If you have ever been using your table saw and thought that there has to be some way to make the job at hand easier, you are probably right. A table saw can do many things, but a table saw with the right jig, either purchased or homemade, can do a lot more.
Let’s not waste any time and talk about all of the different table saw jigs that exist, what they are used for, and how you can make them yourself.
A table saw jig can come in many different forms, each of them have their own specific purpose. A table saw jig is any kind of sled or attachment. Usually one that sits in the miter slots of your table saw, and helps to make any particular cutting job much easier.
A table saw is usually only used for simple ripping or cross-cutting purposes, but with the right jig you can turn the average table saw into a well-rounded tool that can do virtually anything. A jig can serve many purposes including making easy cross cuts or angled crosscuts, making repeated rips with ease, for making a variety of wood joints, and a whole lot more too.
It is kind of hard to list the benefits of all of the different table saw jigs. Each specific jig has its own benefits, all of which we will discuss when we talk about each jig. To put it simply, each jig is built for a specific purpose, and the point of them is to make the job at hand much easier.
Let’s get right into it and talk about all of the different table saw jigs that you can buy or even build on your own. There are a great many jigs to choose from and each of them can help make your life much easier. Here are some of the most important table saw jigs that you can either build or buy.
One of the primary uses of a table saw is to make cross cuts, or in other words, making straight 90 degree cuts on various pieces of wood. A good crosscut sled makes creating consecutive much easier and more accurate, not to mention that it helps keep your fingers safe as well.
Instead of having to adjust the miter sled or the fence every time, you can simply put the cross cut sled on your table to make perfect cuts every single time. A cross cut sled can also be used to make angled crosscuts and they sit in the miter slot for an easy glide.
If you would like to make your own cross cut sled of a decent size you can check out the video below, or if you want to make a smaller one, you can look at this model too.
Rockler Table Saw Crosscut Sled – This is a good cross cut sled to go with because it allows for both straight and angled crosscuts. The right edge of this sled functions as a zero-clearance chip breaker.
This sled comes with some extra material so you can cut it down to size to fit your own needs. This thing has easy to read ½ degree gradations for exact cutting. The heavy-duty aluminum fence is durable and allows for a smooth glide. Moreover, the spring loaded ball bearings help to ensure a tight fit in the miter slot, but also allows for easy movement.
Rockwell RW9266 BladeRunner X2 Cross Cut Sled – This is a more basic version of the above cross cut sled. Unlike the Rockler, the Rockwell only allows you to make 90 degree straight cross cuts, but thanks to its unique design it can do so without question. It has a cutting groove for easy alignment, a built-in ruler for measuring, and it provides your hands with enough clearance to keep your fingers safe every time.
A miter sled is much like a cross cut sled. Like we mentioned before, a cross cut sled is usually only used for making straight 90-degree crosscuts, but can sometimes also accommodate angled crosscuts. On the other hand, a miter sled is a type of crosscut sled that can usually only make 45 degree angled crosscuts, but it can do so with ultimate precision.
This is a jig that helps you replicate perfect 45-degree crosscuts time and time again, plus it helps to keep your fingers out of harm’s way as well. Here is an instructional video on building your own miter sled and here is a set of written and visual instructions so you can build your own miter sled from scratch.
Incra MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge with Sled and Telescoping Fence – This is a good miter sled option to go with no doubt. This sled features a T-track which fits into most standard t-slot miter slots, it has a clamping fixture to let you firmly secure the workpiece to the sled, and it has a great telescoping fence too.
This miter sled lets you do cross cuts anywhere from negative 90 degrees to positive 90 degrees, making it ideal for both angles and straight cross cuts. This is a rugged, advanced, and highly adjustable miter sled.
INCRA MITEREXPRESS Miter Express – This miter sled locks into your T-slot miter gauge with ease, it stays there for as long as you need it, plus it can be easily removed as well. This thing provides you with zero-dock clearance for safe and accurate cross cuts, plus it can “dock and lock” with any miter gauge in seconds.
This miter sled also comes with a convenient fence, a clamp for your workpiece, and it lets you make cross cuts at any angle that your original miter gauge can make them at.
A taper jig is another really convenient jig to have in combination with any good table saw. Cutting a taper involves cutting at a certain angle along the length of a board. This is definitely possible with a table saw and a good fence. However a taper jig allows you to set the exact angle of the taper cut and make it with ease.
This is a jig that can help you make precise tapered cuts every single time. A good taper jig can be adjusted to any reasonable angle and thus makes for a very convenient tool. Here is a good instructional on making your own taper jig, and here is a good instructional video on making your own advanced taper jig.
POWERTEC 71035 Table Saw Taper Jig – If you would rather buy a taper jig instead of making one, you can take a look at the POWERTEC Table Saw Taper Jig.
This thing is made with sturdy aluminum guide bars, it has a graduated scale for measuring the length and degree of the cut you are looking to make, and it lets you cut accurate tapers of up to 3 inches per foot or degree. This thing also has a backstop to hold the wood securely in place as you cut.
Rockler Taper / Straight Line Jig – This taper jig is another convenient option to go with. This is a basic version that fits any standard miter slot, it has clamps to hold your work piece in place, it has a convenient ergonomic handle, it has a good miter bar, and it allows you to make accurate tapered cuts as well as straight cuts as well. It also has an indexing bar to let you accurately measure distance and degrees, not to mention that it is easily adjustable as well.
A jointer is a woodworking tool that is used to straighten crooked pieces of wood, or more precisely, cut off excess wood until the edge forms a straight line. Usually, you would have to use an actual jointer to do this, but with a jointer jig, you can turn your average table saw into a jointer with ease.
Straightening wood and creating multiple identical straight edges has never been easier than with your own jointer jig. Here is a great video for your own DIY jointer jig that you can make in your own home. Also, here are some DIY jointer jig plans that you can look at.
The bottom line is that buying or building your own jointer jig will end up being much cheaper than buying a whole jointer.
Rockler Magnetic Jointer Jig – This is a simple to use jointer jig. All you have to do is set its length and place it on the table. You can then set the distance from the fence to the blade according to the width of the jig, thus allowing you to use your table saw as a jointer.
A tenon is a type of joint used in woodworking to joint together 2 pieces of wood. Yes, you can use your table saw to make the tenons, but it is made much simpler with a tenon jig. With a tenon jig you can set exactly how wide, deep, and long the tenon needs to be, thus making it easy to cut every single time.
As you can see from the image below, they look somewhat intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it makes creating tenon joints easier than ever. Here is a video on how to make your own tenon jig, plus here is another video for a different style of tenon jig.
General Tools 870 E Z Pro Mortise and Tenon Jig - This is a very easy to use tenon jig that lets you cut a matching tenon and mortise every single time. This thing has a compact design, it’s very durable, and made of aircraft grade aluminum.
It lets you make 3/8 and ½ inch mortise and tenon joints, it includes a ¼ inch high-speed upcut spiral, and bushing guides for ½ inch, ¼ inch, and 3/8 inch tenons. This item can easily manage wood thickness of ½ inch to 1 – ½ inch and can cut multiple tenons into one long piece. This thing also has integrated clamps and swimming arms to make it very user-friendly.
Grizzly H7583 Tenoning Jig – This is a good tenon and mortise jig to go with, mainly because it can handle pieces up to 3 – ¼ inches thick. It has an adjustable guide bar for precise results and 2 handles for great control while cutting. The bevel angle of this jig can be adjusted from 90 to 75 degrees, and the backstop can be adjusted from 90 to 45 degrees with ease. The multi-position control levers combined with the large clamping hand wheel allows for repeatable and very precise results every time.
In case you are not sure of what a half lap joint is, it is where there are 2 pieces of wood, each of which have about half of the depth cut away at a certain point to perfectly fit together. This can be done with a table saw, but a half lap jig definitely helps to make things much easier, especially when making multiple half lap joints at once.
The box or finger joint as it is sometimes known is one of the best joints a woodworker can use. They are fairly simple to make, and they are very strong as well. They are used for various purposes, and as the name implies, one of the main purposes is for making a sturdy wooden box.
These joints can take up a lot of time, and if you are not experienced, they can be pretty hard to make as well, but not with a box joint jig. Here you can find instructions on how to make your own finger or box joint jig. Here is another good instructional video.
INCRA I-BOX Jig for Box Joints – This is a good choice to go with. This jig fits all standard miter slots, it has a sub-fence that reduces tear out, and it has an adjustable setting to let you create various finger or pin sizes. It works for table saws and miter saws, and its reversible design makes it work on either side of the saw. This thing even comes with an instructional DVD to make using it easier than ever. Making finger or box joints has never been faster or easier.
Model F3 Finger Joint Template For D-24 Series Leigh Dovetail Jigs – This is another good finger joint jig option to go with, but just keep in mind, this version is used in combination with a dovetail jig. It features a machine manufactured template for dozens of finger sizes, it has an easy measuring ability and attaching/detaching it is also very simple. This is a great little tool to help you make finger joints with ease.
The dovetail is yet another type of joint that holds wood together, one that can be made with a table saw. Just like most other things that can be done on a table saw, it can be made much easier with the use of a simple jig.
Here is a quick instructional video on how to make your own table saw dovetail jig, and here is a picture guide on making one. The dovetail jig is often considered to be one of the most reliable wood joints out there.
Rockler Complete Dovetail Jig – This is a good dovetail jig to consider. It features a one-piece stop for perfect offsets, a guiding template for quick set up, the ability to create through and half blind dovetails, and more. It has a clamp to hold work pieces in place, and it is very user-friendly as well.
PORTER-CABLE 4216 Super Jig - Dovetail jig – Yet another good dovetail jig option to go with is this model by porter cable. This jig includes multiple templates for half blind, rabbeted half blind, and sliding dovetails. It also includes a template for box joints and for through joints, plus templates for miniature through and half blind dovetails and for mini box joints too. This item lets you quickly measure, adjust, and make dovetails with ultimate ease of use.
The small parts jig is great for anyone who uses a table saw to work on very small pieces. Sometimes it is necessary to use a table saw for extremely small pieces, but it can also be very dangerous.
To keep your fingers away from that spinning blade, a small parts jig is definitely a good thing to have. This is a good instructional video on how to make your own small parts jig.
MLCS 9542 Safety Small Parts Holder – This is one version of a small parts jig for a table saw, which here is referred to as a small parts holder. This tool is convenient for holding small pieces of wood so you can feed them through the blade without putting your fingers at risk.
This particular model can cut stock up to 10 inches in length, has convenient handles for easy holding, and can even help make angular cuts on small pieces.
Just like a small parts jig, a thin rip jig is convenient for keeping your fingers out of harm’s way. The small parts holder is for various small parts, but the thin rip jig is ideal for very thin pieces.
Thin pieces can stuck in between the fence and blade, something which can end up being quite dangerous, but not if you have a thin rip jig. Here is a good instructional video on making your own thin rip jig.
Thin Rip Table Saw Jig By Peachtree Woodworking – This item is ideal for making thin rip cuts to the left side of your table saw blade. This thing helps to stop the sticking of thin pieces between the blade and fence, it has a large knob to secure the position of the jig, it has a jig bearing guide to keep stock in place, and it easily locks into any standard size miter slot.
MLCS 9337 Thin Rip Table Saw Jig – This thin rip jig is meant for table saws that also have zero clearance inserts. It makes doing repetitive thin rips easy and safe, it locks securely into most standard size miter slots, it is made out of durable materials, it’s easy to measure with, it has a knob to make easy adjustments, and the whole thing is extremely easy to use.
A table saw is not something that you would usually use to make a perfect circle, and to be fair, it is virtually impossible to do. That is however not the case if you have a circle cutting jig for your table saw.
These things can help you make a perfect circle with your table saw every single time. Here is a little video on constructing your own circle cutting jig. Here is another way to make your own table saw circle cutting jig.
Most people would probably use a router to make a raised panel cut, but that is not completely necessary. You can always use a table saw with an angled blade and a tall fence to make raised panel cuts, and even better is having a panel raising jig at your disposal.
For some more information, here is a video about building and using a panel raising jig on your own. Here is a detailed instructional with written and picture instructions on how to make your own panel raising jig.
Turning round lumber or pieces of wood into usable stock is definitely doable with a table saw, but it is not ideal. However with a good table saw sawmill jig, you can turn a round piece of lumber into a perfectly usable square piece of wood that is ready to use for various projects.
Here is a good video on turning your table saw into a functional sawmill with the use of a simple sawmill jig. Here is a video on making a sawmill jig for smaller pieces of lumber. Also, here is a decent set of plans that you can buy to construct your own sawmill jig.
Making a dowel or dowel joint with your table saw can be a pretty difficult process indeed. It takes a lot of precision to make an accurate and usable dowel.
Just like all of the other jigs on this list, the dowel jig can help you make dowels and dowel joints with increased ease. Here is a neat little video on creating your own dowel jig.
Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit – This jig is great for making edge to edge and edge to corner dowels, plus for making T-joints as well. It can help you cut through materials from ½ inch to 1 – ¼ inches thick, it has precision steel bushings, and pre-aligned guide holes as well. This kit comes with a doweling jig, 2 clamps, 3 depth stops, and 60 dowel pins.
Task Premium Doweling Jig – This dowel jig is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, it is steel plated to prevent corrosion, it includes various sized bushings, and it is self-centering as well. This is one of the best dowel jigs that you can get without a doubt.
A pyramid building jig is yet another type of table saw jig that you can choose to purchase. These things are pretty specific in their use, and can really only be used for one thing, which is making a pyramid or trapezoidal figure.
If you have ever found that making a pyramid with your table saw is hard, you might want to try using a pyramid jig. Here is a good little video about making and using your own pyramid jig. They are pretty hard to find in stores, so making your own might be the only solution.
The gear jig is much like the circle making jig. These things can help you make a perfect circle with a table saw, and they can also help you add the grooves for gears too, hence the name gear jig.
Here we have a little video about making and using your own gear jig. These are pretty rarely used things, but that does not mean that they can’t be useful.
Making a cover or circular indent into a piece of wood can be one of the most difficult things to do with a table saw. However, fear not because with a good coving jig you can make any size or shape cove with ease.
It helps to outline the wood at the right spots, and it helps to keep the saw blade in place to make a perfectly smooth cove. Here is a video demonstration of how to build and use a coving jig.
Rockler Cove Cutting Table Saw Jig – This is a great coving jig because it comes with everything you need to make a good cove in one little package. This thing can work on wood as thick as 1 - ½ inches and as wide as 7 inches. The Rockler Cove Cutting Table Saw Jig can fit in most standard ¾ inch miter slots, it features a tool free set up, and it has a great clamping system too. This is a very user-friendly device that will let you make coves with ease.
Yet another jig that comes in handy is the spline miter jig. Adding a spline or several splines to the corners of a box, shelf, or bookcase is a great way to increase its strength, but it can be pretty hard to do when using a plain old table saw.
A miter spline jig is a great tool to use to make accurate and strengthening splines in the corners of your project. Here is an instructional video on making and using a spline miter jig, and here is another for a slightly different version.
Eagle America 400-1038 Spline Jig Pro – One good spline jig to consider I the Eagle America Spline Jig Pro. This thing has an embedded T-track, an 18-inch adjustable miter bar that will fit in most miter tracks, and 2 stop blocks for convenience.
This may look like a complex tool to use, but once you get the hang of things, it is actually quite easy. This is a tool that will let you create a variety of miter splines in mere minutes.
One problem that many table saws experience is that the blade can only bevel to 45 degrees, which is, of course, a problem if you need to make a cut that is greater than 45 degrees. Luckily you can easily build a jig to solve this problem. Here are some great instructions on building an acute angle bevel jig.
We aren’t about to start talking about how complex it is to use a table saw to make a wooden pulley, let alone how to actually do it. The point is that using a table saw to make a pulley can be very difficult, but you can make things a little easier with a wooden pulley jig. Click here to view a comprehensive video about making and using a wooden pulley jig.
A lathe is a tool that is used for creating long and round pieces out of wood such as chair or table legs, or even something as simple as a broomstick. This is something that is nearly impossible with a normal table saw, but not if you have your own lathe jig.
These things let you hold up a piece of wood, so it just touches the blade and let you spin in around to get that perfect round shape. These take some effort to build, but with some simple instruction, you should be able to do it no problem. This is one of the best instructional videos that we could find concerning lathe jigs.
The spiral jig is much like the lathe jig in the sense that allows you to transform a square piece of wood into a perfect circle or cylinder such as a table or chair leg, plus it also lets you cut flutes into it, all with one simple tool.
This can be virtually impossible to do without any table saw accessories, but with a spiral jig you really should not have any problems. Here is a little clip about making and using a spiral jig.
Like we have mentioned before, making anything round on a table saw is not the easiest thing in the world. This is especially true if you want to make a round bowl because you have to manually move the bowl to make its shape, something that is easier said than done.
Well, a bowl jig helps to hold that bowl in place, keep it steady, and also helps to move the bowl around as you need. If you want to build your own bowl jig, you can always give this video a look over. These are things that you may have a hard time finding in stores, so you will most likely have to build your own.
As you can see, the right table saw jig can do a whole lot of good. There is a jig for virtually any job out there, and you can either buy them or even make them yourself. The jig is a tool that will make your table sawing life much easier.
If you have any questions or comments about making or using any particular table saw jig, just send us a message, and we will get back to you at the first possible opportunity.