Whenever I use pipe clamps, I like to place a block of wood between the clamp and my workpiece. This clamping pad helps prevent damaging the surface of the wood. The problem is trying to hold the block in place as you tighten the clamp.
There are times when you just don’t have enough clamps. But don’t worry – you don’t have to blow your budget on new ones. Here’s an easy-to-build clamp that will work great for most projects.
Thin strips should be cut on a table saw with the wide board against the fence and the fence moved in for each cut, however it is difficult to accurately adjust the fence for each strip to be the same thickness. This gauge allows you to simply slide the fence over until the stock hits the guide. Because there are so many different types of table saws I have not given any measurements for the lengths of the parts, this should be obvious when the strip is in the miter slot.
Cut a stip that fits snugly in the miter slot of the table, with a 5/8″ spade bit drill a pocket for the bolt head about 1/8″ deep, then drill 1/4″ hole for bolt. Cut a slot in a piece 1″ wide hardwood that is long enough to extend to line up with the saw blade, round the outer end. Fasten the two pieces together with a 1/4″ carriage bolt, washer and thumb screw.
Setting bit height is either a hit-or-miss proposition based on eyeballing or a simple measuring task featuring a depth gauge jig. The latter approach is faster and more accurate. Plus, it saves aging knees by eliminating that awkward hunkering-down motion to reach bit level. With a depth gauge, you simply set the desired bit height and then raise the bit until it hits the bottom of the slide bar. With a piloted bit, make sure the slide clears the bearing and touches the cutter.
Using a splitter is a good idea any time you need to rip a board on the table saw, see photo. The splitter helps prevent the kerf from closing on the back of the blade as you rip long workpieces. Many saws now come with manufactured splitters (or they’re available as an accessory).
To build this jig, first place one miter-slot guide into each slot on your saw table. Align the 1/2″ plywood base on top of the guide, long edges perpendicular to the miter slots. With the plywood resting on the table saw surface, drill 5/32″ shank holes through the plywood and into the guides just far enough to mark their positions. Remove the plywood and guides and drill 7/64″ pilot holes through the guides. Reposition these pieces on the table saw, and attach the guides with countersunk #8×1″ brass wood screws. Drive the screws about halfway through the guides, and lift the assembly off the table. Drive the screws completely, and sand off their protruding tips. Again, place the jig onto the table saw surface, turn on the saw, and cut a kerf about halfway across the width of the plywood.
Check Out The Building Plans Below!
Build the circular saw crosscut jig shown on the right with just a few tools using scraps laying around your shop!