What Is a Jig Used For In Woodworking?
If you're getting started into woodworking, you've probably heard about jigs and how useful they are when dealing with wood. But what is exactly is a jig used for in woodworking? Well, easy. It is used to cut and measure wood.
But there's more to it other than that. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about woodworking jigs as well as the most common types of jigs you're likely to come across in the wild.
If you're down for that, then this guide is the best place to get started if you want to know more about jigs.
Benefits of Using a Woodworking Jig
Any professional woodworker needs a jig if they plan on making a career out of it. As you might know, they are super useful for those times you need to hold and measure wood. But is there more to it? Should I even bother getting one?
In this section, we'll cover the main benefits of using a woodworking jig. Without any further ado, here are the main benefits that a woodworking jig has to offer:
The main reason why woodworking jigs are so popular in the woodworking community is due to their excellent accuracy. Without the reliability that a jig has to offer, you wouldn't be able to pull off most of your projects.
When driving a screw, you need accuracy; you simply cannot expect to drive through the wood and somehow expect the wood to remain in place the whole time. It, unfortunately, does not work like that.
Since jigs provide an excellent and consistent level of accuracy, you don't have to worry about suddenly hitting your fingers while drilling the wood, which is a huge factor if you plan on putting boards together.
One of the most common jigs is the centering jig. Due to its utility when working with wood, the centering jig is a must for any woodworker who needs to find the board's center.
For instance, if you spend most of your time cutting wood in half, you need some sort of system that allows you to get clean cuts. Otherwise, you might get uneven cuts, which is quite frustrating, to say the least.
So, with the centering jig, you can get a perfect centerline without spending unnecessary time doing math just to find the center of the board.
What is a Jig in Woodworking For?
A jig in woodworking is a highly accurate tool used by woodworkers as an assistant tool during those times they need to measure and hold wood together. However, there are many different types of jigs available.
Throughout the years, many woodworkers have come up with better and innovative jigs for woodworking. Whether it is measuring or holding wood in place, a jig is always there to help you.
Either way, there’s almost no other tool that offers such an advantage when it comes to measuring and cutting wood with maximum precision.
Types of Jigs to Consider
You can never have too many jigs. Let's take a look to find more about the most common types of jigs in woodworking.
One of the most common and useful jigs that any woodworker could wish for is the centering jig. The centering jig is used by professional woodworkers who need to mark and find the center of the board.
With the help of a centering jig, you don't need to measure anything in the process. The centering jig has two dowels on both ends of the board. It has a pencil in the middle to make the marks required for finding the center of the board.
To find the center of a board, all you need to do is place the edge of the centering jig on one side of the desired board and then the other side of the centering jig on the opposite side of the target.
Once you've located the points of the board, you need to move it down, and then the pencil will leave marks as you move the centering jig. That mark indicates the center of the board.
90-Degree Clamping Jig
You know what they say: you never have enough clamps! And that is somewhat true. If you're doing glue-ups on your own, you've probably wished you had some sort of help.
To solve that problem, you need a 90-degree clamping jig. The whole purpose behind a 90-degree clamping jig is to help the user keep things aligned.
With the help of a 90-degree clamping jig, you can stop the wood from leaning to one side as you're working—no more racking. And you can also use more clamps.
Miter Spline Jig
If you've ever used a miter before, you know that sometimes it is hard to strengthen mitered corners if you're working on picture frames.
In practice, the miter spline jig runs across the miter saw. With the help of a miter spline jig, you can cut pictures frames with ease.
As far as the design goes, there is not much to it, other than it's super easy to build. And in just a few minutes, your picture frames will stand out with the help of your homemade miter spline jig.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there anything we didn't cover throughout the article? If so, here are the four most common questions about woodworking jigs:
1. What is a jig or fixture?
A jig is a woodworking tool that allows the user to measure or hold wood. That is, of course, depending on the type of jig you have. On the other hand, the fixture holds your wood in place. However, the terms, sometimes, can be interchangeable.
2. How do you use a jig?
To use a 90-degree clamping jig, you need to find the 90s of the jig, which look like a triangle. Once you've found that, that's where you want to place your clamps for extra help.
3. How does a self centering dowel jig work?
A self-centering dowel jig is a tool that allows the user to center wood. The self-centering dowel jig is surrounded by two mini-walls. Those mini-walls hold your wood together as you turn the handle.
We hope you learned a thing or two about the woodworking jigs. As you know by now, jigs play a massive role in woodworking. Without them, you'd have a hard time doing your job.
As always, we suggest having as many tools as possible when working. While those tools might seem unnecessary, you'd be surprised by how much they can help you speed up your workflow, which is always great to have.