This woodworking tips card is about building it first. Before you buy a new jig or a new setup, try building it first. In most cases, if you are qualified to build the main item, you are also qualified to build the jigs. Here is how.
Try Building it First
I was in the process of deciding what fret slotting jig to buy then I figured out how to make My Guitar Fretboard Slotting Jig myself, and it was a game changer for me. I got frustrated at the prices, and just thought there was a better way.
Had I not given myself permission to make something that was already being sold, I would not have figured out that jig, which is one of my most popular.
Especially in cases where the jig is made from easy to find materials, and does not require any special machining, you should try to make as much yourself as you possibly can.
Making things in the shop shop has a couple of benefits. The first is that it saves you money, which is really obvious. The second however is not as obvious…
Making Tools/Jigs Makes You a Better Woodworker
When you make something, you have a better understanding of its use. This gives you a deeper connection, and makes the product of that tool or jig more effective. The whole act makes you a much better woodworker. Read It Warms You Twice for more.
Also, making jigs is something that might fall outside of the scope of the project. This is great, because it will force you to use tools and techniques that are not as familiar to you. The more you step outside your comfort zone, the more you learn.
With that in mind, make sure you try making things before you buy them. In a case where you can produce the same thing, you will save money and learn more about woodworking in the process.
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