Making certain cuts on the table saw can be extremely dangerous even with a jig. In order to make accurate cuts and be as safe as possible, I have always made my own jigs. If you own a table saw, there is a good chance you have made or purchased your own jig. After making several jigs, I realized I was running out of room to store all theses jigs. I decided I was going to make a multi purpose jig. I needed a Spline, Small Panel, and Tenon Jig. Another thing I was looking for in this jig was, easy to make and it needed to have built in handles. The jig also features built in handles that make it very comfortable to use and it keeps your hand away from the blade.. There is still room for improvement in this jig but, it does what I need it to do and it was very easy to build.
*The Spline jig portion simply rides along your table saw fence and allows you to cut splines in picture frames and boxes.
*To use the other functions of this jig simply flip the jig to the other side and you have a Tenon/Panel Jig.
Step 1: Jig Dimensions and Materials Needed
This jig measures 8 inches tall by 11 wide. You can make your jig any size you would like but i felt comfortable with these dimensions. Your depth of your jig will depend on the thickness of your fence.
*I used a couple of pieces of scrap plywood I had laying around my shop.
* Several 1 1/4 Screws
*I found these Horizontal Toggle clamps ($5) at Harbor Freight
To see the jig in action, check out my build video.
Step 2: Mocking Up the Main Assembly and Cutting Out the Handles
After cutting two pieces of plywood at 8 by 11 inches, I measured the thickness of my fence. I cut the two center support pieces over sized. I took light passes on the table saw and made sure the center pieces were the exact width as the thickness of my fence. I temporarily mocked up the pieces and once I was happy with the fit,I moved on to cutting out the handles.
I drilled two 1 1/4 holes on the two sides. Using a pencil and a ruler i connected the two holes. Using my jigsaw, I cut on the line and this created a handle. I took this opportunity to round over the edges on both sides of the handles, using a trim router and a 1/4 inch round over bit. If you do not own a router, you can use a file or sandpaper, to round over the edges. This process can be skipped not now but if will be more difficult if you wait until after assembly.
Step 3: Spline JigAssembly
I ripped a coupe of pieces of 2 in strips and cut one ends at 45 degrees.
Note :the pictures Depicting the layout process are just an example and that particular panel was not used for this jig. The handle cut outs should be done, prior to this step.
I marked the center of the side panel's length. I placed a speed square on the center line and marked that line. I flipped the speed square and repeated this step on the opposite side.
I pre drilled several holes from the back side. I used glue and clamps to temporarily hold the spline jig supports. Then I drove in several crews to secure the supports.
Step 4: Main Assembly
To prevent the jig from dragging across the table saw surface, I placed a couple of pieces of paper under the side panels. I applied glue and clamped up the assembly. I removed the clamped assembly and set it aside. I removed all glue squeeze out using a damp cloth. With the assembly still clamped together, I pre drilled and drove in several screws. Note : Make sure the handles are opposite from each other
Step 5: Tenon Jig Assembly
Using a piece of paper as a spacer, I placed a piece of plywood (vertical support ) up against the side of the jig. I used a speed square to make sure the vertical support was square to the table saw. I clamped up the piece of plywood and pre drilled. I drove a couple of screws in and rechecked for squareness. I applied a coat od paste wax to the fence and the bottom rail of the jig to ensure it would move freely.
Step 6: Cutting Splines in a Picture Frame
To cut splines in a picture frame, simply place the jig on the fence. Place the picture frame on the jig and clamp it down. Move the fence in order to center the blade on the frame. Turn on the table saw, hold on to the handle of the jig and slide the entire jig through the saw blade. Just keep rotating the frame until you have cut all four corners of the frame.
Step 7: Cutting a Tenon
Using the jig as a tenon jig is really simple, make sure your work piece is up against the vertical support of the jig and clamp it down. Set the depth of your desired, hold on to the jig by the handle and slide the entire jig through the tablesaw.
Step 8: Cutting Small Panels
I wanted to also use this jig as a small panel jig. I added a second toggle clamp to a piece of plywood simply because I didn't want to place a bunch of screw holes on the jig. I secured the piece of plywood and clamped the small work piece. i made sure the blade was not going to contact the blade. I set My table saw to 10 degrees and ran the work piece through the saw. I rotated the work piece until I had created a small panel.