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Thread: Irwin Clamps for Table Saw Jointing Jig?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    Irwin Clamps for Table Saw Jointing Jig?

    I have no jointer. I made a planing sled for face-jointing, but I still have to do edges, and I would like to avoid using the router, because it's a pain for anything thicker than half an inch.

    I thought I'd make a jig with clamps. Just a piece of straight MDF with a couple of toggles on it, to hold wood in place on the table saw. But when I checked out toggle clamps at Woodcraft, they seemed pretty bad. The height is limited, and I can imagine having problems with thick wood.

    Right now Irwin is selling very cheap, very strong one-handed bar clamps (4 for $20) that look much better and easier to use. And they're much cheaper. I'm considering hacking two or three of these up and attaching them to my MDF instead of toggles. Has anyone else tried this?

    One concern I should mention in case anyone tries my bright idea: I am told that the pads on these clamps may exude something that interferes with stain, so you have to put a barrier between them and the wood.
    Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of bench.

    I was socially distant before it was cool.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Mt. Pleasant, MI
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    2,925
    I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work but before you reinvent the wheel google DeStaco clamps.

    Joe
    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  3. #3
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    Those look like the ones from Woodcraft.
    Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of bench.

    I was socially distant before it was cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
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    4,341
    Steve, one thing to keep in mind is that those ViseGrip/Irwin/Quickclamps don't have much power, and they can creep. At least mine all do that.

    Look into DeStaCo, and think about adding a thumbscrew to adjust for thickness, rather then the bolt that they come stock with. There are other bigger toggle type clamps out there as well. I have a ten pound beast on my Felder that would do what you are trying, really well. Good luck,

  5. #5

    Smile

    Hi Steve,

    I have no jointer at home either, so what I do is take my straightest (we will call this the bed board) ¾” thick board, say 120” long or at least longer than the longest board you wish to straighten, and attach a (we will call this a push block) ¾ x ¾ x 2” to 3” longer than the board is wide to the end of the board. One edge of your bed board will ride the saw fence and the other with work as the jointer bed so to speak. The purpose of the push block attached to the end is for push support and needs to be installed flush to the fence side of the bed board and protrude out the other side.

    Now you place you wood to be jointed with the crown away from the fence in the (we will call the whole unit a sled) sled. Measure the width of your bed board and the piece to be jointed at the shallowest end and set you fence an 1/8 under that dimension. Right hand on the push board and the wood stock gives you feed force, your left hand provides the force to keep things against the fence. Slowly feed the stock into the blade and keep the stock and sled unit against the fence and you have a jointed edge.

    I included a picture to help clarify things a little. Hope this helps.

    straight edge.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pickering, Ontario.
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    339
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Hook View Post
    Hi Steve,

    I have no jointer at home either, so what I do is take my straightest (we will call this the bed board) ¾” thick board, say 120” long or at least longer than the longest board you wish to straighten, and attach a (we will call this a push block) ¾ x ¾ x 2” to 3” longer than the board is wide to the end of the board. One edge of your bed board will ride the saw fence and the other with work as the jointer bed so to speak. The purpose of the push block attached to the end is for push support and needs to be installed flush to the fence side of the bed board and protrude out the other side.

    Now you place you wood to be jointed with the crown away from the fence in the (we will call the whole unit a sled) sled. Measure the width of your bed board and the piece to be jointed at the shallowest end and set you fence an 1/8 under that dimension. Right hand on the push board and the wood stock gives you feed force, your left hand provides the force to keep things against the fence. Slowly feed the stock into the blade and keep the stock and sled unit against the fence and you have a jointed edge.

    I included a picture to help clarify things a little. Hope this helps.

    straight edge.jpg
    I do pretty much the same thing, and rather than fussing around with clamps and so forth, I just drive a couple of screws through the 'bed board' into the 'keeper board'.., the board I'm trying to get the straight edge on, near the front and rear end of the board. Just position the screws so they won't be near the saw blade, won't penetrate to saw table and will be in the waste part of the board. I put the good board on the bottom and 'bed board' on top to get the benefits of my ZCI. Before I make the cut, I check the table/blade angle with my Wixie to ensure it's on the money. Once you've got the first edge cut, remove the screws holding the boards together and flip the board over with the good edge to the saw fence and cut the other edge. It should be exactly parallel. Nice easy solution.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    FL
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    And here I was, ready to reinvent the wheel.
    Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of bench.

    I was socially distant before it was cool.

  8. #8
    You can also put blocks under the toggle clamps to get more height.
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

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