Introduction: Kerf Dado Setting Jig Made From a T-track Left Over

This is a Jig for woodworkers who cut  dados with a TS, RAS, SCMS and MS

Most of us who are into woodworking have seen this nice Kerf setting tool in the market and also we have all noticed its ridiculously high price.

In reality it is a very useful jig for cutting accurate dados without measuring, but for that price...!!!
- Get your hands out of my pocket -

I have seen many fellow woodworkers that have made a homemade accurate replicas out of wood of this fine woodworking tool, and I have also seen some really nice adaptations too.
But on the other hand it is just a setting jig; if it works correct then looks are not that important.
So, the other day I was looking into some drawers and I found a cut-off piece of t-track that I used on my router table. We all use them and most times we cut them to size to fit our dimension, as they are sold in specific lengths. So I was thinking why did I save that small 20cm long piece?

And the same night as I was browsing along the woodworking sites I saw this Kerf and it hit me what could I do with that left over piece of T-Track.

So I sat down and CAD a design of a Kerf Setting Jig using a piece of T-Track and some pieces of wood. Here is how I used that “useless” left over piece of T-track to build the Kerf Setting Jig.

Note: In case you are NOT familiar with what this Jig can do or you don’t know how to use and set it up, please watch this VIDEO.

Step 1: Materials List:

2 pieces of T-track
Scrub wood
1 flange bolt with washer and wing-nut
1 bolt with washer and wing-nut

That is all.

Step 2: Putting the Jig Together

The left over T-Track I had was a 3/4 track so.

Use you hacksaw to cut two small pieces of T-track.
One piece 100mm long (4”)
Second piece 65mm long (3.5”)

On the 65mm t-track I made a 40mm opening on the one side using my drill press to accommodate the bolt section.
In the other site I drill a hole 10mm from the edge to accept the flange bolt. The same hole you will have to drill on the center wood piece and runners of the flange bolt section.
You may need to cut the bolts if they are two long.

Cut a few pieces of 6mm (1/4”) and 19mm (3/4”) wood and assembly the jig as you see in my SketchUp CAD drawing

Wood Sizes:

Front Piece:
19x16x12mm
Center Piece: 19x21x6mm
Center Piece Runners: Two 6.5x21x4mm (or according to your T-Track opening) glued over under.
Main Rear Piece: 19x55x6mm. There is a 6mm hole drilled 10mm from the inside end of the wood and a recess on the other site for the bolts head.
Rear Piece Runner: 6.5x40x3mm glued face to the outer edge.
Rear Piece Head: 19x12x10mm glued over the main rear piece to the outer edge

To glue the front piece on the aluminum track you can use some epoxy and couple of thin screws if you like.

Step 3: What Did This Cost Me?

I have no idea what is the price of 2 bolts with wing nuts.

Comments

author
domino88 (author)2011-03-19

Thanks Steliart,

I live in Malaysia and I must be one of the five hobbyist woodworkers in the country. I don't know who the other 4 are... so there are no Home Depot or DIY megastores here... getting specialized supplies is an obstacle course. I think you are in a similar situation. I always enjoy reading your instructables because you use very commonly available materials to make some really smart things.

author

domino88 thank youfor your kind words. Actually we do have home depots and DIYs in Cyprus but for me there is always a chalenge to find simple and common ways to do things. When I see a jig I am thinking how can I do this myself. Sometimes it's more expensive than to buy the real thing, but where is the fun in this :)

Thanks for visiting and comments
Steli

author

I have looked into the KM-1, since it is the only prevalent kermaker on the market, and found it too short, and could not be used on simple 2X4's for half laps. seams like BM wants you to buy more of their tools rather than making one tool to get the job done.

author
ZombieWorkshop (author)2016-06-17

Oh thats a good work I also make a copy of that tool two years ago i made it from aluminium in my milling machine(it take me two days) , but in the end i start using dedicated kerf makers for every one of my tools like the ones created by jay bates

author
meatchris (author)2014-04-15

While it's easy to say it's over priced--and I admit I've thought about making one myself--I think you would be surprised how much time and effort went into not only creating it, but bringing it to market. It would be nice of you to provide a link to the kerfmaker website for those viewers who may choose to purchase one.

author
SandLizard (author)2012-12-20

I just found this and I have to repeat what Broom said, "What Phil B said."

author
356c (author)2011-08-02

Thank you, your design is a great alternative to the one on the market. I too had about a foot of channel left from my router table build. I got the parts all machined tonight and started to put it together. To my surprise, could not get it to completely close. After head scratching and measuring the components, I found that shorter slide should be 2.5 inches (65mm). I'll remake the component tomorrow and be a happy camper. Sadly, I'm an imperial unit guy and didn't check the conversions. BTW, I suspect that the commercial jig is a reasonable value. The company is very engineering driven producing well designed, well made tools. The price may well reflect that the jig started as a solid piece of aluminum, then machined into it's final state.

Jim

author

Yes, the commercial jig is expensive, but is a solid piece and well made. My aproach costs almost nothing and as others say who made it, it works just the same.
Good luck and thank you for visiting and comments

author
Phil B (author)2011-01-31

I have never seen one of these before. Thank you for making me aware of it and for showing how to make one. I will have to try this.

author

Thanks Phil,
and imagine that this little thing was originally retailed at $70+.

author
Broom (author)2011-01-31

What Phil B said.

author

Thanks for visiting

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