I got these jigs made I was able to knock out all 4 wheels with excellent accuracy and ease of operation, with repeatability.

But interestingly, it wasn’t until the first 2 trial and failures that gave me a full understanding of what would be the best method to build these wheels, as well as the jigs needed to accomplish this method.

I have always found dedicated jig and fixture design and build, as being the hidden part of the overall project when it is completed.

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