It only takes one drilling mistake to convince a woodworker of the value of a good jig. A jig is an essential piece of equipment for your home workshop. Woodworking jigs are frames or boxes made to stabilize your work while you locate and even up drill holes. Jigs are a terrific way to space your machine work properly.
It is worth the money to invest in a good jig, even though some workers build small ones themselves. The choice is simple. You can either invest in a good jig and save yourself hours of labor and ruined wood when mistakes are made, or not use a jig and waste all that time and energy. Most serious hobbyists opt for a jig.
There are many different kinds of jigs for you to consider in your workshop, depending on what kind of work you want to do. Here are a few of the essential jigs.
1. The dowel jig. This jig is ideal for dowel holes. You can make holes precisely in both width and diameter. These holes will align with the two pieces that need to fit together. What do you need this for? If you are making any kind of furniture, in particular tables, chairs, or drawers, you will need your dowel holes to be exact so everything fits together perfectly.
2. The dovetail jig. This jig creates professional drawers that will last forever. You do not find cheap, modern furniture being given the dovetail treatment. Only classic pieces that are meant to last deserve the dovetail jig.
3. Router jig. This jig is for you if you aim to create beveled edges on your table tops and drawer faces. The router jig stabilizes the wood as you cut, ensuring professional-grade woodworking and allowing you to do ornate work.
If you are not ready to invest in a jig, there are ways around it for small woodworking jobs. For instance, you can wrap a piece of masking tape around your drill bit to mark the desired depth of your hole. If you keep the tape on, you can drill many standard holes. But if you are going to get serious about woodworking, you want a more precise hole, and one that doesn’t require you to peel sticky tape residue off your drill bit. It might be time to invest in a jig.
To find a good jig, visit your local hardware store or home improvement store. Places like Lowes and Home Depot often give free woodworking demonstrations for interested customers. You can ask the experienced staff about the equipment and get informed responses. You can also let the staff know your price range and they can recommend how to get the best jig for your money. If you cannot find something this way, go online and visit woodworking blogs. There is always someone online willing to give you good advice when you solicit it. You can also find websites devoted to customer’s personal ratings of woodworking equipment. Find a five star jig online and go buy it in person.
The free-lance writer Vince Paxton is specifically passionate about areas associated to routing. His contributions on router accessories and woodworking jigs are found on his internet pages.
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