Workshop Tip: Guide Pin Lets You Bandsaw and Rout Curves with the Same Jig
When shaping curves on table legs or rails, you can use a bearing-guided straight bit and a pattern-routing jig at the router table. Before you use the router table, however, you need to trim away a lot of the waste. The usual method is to trace a line and then make a freehand cut on the bandsaw, leaving an even 1⁄16 in. or so to trim with the router. But when bandsawing, it’s all too easy to cut past the line—or stray too far from it, leaving too much waste for a smooth router cut.
To make the sawing as fast and foolproof as the routing, I place a 1/4-in.-dia. pin ahead of the bandsaw blade for the jig to ride against, locating the pin so its edge is offset 1/16 in. from the blade’s path. To hold the little pin, I add an auxiliary table. That also creates a larger support surface for my large pattern jigs. I use a 1/4-in. metal roll pin—also called a spring pin—that is generally used to secure machine pulleys. With the pin in place, I can zip off the waste on the bandsaw, leaving just enough wood for a smooth, burn-free cut on the router table. The part never leaves the jig, and the process takes less than a minute.
—DEAN HEDSTROM, St. Paul, Minn.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #277