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doug stowe jigs

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Forum topic by yrob posted 03-09-2014 01:01 AM 892 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yrob

340 posts in 2340 days


03-09-2014 01:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

Hi,

I recently acquired Doug Stowe’s book and DVD about box making. “Basic Box Making” is the title. It is a nice book full of cool boxes projects. In the DVD he shows in details how to do every single one of them. The key thing in all of these is that he relies on a number of well designed and accurate jigs to get the accuracy and reproduciibility needed. Using the miter gauge with a board screwed to it only carries you so far. So, I spend the afternoon building a number of the jigs. The crosscut cutoff sled, the miter cutoff sled and the miter corner cutting sled.

Mr Stowe has a unique way of making his sleds that guarantees an end result square to the blade.
Basically, he first routs a dado using his table saw fence to ride the sled base long edge against. If you make sure your saw is tuned, i.e fence parralel to blade and miter slots, then running the straight edge of your plywood base against it guarantees a dado exactly 90 degrees to the path of the blade. You then make a fence out of hardwood and plane it until it friction fits into the dado. He has an equally simple way to attach the runners. The first one, you simply reference 90 degrees to the edge you used against the fence when you made the dado and screw from bottom. Then you place the sled on the tablesaw with that first runner installed. You slide the second runner in the other miter slot and screw from the top. This guarantees that your runners run true in the slot and everything is 90 degrees.
Finally, to keep accuracy he does not cut through the sled completely. His fence is 8 inches from the back edge so your saw kerf goes a couple inches behind the fence leaving 4-5 inches of solid plywood. As a result no need for an extra back fence and also the plywood stays flat.

I had struggled in the past making sleds using all sorts of harebrained schemes to adjust the fence to 90 and this method is foolproof.

The sled in the foreground is the miter sled which does cut 45 all the way. The one below is the cutoff crosscut sled and the smalller jig is the miter corner jig.

Tomorrow I am going to finish my first box using these jigs.

-- Yves


6 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1265 days


#1 posted 03-09-2014 02:34 AM

I’m a huge doug stowe fan.
His style is similar to my own and I’ve learned a lot from his books and dvd’s.
I’ll be building one of his crosscut sleds soon as I build small boxes too and would benefit from a smaller, lighter sled.

I highly recommend his small cabinets book and dvd. Amazing.

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

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1481 posts in 1793 days


#2 posted 03-10-2014 04:12 AM

I was making boxes before I got his DVD and book, but he certainly helped me refine what I was attempting. He explains things very well.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and so little time!

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1265 days


#3 posted 03-10-2014 05:32 AM

yrob; How smooth is the spline jig?
Does it bind in the miter slot since it’s a single runner design?

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

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yrob

340 posts in 2340 days


#4 posted 03-13-2014 01:39 AM

Nitewalker, if you carefully fit the board and then wax it , it rides smoothly. I just crept on it by jointing one face flat and then planning from the other face one pass at a time until it was just right.
An alternate design i saw is to ride against your saw fence instead of inside the miter slot.

-- Yves

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yrob

340 posts in 2340 days


#5 posted 03-13-2014 01:45 AM

Here is the first box i made using these jigs. Not perfect because i jointed and planed my wood to final dimensions and then waited days to assemble it because i got sidetracked. Of course it warped and hence some of my corners do not close. Next box i will prep the wood leaving it thick and long and go to final dimensions a few days later to avoid that.

-- Yves

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1265 days


#6 posted 03-13-2014 01:58 AM

Looks good. :-)

Yeah, I saw the fence one. That works well if you do a lot of those small lift-lid boxes (you should; they make great quick and easy gifts. :-)).

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

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