Week 2: Guides, Jigs, and Repeatability


In this class we will discuss how to achieve the best results from tools, repeat processes, and make multiples of things.

Nobody wants the first pancake.

One thousand wooden houses

Show and Tell

We’ll review and discuss last week’s assignment.  What processes/techniques/tools did we use?  Any tips?  What would we change if we could do it all over again?

Tool of the Week

Doweling jig

With a  Doweling Jig you can drill perpendicular holes along the center of the thickness of material.

Tip of the Week

“Times everything by pi.”

The length of the job, the cost, the amount of material needed.  Everything will be more than you initially think.

Second Tip of the Week

Battery holders are a good idea.

Battery Holders


Making multiples of something can be very informative.  You learn from your mistakes.  You make wiser tool and material choices.  You develop your technique.

Taking the time to create proper setups/jigs will improve your work.

Clamps, Guides, Jigs, and Fences

Many C Clamps

“You can never have too many clamps.” — Norm Abram

C Clamps

C Clamps

Incredibly useful, come in various sizes.  You want to have as many on hand as possible.

Speed Clamps

Also called pump clamps, trigger clamps.  Can be operated with one hand for quick clamp jobs.  Has protective pads that will not mare wooden surfaces.  Not ideal for glue ups, cannot provide enough clamping force.

Hand Screw Clamps

Hand Screw Clamps

These clamps have hardwood jaws that can be offset and/or angled to keep parts from shifting.

Pipe Clamps

Pipe Clamps

Provide a lot of clamping pressure.  You can change the length on the clamp by changing the length of pipe.

90-Degree Corner Clamp

Great for holding material at a fixed 90 degree angle.

Ninety degree corner clamps holding two pieces of wood for a frame

Spring Clamps

Great for quick clamping jobs.  Think of them as giant clothes pins.

Rubber Band Clamps

It’s exactly what you think it is, large rubber bands.  Great for clamping odd shaped objects.

Sacrificial pieces of wood can be used so clamps don’t mare the materials surface.  Be careful not to glue the scrap wood to your work piece.

Fences and Guides

Miter gauge and fence for the bandsaw

Miter Gauge on the Band Saw

Miter gauge on bandsaw

Miter gauge pushing wood to the blade on a bandsaw

Fence on the Band Saw

Fence installed on a bandsaw

Wood positioned to be cut using the fence on a bandsaw

Stop Blocks

Wooden stop block installed on the miter saw

Wooden stop block installed on the panel saw

Placing material against a stop block on the panel saw

Feather Boards

Feather boards installed on the router table


Pocket Screw Jig

Drill and pocket screw jig 

Wire Bending Jigs

Wire bender

DJW – Roger Stevens

Roger Stevens' bent wire artwork


The Sand-It sanding jig

Router Circle Jig

Router circle jig cutting a table top


DIY Jigs


DIY drill press jig for drill half circles in aluminum pipeHalf circle removed from aluminum pipe

DIY glass bottle cutting jig


Video: How wire hangers are made

In Class Demo

We’ll go over fences, stop blocks, and guides on the various power saws in the shop.

We’l go over the bandsaw, the miter saw, the panel saw, and the scroll saw.


Make multiples of something, 5 or more.  The objects must be a multi-process piece, ie. I don’t want to see 5 things made solely on the laser cutter or 3D printers.

Take note of your order of operations, tools, and techniques used.  If you used any type of jig or unique setup, please document (if you built your own DIY jig, absolutely bring it in).  Determine whether it is better to build one piece all the way through before starting the next, or perform step one to all pieces, then step 2, then…

Post your progress and project to your blog.

What you Should Try

Experiment with the Pocket Screw Jig.  It might seem a bit intimidating, but it creates quick strong joints.

Related Reading/Viewing

Alphabet Clamps

Pocket Screw Jig

Pinterest Woodworking Jigs and Shop Made Tools

Arthur Ganson Making Wire Gears

Sphere Drilling Jig

DiResta’s Vampire Spike Table (specifically the drill jig)

Drilling Into a Pipe

Router and Circle Jig

Wood Toy Airplane Build