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Forum topic by guyos posted 08-01-2007 04:11 PM 1104 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View guyos's profile


9 posts in 4022 days

08-01-2007 04:11 PM

Hi folks

I am making a finger jig from plans now, it said that I should use hardwood 3/4” thick and 5 1/2” wide, but I find it difficult to find that around here.

I have bought what looks like pine, but the problem is, all timber that I get from my local DIY store are cupped, and when I flatten it with my router sled, I am left with just over 1/2 ” thick.

Why can’t I just use 3/4” ply which is always flat?

I have made other jigs from ply, and that is easy to get in good condition.

Your advice please.


-- guyos

4 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3981 days

#1 posted 08-01-2007 04:31 PM

A jig for finger/box joints can be whatever thickness you have around. I wouldn’t go less than 3/8 though.
Hard wood would be best.
If you had void free plywood, that would also work, but won’t be a durable.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4061 days

#2 posted 08-01-2007 08:51 PM

Gary’s right. The thickness doesn’t serve a purpose other than stability. I’d bet you can go thinner without the jig flexing. I guess the species that are more dense would be able to go thinner than most. I like MDF and Baltic Birch Plywood for my fences/jigs. Neither will move with temp. changes as compared to solid wood. It might be a perfect fit today and then come December, it flexs due to the cold

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4085 days

#3 posted 08-01-2007 09:08 PM

A small piece of 1/2 inch hard maple might be a good idea for the face fence guy. It’s pretty durable and if prepped properly will stay flat and accurate for a long, long time. I made my finger joint jig out of it years ago and it’s still soild as a rock and accurate. I use MDF all the time and it is great for sleds and many other jigs but for this particular jig I think it may get a little rough around the edges over time and become less accurate.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View guyos's profile


9 posts in 4022 days

#4 posted 08-01-2007 09:10 PM

Thanks for the info, don’t MDF scuff on the edges easily?, or is there a way to keep it Neat, maybe there is a way to protect it from bruising, it looks good when its just cut, but soon gets rough, I will use my 1/2 ” board, only means altering the other bits to fit. I want to make a good job of it, seeing that it is micro adjustable.


-- guyos

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