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Fair and square

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Sometimes the best shop jig you can make doesn’t have to be made at all, not if it’s been right there in front of you all along.

What woodworker doesn’t like jigs? Rhetorical question, of course – woodworkers love jigs, sometimes to the point where making a jig becomes more important than the project at hand. I’ve done that, and you know you have, too.

In making some small boxes as part of a subassembly this week, I needed a quick way to make and keep the glueups square. Sure, I could clamp, check for square, adjust, measure from corner-to-corner, adjust some more, and finally clamp it up till dry. Sounds like an excuse to stop working and make a jig.

Or, I could simply do this:

And why not? My table saw extension is square and flat, the rip fence is square to the table and, when locked down, rigidly stays that way. In essence, the fence was a nifty, perfectly square clamping caul that ended up saving me a lot of time.

Don’t know why I never thought of this “jig” before, but you can bet I’ll be using it again.



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