Introduction: Thin Strip Jig for the Table Saw
So at the time of making this jig I knew I was going to need to cut A LOT of thin strips of wood for a big project. And this jig does the job great! It allows you to cut as many strips of wood that are the same thickness as you can. All without moving the table saw fence. Not having to move the fence is a huge factor when you have to cut a large quantity of strips. In my case I cut well over 200 strips. Imagine having to move the fence 200 times! It would take forever!
Shop jigs do not have to be cool looking or refined. This one I made definitely does not but that's OK, it just has to work. And it does!
So take any scraps you have laying around the shop and put something together that generally follows the instructions I'll give in this post.
And by the way, the big project I mentioned was a 1000 piece cutting board. Link to that video is here.
Be sure to check out the above video to see this jig in action!
Wood of your choosing. I used a scrap 4 x 4 fir post, a 2 x 6 pine board and a small piece of 1/4" thick plywood.
Table saw or Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw
Jointer or hand plane
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue ( optional )
Band saw or Coping Saw
1/4" round over bit
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Step 1: Prepare the Base.
In my case I choose to use a scrap piece of 4 x 4 fir fence post. I cut off a random length long enough that I knew it would support 10" of wood to be cut into strips. It came out roughly 17" long.
I then took it over to the jointer where I got the bottom and two sides at 90 degrees to each other. I wasn't concerned with the top. The top is just going to hold a handle and having it at 90 degrees to the side is not a priority.
The jointer does make quick work of this but this can all be done with a hand plane. It will just take longer.
Step 2: Prepare the Handle.
Using a scrap piece of 2 x 6 pine construction lumber, I first marked out its length in relation to the 4 x 4 post. Then I just hand drew out the shape of the handle.
At that point I went over to the band saw and cut down the line. I now have the basic shape of the handle.
The next step I took was to sand down the entire handle. Mainly to get rid of any sharp corners but it did help this jig to look a little better.
I then took a 1 1/4" forstner bit in my drill press and drilled out a hole that makes a nice thumb hole while holding the jig.
Last step was using a small 1/4" round over bit in my trim router I rounded off the edges in the hole.
Step 3: Attach the Handle.
For this step I simply lined up the handle on top of the base and then pre-drilled two holes through the handle into the base. One in the front and one in the rear. At that point I screwed in two 3" long wood screws. Wood glue is optional here. Nice and easy!
Step 4: Rear Support Piece.
I have no idea at this time what to call this piece other than rear support piece. This piece of wood is going to push the wood through the blade as you are pushing the whole jig forward. The dimensions of this piece really do not matter. Just as long as it is as tall as or taller than the wood that you will be cutting. And it's width just needs to be about as wide as the base plus more to stick out the side. Allow for plenty more as any extra will be cut off in the next step.
But first counter sink two holes ( or at least pre-drill ) and then secured the piece to the back end of the jig with two 2" long wood screws. I would not glue this piece as you can always make another one if a different size is needed on another project.
Step 5: Set Up and Use the Jig.
Now all that's left is to set up the jig. I started by first grabbing a thin strip of wood that I already had at the right width. Using that piece I slid my table saw fence and the jig close to the blade until the piece of wood just fit between the jig and the blade. Then I tightened down the fence.
Now the extra width of the rear support piece can be cut off.
Another option if you do not already have a thin piece of wood to measure by is to just start cutting thin strips. Start thicker and keep sliding the fence closer to the blade until the desired thickness is achieved.
And the jig is now ready to use! Simply put your prepared wood up against the jig when it's closest to you. Turn on your saw and push forward with the jig. Only light support is needed sideways against the wood being cut but still a push stick would be best here. Safety is paramount here while doing this so please do this at your own risk. Remember, the table saw is one of the most dangerous tools in a work shop.
Step 6: Put Those Thin Strips to Work!
All you have to do now is use all those strips in a project. I would love to see what you come up with!