For the Love of Jigs

If it’s not obvious from the list of jigs on my Jigs page, I love making jigs. I get a lot of satisfaction from making my own.

When faced with a difficult task in the woodshop or one that requires repetitive cuts, a jig can usually save the day. We woodworkers can use our ability to…well…make stuff to our advantage. Jigs can usually be made from scraps laying around the shop in a few hours or less.

I get my inspiration for different jigs from the internet and woodworking on-line stores. It usually isn’t that difficult to make a ‘store-version’ jig at home simply by looking at the pictures on-line. You can save a bundle of money and gain a huge amount of satisfaction from making it yourself. Plus, you get to make it exactly the way you want it (ok, not every time). I like having the ability to modify my jigs to my taste, a task that can be difficult with a store bought jig.

I have heard from some woodworkers that they’d rather not waste their time making a jig that they could buy. I can understand this when it comes to production shops where time = money. But for the hobbyist, it just doesn’t make sense to me. We hobbyists are in this for the fun of it (supposedly) and part of the fun is making your own jigs. What’s your take?

3 Responses to “For the Love of Jigs”

  1. Vince says:

    i have to agree with you on making jigs. I love making my own and when I see a jig in a magazine that someone else made and it looks like something I cannot do with out I’ll run out to the shop and make one. But I hate to say it… but I do have a few jigs that I haven’t used yet.


  2. Trevor says:

    Join the club I too have a love of jigs & yes I have also made jigs that I rarely use but I do find the process of making other peoples solutions helps to work out solutions to your own jig requirements kinda broadens your mind

  3. David Harms says:

    My favorite part of the wood working magazines, like shopnotes woodsmith etc, is the first section where they show off the shop shortcuts and jigs. I always find something I want to build. My jig project list is almost as long the real project list 😀

    Also, after your recent post on a shop made chisel plane I think I might have to start making some of my own tools as well.

    I agree with you on your point that as a hobbyist part of the fun is making the jig / tool to make the project or just enjoying the day in the shop making a jig just to make it.

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