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The anticipated use for any given power tool is only a small portion of what it can actually accomplish in the shop when coupled with innovative jigs and fixtures.
The Basics: • Drilling, driving, and boring jigs: Go beyond the standard hole. • Miter saw jigs: Shop solutions can speed up tedious tasks.
Drilling, driving, and boring jigsDrilling a hole is so simple it is almost surprising that the technology of drills and drill bits keeps evolving. It hasn’t been that many years ago that keyless chucks came on the scene, as well as quick-change drives, square and star drive screws, and battery-powered drill-drivers. Despite the march of technology, the need to drill holes is as old as woodworking. Nowadays we just have more and better options at hand. Many of the drilling and boring options, however, are not based on things we buy in the store. There are lots of clever shop-made solutions to everyday problems, such as a masking-tape flag wrapped around a bit. This makes a great drill stop, and it is practically free.
With the proper jig, a drill press can be set up to do more than just drill holes in flat stock — how about compound angles, mortises, drilling round stock, or making pocket holes, for starters? Yes, technology marches on, but nothing trumps the mind of a creative woodworker for creative solutions to drilling and boring problems.
Miter-saw jigsThe power miter saw, or chopsaw, as it is commonly called, is one of the most useful tools that has come into common usage in most of our lifetimes. The first models were nothing more than a pivoting circular saw. However, advancements in the tool over the years have given it the ability to cut compound angles and to slide to handle wider work.
The chopsaw is a tool that’s so clever to begin with that you might expect the number of creative ideas to expand its usefulness to be small. But that’s not the case at all. A custom stand with support tables on each side will allow you more easily to crosscut extra-long stock. The miter saw also benefits from long fences and stop blocks, which allow you to make repeat cuts. A number of extruded aluminum accessories are available from online and catalog retailers that can be used to build highly complex jigs. All you need is a problem, and the creativity to come up with a solution.
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