Tablesaw Jigs and Accessories
When woodworkers look to step up the performance of their tablesaws, the most obvious (and often most expensive) upgrades typically include a miter gauge or sled, a premium blade, and—especially on older saws—an aftermarket rip-fence system. After you've amped up your saw with these "big three," now comes the fun stuff: tablesaw jigs and accessories that make tricky or tedious tasks safer, easier, and more accurate. Here are some of our favorites.
Jigs that make life easier
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, no. 22395, $90
Buying crown molding—especially if it's wide or custom-made from species not typically found at retail—can hit you hard in the wallet. Rockler's cove-cutting jig helps you make your own from stock up to 7" wide and 11⁄2 " thick. To change the cove's shape, simply vary the angle of cut across the blade. This jig securely traps workpieces at that angle, while the included featherboard holds it flat to the tabletop—with no clamps in the way. When finished, you'll need to scrape or sand the cove, but using a sharp 60- or 80-tooth blade minimizes that cleanup.
Box-joint blade sets
Freud, no. SBOX8, $95
Forrest Manufacturing, no. DK0824316, $207
Stack these two blades one way and they cut precise 1⁄4 " slots. Stack them the other and cut perfect 3⁄8 " slots. And, the flat-tipped teeth cut dead-square finger slots—no tiny "ear marks" in the corners.
I-Box box-joint jig
Rather than making a new jig each time you want to cut different-size box joints, get Incra's I-Box. This handy jig's adjustable metal key lets you set the finger width to any dimension from 1⁄8 " to 3⁄4 ". Its microadjuster fine-tunes the finger width and spacing simultaneously for a perfect fit every time. I-Box rides in your saw's miter slot on an adjustable-width miter bar. Its guard registers the workpiece and holds it securely: no need for clamping. The built-in replaceable backer board prevents tear-out.
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, no. 21597, $78
Ripping tapers on a tablesaw typically requires a jig that runs against the rip fence. Instead, Rockler's jig is guided by your saw's right miter slot and lets you fine-tune the bar's fit so it glides without sloppiness. After cutting the jig's left edge, the jig provides zero-clearance support against tear-out. Adjust the fence to match the taper angle, and the hold-downs secure the workpiece, keeping your hands clear of the cut zone. You can also use the jig to cut a straight edge on stock that has none.
Eagle America, no. 400-1039, $90
Splines not only reinforce miter joints, they also add a decorative element to a project, especially when using a contrasting wood species. Eagle America's Spline-Jig Pro cuts precise spline slots without fuss. The jig cradles the project (in this case, a keepsake box) securely front-to-back and side-to-side, and provides zero-clearance protection against tear-out.
Eagle America, no. 400-1040, $30
Whether cutting blanks to fit in spline slots, or ripping thin edge banding for plywood, this aluminum jig ensures all strips are the same thickness. Position the jig in the miter slot ahead of the blade, tighten the knob, trap your workpiece between the bearing point and rip fence, and then rip.
Improve workpiece control and cutting precision
Magswitch, starter kit no. 8110134, $77; vertical featherboard with risers no. 8110178, $17
It's not always easy to mount a featherboard where you want it. The Magswitch setup shown mounts to the cast-iron tabletop with switchable on/off rare-earth magnets that grip like nobody's business. The two featherboards give you sideways and downward pressure wherever you need it. (The base, MagJigs, and horizontal featherboard sell as the starter kit; the vertical featherboard and risers sell separately.) You can also remove the MagJigs to use in shop-made jigs.
Zero-Play miter-slot bars
MicroJig, single bar, $16; two-bar kit, $35
Although you can make a miter-slot bar from solid wood for a shopmade jig, seasonal humidity swings will make the fit sticky or sloppy. These synthetic guide bars won't do that. The two-piece bars work with opposable wedges: Get the fit you want, then tighten them up. Mount your jig, sled, or other fixture to the bars, and you're good to go.
Miter-gauge extension fence
Peachtree Woodworking Supply
22" no. 1099, $60; 48" no. 1100, $100
Add this fence extension to your tablesaw's factory-supplied miter gauge to make it
perform like an aftermarket model. The aluminum fence has T-slots and a sliding length stop to make repeated cuts up to 22" or 48", depending on the model.
Universal fence clamps
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
no. 31373, $20 per pair
To attach an auxiliary fence to a rip fence lacking T-slots, such as for cutting rabbets, we like Rockler's fence clamps. Simply drill two holes in the top edge of an auxiliary fence, slip the clamps into the holes, and then tighten the clamps to the opposite face of the rip fence.
Veritas dado shims
Lee Valley, no. 05J13.01, $13.50
Sheet goods typically measure a little less than common thicknesses of 1⁄4 ", 1⁄2 ", or 3⁄4 ". This makes it tricky to set up a stacked dado set for a precise fit, especially if the set doesn't come with shims. This Veritas kit provides 14 shims in four color-coded thicknesses, letting you precisely fit dadoes.
LegUp Lift panel lifter
Landon Innovations, $40
As we get older, it gets tougher to hoist full sheets of plywood or MDF onto a tablesaw for cutting. With the LegUp Lift, you don't have to bear that weight alone. Attach the device to any tablesaw's rip-fence rail or tabletop edge, lift a sheet a few inches onto the hooked foot, and then simply pivot the sheet onto the saw. Think of this as an investment in not going to the chiropractor.