Top 10 Woodworking Table Saw Jigs and Accessories & How To Make Them – According to Me

the single tool that I use most in my
work is the table saw well maybe the pencil but I don't really
know too many pencil jigs so let's talk about table saws all right so I'm still
gonna be using my main saw the saw stop pcs the bulk of the time but you're
probably gonna see more and more of this saw in the coming months and years
my jobsite saw and while these saws are great right out of the box
to get them most of them and really any table saw you're gonna want to build or
buy some jigs and accessories probably a combination of the two so while I was
making the ones that I use the most for this saw I thought I'd go over my
favorites and how to make them so let's get into it first up is the crosscut
sled now I'm not gonna be giving dimensions here because it's all
relative to your particular table saw but all the basics should apply to
pretty much any saw and also I should say that this is kind of a watered down
version of the sled that David Pacino built on his channel and he goes over in
a lot more detail so I'll throw a link to his video in the description also so
you're gonna start by cutting out a large rectangle that's gonna be the base
for everything I'd like to make mine as big as I can
get away with reasonably and that way I have the most room to work on it when
I'm using it in the future next I'm gonna use some hardwood so here I'm
using maple to make some runners that'll fit in the miter slots I'll be making a
pair one for each slot and I think the best way to do this is err on the side
of too big and then just keep removing material until it's just big enough to
not have any play but so that they can still slide freely within the miter slot
also you're gonna want to make sure that they're just a little bit thinner than
your miter slots are deep that way they don't touch the bottom next I'm going to
take some pennies and put them in the slots to hold the runners proud of the
surface of the table saw and then I can place my base on top of
that and with a little glue and some weight hold everything together while it
dries a little bit and just to make sure that I'm pretty close to square at this
point you can see that I'm referencing my fence on one edge so after the glue
is pretty dry I came back and installed some screws through the runners and into
the base and actually it's probably better to do this the other way where
you're going from the top side so from the base into the runners but this
seemed to work for me so I don't know maybe it doesn't make a difference after
all all right going back in time a couple minutes while this was setting up
I also ripped out a couple of strips of plywood and that's gonna become the back
fence of my sled basically the part that the workpiece rests on and that you'll
be holding to maneuver the sled so I laminated two pieces together and after
they were dry I use the table saw to trim them flush and then put a 45 degree
bevel on what will become the front bottom face and this is so that debris
doesn't get in the way while you're trying to use it as a reference which
could throw off crucial measurements the next step is to attach the fence to the
sled so here I'm just using one screw at one corner and then what I'm gonna do is
raise my blade through the table to make a line and you can see here I'm making
sure to remove my splitter before I do this and actually I guess now's a good
time to mention that that's my number two accessory so most table saws should
come with a splitter I think it might even be a requirement but even if it is
it wasn't always so you could have an older table saw that might not have one
and honestly I think it's the single most important safety feature of a saw
so if yours doesn't have one there are ways that you can retrofit one in I know
that micro jigs make some that you can fit into the throat plate so yeah I mean
I'm not gonna go over it in too much detail I'll just say that that's
something that you should definitely be aware of and make sure that you have and
use one okay back to the slide so now here I'm raising my blade and making a
cut through just the table and I don't want to go into my fence yet at this
point so now I can use that line that I just cut and asked where to get my fence
really really close to perpendicular with the blade in the miter slot so once
I feel like I'm I'm gonna clamp it down to hold it and
then insert one screw on the opposite end and then I can test it out to see
how close to perpendicular it is and while I'm doing that it gives me a
chance to mention something else that I think is really important when you're
working with a table saw or well really any power tool for that matter and
that's being alert and I think one of the best ways to make sure you stay
alert is with coffee and one of the best ways to get coffee is with trade coffee
so trades mission is to turn coffee drinkers into coffee lovers and I'll be
the first to admit that I am NOT an expert when it comes to coffee I really
only started drinking it with regularity this year but that's actually one of the
coolest and my favorite things about trade coffee when you go to their site
you can take a quick 6 question quiz about the flavors you prefer how you
plan on making it and so forth and at the end they'll match you up with a
coffee that fits your preferences so if you're like me and you're really trying
to figure out your taste still this is perfect and honestly even if you already
are a coffee lover it's still a really good way to expand your horizons
so my perfect match was called ad astra signature blend from PD's which you can
see here they described as comforting and rich just like I like my women all
right so all joking aside I think they nailed it I've been drinking it for a
couple weeks now and I don't know what else to say other than I actually really
really like it but that's it I do want to try some others once I finish this
bag because well why not but anyhow here's the best news so right now trade
is gonna give away the first 100 people who click the link below 50% off of
their first order so just click the link in the description and use the code for
eyes all right thanks trade coffee
okay so back to testing out my sled so somebody can probably explain this
better but here what I'm doing is making a cut and then rotating my piece so that
the most recently cut edge becomes the reference face on the next cut and by
doing that five times I'm basically compounding any discrepancy so that it's
magnified now I don't know if I got lucky but when I measured my piece it
was pretty much dead on so once you have it to the point where you're happy I
could insert a few more screws and block things up and again David's video is
gonna get a lot more into the nitty-gritty of this kind of sled and
how to adjust things if you're off so if you are gonna build one of these I
highly recommend checking out that video again I'll link it below and one last
thing to mention attaching another piece to the opposite end of the sled is
optional I guess it makes it more rigid I would say but it could get in the way
of potential cuts so just decide what's best for you so the awesome thing about
this sort of a crosscut sled is that you know that it's out of perfect 90 no need
to fuss around with it whenever you get it out and so if you want to quickly cut
one piece or several out in the exact same length a crosscut sled is just
about the best option but there are a couple of other tools out there that are
also on my list that are pretty similar one that you've seen me use a lot on my
channel is the Rockler crosscut sled incra makes a similar one as well but
I've never used it so I'll talk specifically about this one so the
upside to this compared to a jig that you build yourself is one you don't have
to build anything and two you can use it to cut a variety of different angles the
downside conversely is it'll cost you a little bit more and while it can be as
accurate at getting an exact 90 you'll have to verify each time that you make
an adjustment so there are positive stops that should pretty much lock it in
but you'll still probably want to double check just to make sure and the other tool that's pretty similar
that's on my list is a miter gauge so I've tried two different mitre gauges in
my time not including the ones that come with your saw and that's one from incra
and another one from Craig and both I would say are honestly equally good
they're each a little different but the basic advantage is compared with the
other two you can cut a lot more angles with increased accuracy and I'd say the
downside is they're a little bit slower so basically at the end of the day if
you look at the three they would kind of plot out like this in terms of speed
versus what I'll call angle versatility and really I personally think that while
all three can be used for similar things I like having all three at my disposal
and I use each tool pretty frequently like I'd say that in almost every
project I build all employ all three types of jigs so it's really not a one
or the other kind of situation okay next on my list is a tapering jig and again
you can build or buy these personally I've always had good luck with this one
from Rockler so I'm gonna highly recommend it but if you want to check
out a video on building one Dustin Penner has a really good video that
explains it in less words than me Singh linked below but anyway these are really
handy for cutting you guessed it tapers so if you're familiar with my other
videos you know that I'm big on tapered splayed legs and this jig is such a huge
time-saver it really makes me kick myself for waiting like five years to
get one so many wasted hours but anyway here's a project that I'm actually
working on at the moment and this will let you know why you might or might not
need one so in this shot I'm marking out my
tapers I want this particular leg to go from 3/4 of an inch at the bottom to two
inches at the top next I fit my piece on my jig and adjust it so that the lines
that I marked are just barely hanging off the edge which you would have
trimmed to your saw right when you get it so basically you know that's where
the cuts gonna happen and then you just cut and since everything's locked in you can
cut out three or four more of these legs really easily as long as they're already
cut to the same length and that's pretty much it
it's a one-trick pony I guess but it's a pony that's the star of my show so yeah
makes sense to me okay the next jig on my list is one that
I don't really know a name for it's kind of like a tenoning jig but I don't use
it for making Tenon's so I like to call it a vertical panel carrying jig so
first let me show you why it's important for me and what it does and then I'll
show you how to build one so you guys know I like angular stuff one of the
most angular pieces is this guy bad Larry I'll link them below if you
haven't already seen the build video anyway so I use this jig in order to
make the trapezoidal cabinet and here's why I need it as you can see all of
these corners are mitered or beveled to achieve this joint I set my blade at 37
and 1/2 degrees and cut the two edges and this results in an overall angle
that's obtuse at 105 degrees or 15 degrees more than 90 so that's all
pretty easy and straightforward but to cut this corner I would have to tilt my
blade at 52 and a half degrees the problem is you can't tilt a blade to 52
and a half degrees so the trick is leaving your blade tilted to 37 and 1/2
degrees like it was for those first two cuts and instead make your workpiece run
across the blade vertically instead of horizontally or flat on the table and
that's why you need this Jake so yeah let's build it
we're gonna start by ripping some pieces of 3/4 inch plywood so that they're the
exact same height as your fence again I'd recommend airing on the side of
taller and then working your way down until it's just right and once you have
it locked in you're gonna need a total of two pieces that are this size and you
might notice here that I'm making more than two and that's because I'm making
multiple jigs but we'll get back to that in a minute here I'm just cross cutting
my pieces to length and you can do this before after but generally speaking I
like to go anywhere from 3/4 of the length to the full length of my fence
and this is pretty variable in reality but it just kind of depends on what
you're gonna be using the jig for here I'm sandwiching my fence between the two
pieces that I cut in step one and then measuring how wide of a piece I need to
cut for the top and then I could cut that piece out and glue and screw it on the next thing to do was attach the flat
face of the jig to the carriage so this is the part that your workpiece is gonna
end up attaching to and again here just a few screws should do the trick
now like I said I made three of these jigs while I was out there and that's
because I use these things a lot and so I want to have one dedicated to making
splines in mitered like joints that are 90 degrees and then another one four
legs that are 15 degrees off of 90 so here I'm setting up for that in this
shot and actually here's some footage from some other builds that kind of
shows what you'd use something like this for all right so here I'm cutting out some
plywood strips and then making a 45-degree cross cut with my miter gauge
and then I can attach those to the vertical piece so now you kind of know how they all
work but I'm just gonna show a really extreme example of the vertical panel
carrying jig here and you can see that this would be a really difficult or
dangerous cut to try to make without the jig alright so moving on one of the
questions that I get asked most often is how I get clean cuts on the table saw
and there's a lot of factors that are gonna go into it but two of the most
important in my book and the two that I usually ask people first about are one
what kind of blade they're using and two are they using a zero clearance insert
plate so four blades there's lots of good ones out there and my personal
favorites are forest woodwork or two blades which are kind of on the pricey
side but I see it as an investment honestly I have a total of three of them
now that I still currently use and I've owned some of them for over seven years
and one of the reasons for that is because you can send them back to forest
to have them re– sharpened and fixed up for about 30 bucks but I guess the
bottom line is there's plenty of options out there and you should just research
and explore those options rather than settling on whatever your saw happen to
come with okay so about the zero clearance insert plate if you don't know
what that is I'm gonna install a new one in my saw right here and it'll be pretty
self-explanatory so as you can see right now it's just a solid plate with no slot
for the blade once you have it inserted and balanced and you make sure that your
riving knife or splitters removed you clamp it down turn on your saw and
slowly raise the blade through it so this is gonna cut a slot that's the
exact same size as the blade which means that the underside of your piece that
you're cutting is gonna get a lot more support and should have less tear out
and I think for most table saws you should be able to buy an insert plate
that's already made to fit it exactly but if you needed to you could also make
one if it's an option though I'd honestly recommend buying because it's
probably gonna get a better fit but so these next two recommendations
have more to do with confidence and comfort while working but I think that
those are things that go into making you get a good result so they're worth
mentioning so number nine is a feather board and what feather boards allow you
to do is keep good consistent pressure of your workpiece up against your fence
and they can also get places where it would be kind of dangerous to put your
hands also they can kind of act as a third hand in situations where you might
be cutting a piece that's too big to reach and one of the other things that I
use them for a lot is when I run a piece on edge over the table saw for example
when I'm cutting rabbits basically it helps the piece from tilting and last
but not least and this might seem really obvious is a good push stick now these
come in all different shapes and sizes everything from as simple as what
probably came with your saw to something like a gripper from micro jigs but
honestly my favorite is something like this a push shoe I saw this design
somewhere like seven years ago and so I drew up a file in Illustrator and had
six of them cut out on a CNC from a local sign shop and these are my
favorite they let me keep good pressure on my workpiece they keep my hands up
and away from the blade and since they're made out of wood and relatively
cheap I don't mind cutting right into them if
I need to to help me get more pressure on certain cuts so that's it those are
my 10 favorite jigs and accessories for the table saw in no particular order so
hopefully you found it useful and if this was your first time in my channel
if you got a couple minutes go check out some of my build videos and I thank you
in advance all right see in the next one

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