Jig Materials Question - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Jig Materials Question

How do you decide what material to use to make your jigs? I realize that in some cases only one material will work whereas there are no other materials that will. When there is a situation where there is more than one viable material option what goes into your choice of material decision making process?
Just curious.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 04:41 PM
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If its a one off, or a wham bammer, I'll use MDF...If its something I think I'll keep and get alot of use out of, I'll go with a good baltic birch..I've also done a few common angles in 1/4" plastic for inlays...
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 05:05 PM
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baltic birch...

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 05:07 PM
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Most of my jigs are for a one-of so what ever shop scraps I have, quite often mdf or particle board. For something that will be around for a while I use plywood.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 09:01 PM
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I'm with Charles, the vast majority of the things I make are 1.O.A.K. 90% of the jigs are 1/4" luan the rest are 1/4" hard board. I prefer the finish cut properties of luan over HB which seems to get fuzzy and for whatever reason I seem to have more difficulty tracking the pattern cutout on HB.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:46 PM
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Mdf for me



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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:46 PM
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:37 PM
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Jim, it really depends on the project. I use 1/4" Masonite(tempered hardboard) for most of my templates. A production template needs to be built of sturdier material. I designed this rail system for one of the forum members so he could mass produce clock bodies. There are individual sleds that ride on the rails with different patterns cut in them. Each sled is designed to work with specific guide bushings and router bits. (There are more than the three sleds shown) The sleds are located in different positions using the key to lock them in place. After sled 1 has been used in each position sled 2 replaces it and so on. This greatly reduces bit changes and speeds the process.

I only designed this system, Ron did the layout and build; he did a great job! The last two photos show the finished product. The bench top shown is actually part of the jig; more materials here than a typical template but it is all the same idea.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:49 PM
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Here are a couple templates that Barb used for her leaning wine bottle holders. The hole template worked fine but the routing template(with the toggle clamp) flexed; this should of had 1/2" plywood for the bottom.(My bad)
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 05:57 AM
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Fixtures with moving parts, like my pantograph or guitar side bender, Baltic Birch. For templates I use MDF, Masonite, Plexiglas, or if it's a one-time then whatever pieces fits will work.

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