Woodworking Jig Definition [Define Jig]

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In this post I’ll define the term “Jig” as it has to do with woodworking, plus give you a few examples of woodworking jigs so you can see what they are. Enjoy.

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How to Define Jig for Woodworking

woodworking-jig-definition-[define-jig]A woodworking jig is anything that you could possibly use in your shop that helps you perform a process or a step more easily. This can range quite a bit, but in general anything that you make or build to help you could be considered a jig.

In woodworking, there are often times a lot of processes that need to be completed with some level of precision involved. There are also times when there are a lot of similar processes that need to be done or multiples of the same piece need to be made.

In a case like this, rather than doing everything by hand, it’s worth the time to create a device that will help you do the process in a repeatable and uniform matter. This not only saves you time in the long run, but it makes all of your pieces identical.

Let’s say you’re building a big project that requires a lot of dowels that are all 4 inches long. If you were to measure each one of them by hand, then line up the saw by hand to cut them, and finally cut them to length, it would take a long time.

Instead of doing that, just come up with a jig that does the measuring for you and allows you to simply feed the dowel rod and make the cut. This is a whole lot faster, and you only lose a little bit of time in the front and getting set up.

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See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking

Examples of Woodworking Jigs

Here are a few examples of woodworking jigs, and how they can help you be more accurate in your shop:

  • Hey circle cutting jig for the router is simply a piece of wood that attaches the router at one end and then has a spike at the other. The router is rotated around spike, cutting out a circle.
  • A simple cutting jig can be made by attaching a piece of wood to the miter saw that holds a longer board to be cut to a certain length.
  • You can make a jig for flattening the ends of boards by creating a carriage for your sander, and a way of holding the word perpendicular to the sanding disc.

See Also: Woodworking Tips Cards – Making Jigs

Making Your Own Jigs

There really isn’t any big long list of woodworking jigs that you have to make in order to be successful at the hobby. Rather, you’ll naturally discover what jigs you need based on the work that you do.

As you stumble upon these different things, go head and make those jigs as they come up. When you do, you’ll make the process much easier, more repeatable, and more uniform. That’s the entire goal of making a jig.

If you’re qualified to make the woodworking project that you’re making, you’re more than likely also qualified to make the tools and jigs that are involved. For that reason, you should really try to make any jig you need before buying it.

However, if you just don’t feel like doing that, or you want the fast version, then go to the next section and start buying your jigs.

See Also: My Guitar Fretboard Slotting Jig

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Buying Jigs Already Made

If you want to save time, but are not worried about saving money, go ahead and look online for different woodworking jigs that you can buy. Odds are if you found yourself in a place where you need a jig, somebody makes it for sale.

Once you find the jig that you like, purchase it and get it into the shop so you can test it out. There’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve associated with any new tool or jig, but all you have to do is put in the time and effort and you’ll be just fine.

While these jigs won’t save you any money, they tend to look a little bit better than homemade jigs, because when you make a jig, you make it for yourself. When they make a jig, they make it to sell, so it tends to look a little nicer.

See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker

How to Design New Jigs

In different parts of your woodworking career, you’re going to notice opportunities for you to improve a process or a method. When you do, build a jig that helps you complete that process in the safest and best way possible.

This is one of the ways to discover new jigs. Another way is to simply go online and look at pictures of woodworking jigs. As you do, you’ll see what they’re used for, and you’re also in most cases be able to see exactly how to make it.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Even if you don’t want to make it, you can go ahead and buy it, and you’ll skip a lot of the wait but get all of the results. Through looking around at what’s available and doing your own work, you’ll discover lots of new jigs.

See Also: 9 Important Things to Put In Your Woodworking Notebook

Woodworking Jig Tips and Tricks

Here are a few more tips and tricks for using your woodworking jig especially now that you know what it is.

  • Remember, a jig is just something you make to help you do something else more accurately.
  • Since there’s no list, all you need to do is look around and find jigs that make sense for you to make until others pop up as you’re working.
  • Be careful with any jig, because just like the rest of your tools, there can be mistakes or accidents, and you could get hurt.
  • Make sure to keep your jig clean, especially if it involves cutting operations or drilling operations. The buildup of sawdust can interfere with the way the jig was meant to work.
  • When you do make a jig, make it like you’re planning on selling it, and it will be better looking.

See Also: Printable Woodworking Tips Cards

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know the definition of a jig, and your understanding of woodworking jigs in general has improved, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action. Is there a jig that you’ve been entertaining the idea of making?

Maybe it’s a good idea for you to start the process of making this jig yourself, or at least start looking for where you can buy it. The investment of time and money are minimal compared to the satisfaction that a good jig can provide.

If you have any additional questions, please post a question on the site and I’ll be happy to answer it for you. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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