Job-Site Router Jigs
Made from material you likely have on hand, these jigs add speed, accuracy, and detail to your work.
Trim carpenter Gary Striegler loves routers. He uses them every day and on all sorts of projects. To enable him to make consistent cuts quickly and safely, he has created a number of jigs. In this article, he shares four of them: one each designed to cut flutes, shelf dados, dentil moldings, and curves. For each jig, he explains what it does, the router setup it requires (including the bits needed), how to make it, and how to use it.
If you were to visit my shop or job site, you’d know how much I love routers. I have them with standard bases and plunge bases; I have double-knob and D-handles; I have and use every size from light-duty laminate trimmers to 3-hp beasts. I use them to prep doors for hanging, to rout stair stringers, to dado bookshelves, and to create all kinds of details for custom trim and cabinetry. I use routers every day, and they are among the most versatile power tools that I own.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of jigs to go with my selection of routers. A good jig helps me make consistent cuts safely and with more speed. And the best part is that once I make a jig, I can use it over and over again. I just hang it from a nail in my shop so it’s there when I need it. Some, like my dado jig, get used on nearly every job. Others are more design-specific and allow me to use my router to add custom details to my work. For each jig depicted here, I describe the router setup. But in general , you’ll want to use at least a 11⁄2-hp router and, if possible, a 1⁄2-in. collet for these tasks. A powerful router and sharp…