In every project there are those key requirements that must be present for a project to succeed or become less daunting. A routing jig is also as important as any other key element required for successful wood routing. It is used to control the movement of the router and hold the work piece in the right position so as to facilitate precise and accurate routing.
A wood router jig multiplies the versatility of the tool and with a well-designed jig the wood worker can easily achieve smoother pattern routing. However, for the wood worker to make an excellent jig, various requirements must be met, read along to know how to make excellent router jig in wood routing.
Purpose of Router Jigs
- The main purpose of router jigs is to help the wood worker stabilize the work piece for routing purposes. Router jigs are gaining popularity among wood workers and have become a part of every workshop and its benefits cannot be ignored.
- The use of jigs help wood workers get more precise and accurate cuts thus enabling them carry out repetitive processes easily and quickly. They can produce exact same shapes of materials within a very short time using a router jig.
- Without the right router jig, the wood worker cannot accomplish their project as expected. They should therefore choose the right apparatus for their project. In order to get everything right, the craftsman should ensure they have the right router jig in place.
Requirements for Making Excellent Jigs
A good router jig will help the wood worker hold the work piece accurately and safely as they make consistent and repetitive cuts. With the right jig in place the wood worker can reproduce a shape over and over without injuring their fingers. It makes the shaping fast and easier. However, for the woodworker to get the right jig, he or she should have the right resources in place. These include:
- Right Materials: The main factor that will determine what materials to use will be the purpose of the jig. Most wood workers use veneer-core plywood. Pro wood workers use straight-grained hardwood when they need a square fence on their jig. Another inexpensive material is the particle board which is usually used when the woodworker wants to glue up one layer on top of another layer. A material such as Baltic-birch is useful when the wood worker wants a material that has no gaps of void on the edges.
- Right Fasteners: In order for jigs to remain strong and accurate for long term use, they should be glued together. The craftsman or the wood worker should ensure that the surfaces glued together are always clean. Some of the pieces used for clamping pieces into place include brads or pin nails. If you do not want a permanent combination, then use drywall screws or round-head screws to connect the pieces. It goes without saying that the wood worker should not put any screw where the router blade or bit will run through.
- Right Holddowns: Most jigs require some type of clamp for them to be held down on the bench or to the work piece. Various types of clamps are available for holding the stop block to the work piece or the jig.
Some of the ideal clamps to use include C-clamps or F-style bar clamps. These standard clamps work perfectly in holding the jig in place. Spring clamps can be used when the woodworker requires a little holding power for securing the stop block in position. Other useful clamps include the DeStaCo-style toggle clamps normally used for holding the work piece down into the right position.
Note: The wood worker should ensure that the clamp is strong enough and that it can never be knocked by the cutter or the blade. It should be positioned such that the wood worker’s hands are kept away from harm.
Basic Router Jigs
There are a number of basic wood jigs that wood workers find to be useful in their projects. These include:
- Circle-Cutter Jig: The process of cutting a circle in plywood can be one of the most daunting tasks and that is why you need this jig. This will help you in tracing and cutting the circle of the plywood. Without this jig, it would be clumsy and inaccurate to follow the line.
- Straightedge Jig: This is one of the basic wood jigs created for cutting straight edges in plywood.
- Push Stick: The push is used for pushing wood through a table saw. The woodworker should never use their bare hands to push the wood since this poses a great risk. With the push stick, the woodworker can accurately guide the strip when using the table saw. This jig will slide between the rip fence and the metal saw.
- Worktop Jigs: These router jigs are mostly used by DIY experts. They help reduce amount of waste materials during wood working. They are broadly categorized into two:
- Hinge Jigs: Mainly used in door hinge crafting and provide a perfect guide for accurate routing. They are ideal in avoiding damages to the door frame when making alterations.
- Router jigs: Are worktop jigs that keep the work piece straight when it is moved along the lathe. They are ideal for cutting wood into the required dimensions in the workshop.
A router jig’s key role is to make easier the life of the craftsman and irrespective of whether they are building a simple one-time-use jig or a complex router jig for long-term use, materials should be chosen wisely. The wood worker should also take their time when selecting the materials.
You can make the best router jigs once you know how to make excellent router jig in wood routing. The secret is to have the right materials in place and understand the process of making the jigs. You should follow safe routing procedures at all times so as to avoid damages and injuries. Never overload your tool but instead make several lighter cuts every time before you make the finishing cut.