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Thread: Jig storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    South Dakota
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    194

    Jig storage

    Most wood works accumulate a variety of jigs over time. I know storage depends on the size, shape, etc. of the jig.

    I know a traditional method is to just hang them on the wall but I'm curious what other creative ways folks have found to store their home made jigs.
    Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carrollton, Georgia
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    1,548
    This is my least organized area. I throw them randomly in a box mounted on the wall. I'm sure I have several jigs that do the exact same things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    46,155
    This is a tough one because jigs can take so many formats; some very small and best suited to a box or cabinet and others very large that are best hung or in some kind of rack. I honestly don't have any one method for storing them. Most, if not all, of the "flat" jigs I have are hung on the wall in the stairway to the upstairs of my shop. Those I use with my slider are stored nearby the machine, either on a shelf or propped against the wall. Some older ones that I honestly couldn't identify the purpose of were recently trashed to free up whatever space they were taking while they entertained the spiders...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    I have high rafters in the shop, so I hang mine there. They are visible and easy to access when needed, but not in my way.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
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    264
    Some sleds and straightedges are stood up along the wall next to stored wood. This makes them available to be cut up and used if they are not higher value as tools than as material.

    A couple are stored in the rafters of the garage. Inconvenient but not in the way.

    Often used ones are stored by their machines.

    Some small ones go into the tool cabinet drawers.

  6. #6
    This won't work for every jig or everyone but, I put some things behind mobile tools or fixtures. My rarely used pipe clamps live on the wall behind a rolling tool box. Learning from that success many of my jigs live behind the spot where my drum sander sets when not in use. I built a bit of a riser to assure air flow between the slab and the riser's platform. It tilts back about 5 degrees which keeps odd shaped jigs leaning against the wall or each other.

    ST-2018 (29).jpg

    Sleds live by the tablesaw leaning against the cyclone barrel.

    ST-2018 (15).jpg

    Other large things like the planer sled live in the horizontal lumber rack. Some smaller items live near or in drawers of the tool they serve.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-17-2018 at 11:49 PM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  7. #7
    Not much to add re where to store them but as Jim suggested make sure you mark them somehow so you know what they are for, also make sure all the parts of the jig are attached or bagged together and maybe include some notes on how to use it so you don't end up throwing out a perfectly good jig because you can't remember what it's for or where all the parts are or how to use it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Canton, MI
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    477
    My new thing is digitize and toss them. If they are electronically stored, they can be duplicated. Don't keep something you 'might' have to remake someday, that cost is on the customer. If it's something you've used in the last year, nonspecific, and may be useful someday, keep it for that first year, then see my first comment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Northern UT
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    647
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Not much to add re where to store them but as Jim suggested make sure you mark them somehow so you know what they are for, also make sure all the parts of the jig are attached or bagged together and maybe include some notes on how to use it so you don't end up throwing out a perfectly good jig because you can't remember what it's for or where all the parts are or how to use it.
    Storage is always an issue with so many things. Like Doug says above, bagging things, where possible, can be very helpful. I had a project a couple of years that required about 600 zip lock bags. I bought a thousand because it was the least expensive way to go. They were 6" x 10" and I think a 5 mil bag. I have found so many uses for the leftover bags. Storing small parts to larger jigs is just one of them. In the past, I would 'store' ratchet straps in a drawer and every time I needed some it was an hour cleaning up the mess. I finally got smart and wrapped them up, then stored them in a bag, one to a bag. No knots or mess any more. Zip lock bags come in many sizes and thicknesses, so you can find just about anything you might need.
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  10. #10
    I use a similar trick when storing Christmas lights, I put each string in a plastic bag and then put the bag in a box. Each individual string may get tangled but at least they don't get tangled into multiple strings.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Morocco Indiana
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    208
    I'll second the stair to the office above the shop. I'm fortunate that it's a 4' wide stairway so there's lots of room. Probably 20 jigs and templates adorn the walls.
    Bill
    If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
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    1,673
    If you haven't built at least 3 jigs that do the same thing without knowing it, you're not jiggy.

    If you're not jiggy, you're not trying.

    Just kidding. It's only two redundant jigs that make you jiggy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Not much to add re where to store them but as Jim suggested make sure you mark them somehow so you know what they are for, also make sure all the parts of the jig are attached or bagged together and maybe include some notes on how to use it ....
    I actually do this. And then I can't find it when I KNOW I've already gone down this road before.

    Both frustrating and rewarding depending on whether I unearth it before I need it.

    I'm thinking I need a jig barn.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by James Biddle View Post
    My new thing is digitize and toss them. If they are electronically stored, they can be duplicated. Don't keep something you 'might' have to remake someday, that cost is on the customer. If it's something you've used in the last year, nonspecific, and may be useful someday, keep it for that first year, then see my first comment.
    James makes a good point and this will vary with your space. When I come across a jig I haven't used for a year I will break it down, keep the good parts and toss/re-purpose the rest. Things like coping sleds, planer sleds, taper jigs, dado jigs, finger joint jigs, tenon jigs and the like are keepers but, get used often enough to earn a spot "nearby".
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


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