In many of my woodworking projects, I’ve found jointers to be invaluable for creating straight edges. However, I understand that not everyone has the luxury of a big budget or ample space. Good news, though—I’ve devised a versatile jointer jig for a table saw. Let me walk you through how I made it.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need
Creating a jointer jig for a table saw requires a different set of materials like three feet long SPF lumber and a 12×24 inch thick-sanded plywood. In all honesty, the size of your plywood should depend on the materials you’ll use for your woodworking project.
I always make sure to add glue or two-sided tape to my hardware shopping list. Trust me, you’ll find them invaluable during the final stages of construction.
Once you’ve sourced your plywood boards, stock up on wood screws about three-quarters of an inch long. You’ll also want to grab some deck screws, roughly around 69.85 mm in size. And, based on my experience, don’t overlook hex bolt head screws. Grab two pairs, along with wing nuts, lock washers, and flat washers to complete your list.
Make sure that you have at least a 60-inch of wood stock, and each scrap piece from it should be sized ¾ by ⅜ inches to create uniform boards.
Once you’re done putting each material in your working space, the next step is to check if you have the right equipment to build this tool. Of course, it’s a no-brainer that you should have a table saw. On top of that, our team suggested adding two quick-release toggle clamps, an open-end wrench, and a drill with twist-point bits in your tool list.
To measure and mark your lumber and plywood boards, having a pencil and measuring tape is essential. Crafting a jointing jig also needs versatile tools like a fixed base router that comes along with a router table and a straight-cutting router bit.
How to Make a Table Saw Jointer Jig
Step #1: Measure Your Jointer Jig Based on Your Table Saw
The first step in making a jointer jig for table saws is to adjust your measurements according to the size of your cutting tool. Pro-tip, your scrap plywood should be cut as wide as the slots in your table saw. Using measuring tapes and pencils, mark the surface of the fence three-quarters of an inch away from the edge of the board.
The precision of this jointing jig truly hinges on the correct setup of your tools. I always mount my fixed-base router on the router table, and from my experience, it’s crucial to adjust the bit’s height to about ⅛ inches above the table surface. Trust me on this one; it makes a world of difference.
Since your table saw jointing jig needs two 1×6 slots, you can make them one inch each on every edge of the board. It would also make sense to set the rip fence at least 1-inch away from the bit’s edges.
Step #2: Trim the Runner and Sled
Using the board or plywood you have on hand, you’ll need to craft a sled-like piece of wood that’ll act as your guide strip. Remember that the runner and sled are an essential part of your jointing jig, so this step needs extra attention.
I always cut my sled based on the size of my table saw, marking the measurements beforehand. For my recent project, I opted for a sled that was 40 inches in length and 10 inches in width. Given the sled’s purpose—to adjust and secure the lumber—I’ve found it beneficial to make it just a tad larger than the runner. It’s these little details that can make all the difference.
The sled attached to your jigs should slightly be at least the same size as the boards you’ll joint as it adds ease and convenience during the table saw operations. As for the runner, you can cut it with the saw blade the same length as the jointer sled but make it wider by three inches.
Step #3: Drill Holes on the Runner
The next procedure on making a jointer jig for table saws is cutting holes on the runner to keep it attached with the sled on the last step. Using the pencil mark you drew earlier, position your router bit to drill a hole.
Repeat the first slot cuts on the other side of the board before raising the bit for another ⅛ inch and cutting four slot cuts. Kickbacks are very likely, so I suggest keeping it slow and steady when you press the end grain against the table’s fence.
On the lower edge of the jig board, you should cut two 0.5 diameter holes as well. Now that the slot cuts are done, these holes are ready to be screwed in.
Lay the board over the base, 6-inch away from each edge and 2.5 inches from the right edge of the plywood. And then, get your pencil and draw a mark on the left edge of the slots under the plywood.
After that, put away the upper board and start drilling on the left edge you marked earlier. The hole should be at least 0.5 inches.
Step #4: Cut Straight
Before attaching the toggle clamps, it is advisable to trim any excess bits from the edge of your plywood base. Running the saw blade over the wood stock will ensure a straight edge, facilitating a better fit for the bolts on the plywood’s surface and enabling a zero-clearance setup.
Once the jointing jig is assembled with bolts, wing nuts, and washers, you can clamp it up on the next step.
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Step #5: Attach The Runner
Attach the guide strips using a strong double-sided tape or glue-ups to fully assemble your jointer jig. From the left side of the saw blade up to the right side of the opposite miter slot, that’s where it should be located.
On the upper part of my jointer jig, I always attach two clamps using screws. Based on years of experience, I’d recommend placing some scrap stock pieces beneath the pads. It just makes adjusting the clamps that much easier. Trust me, it’s a small tweak with big benefits.
The wood you’ll be using in your projects has different thicknesses , so you need to attach quick-release toggle clamps in your makeshift jointer for a safer cutting operation.
Through the stock pads under the clamps, the pieces that you’re working on will be held securely. It will prevent the clamps from being torn off the table saw jointer jig.
Once the clamps are in place, cut a 5-feet stock and put it below the plywood base. It should glide through the table saw bed. Adding this little touch will allow your saw to cut smoothly.
How to Use a Table Saw Jointer Jig
After building a jointer jig for table saws, you ought to know how to use it for jointing wood stock into a perfect square. First, position the piece you want to cut onto the clamps. If you made its pads adjustable during the DIY process, you could narrow or widen its grip to accommodate materials with distinct thicknesses.
Once the stock is locked into the right position, start the saw to get the blade moving and give you the straight cut output you’re looking for. I don’t advise standing at the rear of the blade during the operation because that’s how kickback causes accidents.
For cutting the opposite side of the board, you can get a perfectly square output by using the table saw rip fence and removing the jointer jig.
More table saw accessory options:
How long should a jointer jig be?
A jointer jig should be at least around eight to ten feet long in size. Like creating a tapering jig, the length of your jointed-edge tool highly depends on the overall size of your table saw and the materials a user intends to use for the cutting operation.
Cutting a straight edge in longer boards with just a basic table saw and no jointer can be both risky and time-consuming. That’s why I’ve always felt that crafting your own jointer jig for table saws is a smart move. It’s saved me both space and countless hours in my workshop. With this tool in hand, I’m confident tackling a variety of materials, knowing my cutting tool is up to the task.