April 19


Basic 101 DIY Woodworking Jigs

By Rob

With so many woodworking DIY jigs available, you can accomplish many tasks using them.

They are versatile and used in a variety of ways.

Most DIY Jigs are necessary, but not all of them.

You want to have the essential jigs set up in your shop.

They will make repetitive tasks much easier to do.

Most jigs have built-in features that allow you to repeat your cuts for flawless work every time.

One of the advantages of DIY jigs is their versatility.

You can use them on many different woodworking projects without worrying about losing time or accuracy due to variances. 

There are pre-made jigs for sale, but they can be costly.

It would be much cheaper if you'd make your own in the long run.

As far as what types of jigs you need in your shop, everything depends on what kind of project you are building.

Common Types of Woodworking Jigs

Dovetail Jigs

You can set up and start using many different woodworking jigs in your shop yourself.

Dovetail Jigs work great with various materials, making them highly versatile.

dovetail jig for woodworking

The dovetail jig's design makes it perfect for creating delicate joints between two pieces of wood.

When making a furniture piece, table leg, or other structure that requires perfect alignment dovetail jig works great.

A dovetail jig has one or more pieces that fit together to create a channel or groove in a single piece of wood.

They usually have a depth gauge for marking exactly where to make the cuts.

Most templates will cut several pieces of wood simultaneously, helping the workflow stay efficient.

Typically you will have twelve different jigs with one template. Of course, you can build your own, but Dovetail jigs are not that pricey.

I found them to be very reasonable.

Dovetail Bits For Your Router

Dovetail bits for a router are great to use if you want to build drawers and cabinets in your workshop.

These are a must if you're going to create your own jigs.

These bits are easy to find and very cheap to purchase.

dovetail bits for your router

They work with hand-held routers or router tables that can fit your table saw.

These allow you to cut dovetail joints for drawers and cabinets.

You can buy them in regular sizes or large ones for most of your projects.

Some kits will include templates and step-by-step instructions on how to build them.

The kits will help you save money and time because they will have everything you need instead of buying separate parts for each jig.

Dove Saws

The versatile dovetail saw is another viable option for cutting high-quality joints and precise cuts for expensive projects.

You have more control and accuracy when using them.

The blades on dovetail saws are either straight or left-handed and are a little thicker than other saws.

dovetail saw for woodworking

The thicker blades will give you much more accuracy in your project.

Remember, it's important to purchase a good-quality saw when buying one.

Trust me, and I know this from experience. You get what you pay for with saws, so make sure and research and find a good quality one in your budget.

Look for one with fourteen to seventeen points per inch which means it's a high-quality saw.

Dowel Jigs

A dowel jig is a handy tool to keep multiple pieces of wood aligned and drill holes through them.

When you place screws or nails into the holes by hand, the dowel jig holds them back in place while you keep your hands free to make adjustments.

Dowel jigs are what you want if you want consistent and high-quality dowel joints.

When using big timber, you should use a dowel jig to avoid mistakes.

In addition, they will self-center themselves that which gives you better accuracy.

When it comes to sizes, they range from the most popular are, a quarter to one-half inch.

Like most of the other jigs, there are complete kits available with dowels included.

The kits also will consist of hundreds of different size dowels with even glue for some kits.

Dowel jigs are my personal favorite and one of the strongest in my opinion.

Kreg Jig

For cabinet making, you can't beat a Kreg jig.

When it comes to drawers, we all know you need to have perfectly positioned slides for smooth movement.

Most Kreg jigs create a dovetail that fits over the entire length of the drawer and slide right into place.

They use pocket holes that help guide the screw at an angle from one piece of wood to the other.

These types of jigs are a tremendous time-saver because you don't have to mark and measure the spaces for the slides.

Instead, you can use them for the center, bottom, or extension mounted drawers.

The Kreg jig is reasonably priced and can be bought online and in most lumber stores.

Making Your Own Woodworking Jigs

If you are looking to save time and money, making your own woodworking jigs is the perfect solution.

Remember to use your scrap wood when you can for making any of your jigs.

We all know how expensive wood has gotten over the last few years, so utilize what you have in the scrap pile.

Now some woodies will say to use high-quality hardware and wood for your jigs because you will need to provide a tight fit for the screws or bolts to work correctly.

But if you plan on reusing all of your jigs and have a lot of projects in the works, it might be best to go with the better quality hardware and wood.

Honestly, the choice is yours at the end of the day and really doesn't matter. Just keep moving forward and build.

To Sum it up

If you need to make your own jigs, you need to keep in mind three main things:

  • The plan to use
  • The wood available
  • And the cost to build.

Now, if you want to spend a lot of money and time to build jigs, you can, but you don't have to and to be honest, it's the least important part.

The important part is what you plan to do with the jigs, and to that, I say pick a project and build something.

It's that simple. No matter which type of jig you decide to use, you will get great use out of them for all of your future projects.

Consider purchasing a decent binder to arrange your jig assembly instructions in your shop.

The use of plastic page covers will keep the instructions from becoming filthy, torn, or damaged.

I hope this post has helped you to start making more of your own DIY jigs for your own projects!

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  1. Yes, your woodworking articles have help me get started in woodworking. Thank you very much for not charging for the plans. Because right now just is not a good time for me and money. Thanks again

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