How to Make Router Jigs

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A router jig is a device that you set on your workpiece when using a router. It is a guide or a template for your router. Jigs are usually used for making repetitive motions and duplicate items. It will save you time to make a jig prior to doing the work if you will be making more than one of the same item. Router jigs are made from wood and are simple to construct.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber, 2 by 4 by 16 inches
  • Lumber, 1 by 3 by 36 inches
  • Carpenter's square
  • Wood scrap
  • 4 wood screws, 1 5/8 inches
  • Screw gun
  • Router
  • 1/4-inch gouging bit
  • Lay out a piece of 2-by-4-by-16-inch lumber vertically. Lay a 1-by-3-by-36-inch piece horizontally across the first piece with 6 inches overlap on one end. This is your guide rail.

  • Make sure the 1-by-3 overlaps the 2-by-4 at the center point. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the board crosses over at a 90-degree angle.

  • Place a piece of scrap wood under the opposite end of the 1-by-3 to hold it up off of the floor. Attach the wood pieces together at the crossover using four wood screws.

  • Put a 1/4-inch gouging bit into your router and make a groove on each side of the 1-by-3.

  • Line up your router jig groove line with a line on your panel you wish to groove. Using the groove line on the jig as your guide, route a groove on the panel by resting the router against the guide rail.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are many different router jigs made for different projects. The one described in this article is ideal for cutting grooves in panels, and it serves as a basic template for making other types of jigs.
  • Wear goggles and a mask when working with routers or other woodworking tools.
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