Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs and Fixtures by Sandor Nagyszalanczy - Free PDF

Before you can begin building your own jigs and fixtures, you need to know what to build and how to build it. A good way to start is to explore basics of jig design, appropriate materials and hardware, and good construction practices. Whether you plan to build jigs exactly as shown in this book or design your own customized devices, you’ll benefit from learning the functional approach to what jigs do, and how to go about choosing or creating jigs that suit your tools and particular work style. Once you’ve nailed down a design, you must choose from a wide assortment of wood and synthetic materials and hardware (fasteners, fittings, extrusions, etc.) to make a jig that’s accurate and functional. Finally, you must employ good construction practices to make your jig sturdy and durable. You’ll accomplish that by using strong joinery and solid woodworking practices, along with a few tricks gleaned from the machinist’s trade.

Finding an effective jig or fixture for a woodworking operation can be as elusive and time-consuming as designing a great piece of furniture, a sailboat, or a ukulele. It takes solid woodworking knowledge and some problem-solving skills, with a good dose of inspiration thrown in. Even a moderately complex setup can pose numerous choices:
  • What tool or machine is best for the operation? 
  • Should the jig move the wood over the machine or guide the machine past the wood? 
  • How does the workpiece need to be referenced and clamped?
  • Should the jig be adjustable? 
Most of the woodworkers delight in solving challenging jigging problems. But tackling these problems requires a basic understanding of jig function and design. Generally speaking, jigs are the devices that help us cut, shape, drill, and sand parts quickly and accurately, while fixtures are devices that hold parts firmly during machining and assembly (see the photo on the facing page). Used separately or together, these essential woodworking aids help us do everyday tasks like cutting boards to accurate length and width, as well as complex operations like pattern routing parts or sawing three-dimensional shapes.While we all own at least a few commercially made jigs (miter gauges, router edge guides, etc.), most woodworkers create their own jigs. In this section, we’ll examine the function of jigs and fixtures and how they help us perform woodworking tasks more easily, accurately, and safely.We’ll also explore some factors to consider when choosing the best jig for a particular job, as well as how to customize jigs to better suit your needs.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs and Fixtures by Sandor Nagyszalanczy

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