Shop-Built Woodworking Jigs

carpenter placing a jig and piercing
Giulio_Fornasar / Getty Images

Many woodworking plans call for pieces that can most easily (and safely) be formed by using a woodworking jig. Fortunately, many of these jigs can be made right in your woodshop. Learn how to build many typical woodworking jigs that you can use over and over again in your woodworking projects.​​

  • 01 of 07

    Table Saw Box Joint Jig

    Box joints

    Chris Baylor

    The table saw is probably the most versatile woodworking machine in the woodshop. In many woodshops, the table saw is the one tool around which the entire shop is organized, and as such, is often the most expensive and important tool.

    There are a variety of tasks that the table saw is ideally suited to handle, but one that is rarely considered is ​using the table saw for making box joints. Using a simple box joint jig and a stacked dado blade set on the arbor of your table saw, you can make consistent box joints very quickly.

  • 02 of 07

    Cross-Cut and Panel Cutting Jigs

    Cross-cut jig

    Chris Baylor

    Woodworking suppliers' shelves are typically loaded with all manners of woodworking jigs, designed to make complicated or difficult-to-repeat tasks in the woodshop much easier, safer and accurately repeatable.

    The tasks simplified by many of these commercial woodworking jigs could just as easily be accomplished with a homemade jig at a fraction of the cost.

  • 03 of 07

    How to Make Featherboards

    Using a featherboard on a table saw

    Chris Baylor

    Another jig that is widely available at woodworking suppliers is the featherboard or variations on the featherboard, designed to be used with a table saw or router table to hold the stock securely against the cutting head or blade. Not only does the featherboard hold the board securely, ensuring that cuts and beads are straight and true, but it serves as a safety mechanism to help prevent kickback.

    Once again, this is a jig that can be manufactured in the woodshop in a matter of a few minutes at a fraction of the cost of commercial featherboards.

  • 04 of 07

    Table Saw Jointer Jig

    Table saw jointer jig

    Chris Baylor

    A jointer is a tool that is designed to provide a smooth, flat edge on one long edge of a board. From this straight edge, you can then create a parallel edge on the opposite side of your table saw.

    In most cases, though, you don't need an expensive jointer to create that flat first edge; instead, you can use a jointer jig on a table saw to create the same flat, smooth edge.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Band Saw Circle Cutting Jig

    Band saw circle cutting jig

    Chris Baylor

    Woodworking projects such as small, round tables require a perfectly circular piece of stock to be cut for the tabletop. While one could try to cut such a round shape by hand using a bandsaw or a jigsaw, even the steadiest of hands won't be able to make a perfectly round shape.

    One of the easiest and most consistent methods for cutting out such a rounded shape is to use a bandsaw circle cutting jig. With this jig, you'll be able to cut smooth, perfectly rounded shapes every time, in a variety of diameters using your band saw.

  • 06 of 07

    Louver Jig

    Louver jig

    Chris Baylor

    Louvers are ideal for partition doors and window shutters, where you want air to flow through the opening but want to avoid being able to see what is behind the door or window.

    Louvered doors and window shutters are readily available at the home center, but they're relatively expensive. Why buy, when you can easily build your own using a simple adjustable woodworking jig?

  • 07 of 07

    Circular Saw Measuring Jig

    Circular saw measuring jig

    Chris Baylor

    Table saws are great around the workshop, but what do you do when you need a straight, accurate cut while away from your shop, such as on a job site? Simple. Use your circular saw and a clampable straight-edge.

    Having a circular saw measuring jig will only make the task easier, more accurate and much faster than measuring the cut by hand.