Friday 5 June 2015

Woodworking Book Review: Jigs and Fixtures A Taunton’s complete illustrated Guide by Sandor Nagyszalanczy

When you visit a woodworking show or a craft fair, the selection of handmade and ‘one-off’ original products can be really impressive. Regular woodworkers, however, will know that the next best thing to a ‘one-off’ is being able to repeat that extraordinary shape, curve or precision fit. This is where we enter the world of Jigs and Fixtures – to guide tools precisely, predictably and safely, time and again.

This book - from the extensive stable of Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guides - is an indispensable reference to creating some of the most common and basic jigs, as well as more complicated set-ups that will extend your woodworking repertoire considerably. From basic function and design to selecting materials and hardware, the book provides a series of well-illustrated and clearly-written projects that will help you create an extensive collection of useful jigs.

You could start with a simple fence to use with your table saw for cutting a cove, or perhaps a zero tolerance fence for your router table for use on short stock or problematic grain, eliminating chatter or splintering while keeping the entire operation safe and accurate. If you have a router table, why not make a biscuit jointing table, which will enable you use this quick and secure joint form without investing in a separate machine. For the router enthusiast, there are plenty of model templates that can be created to speed up regular tasks such as mortising, as well as opening up new opportunities such as creating simple box joints.

One of my favourite sections offers a range of solutions for dust collection.  This includes planning dust extraction points into the design of your jigs as well as making specific dust management hoods and tables for a range of portable and static machinery.

In conclusion, this book is an excellent addition to the library, and though the purpose of making the jigs is to improve your projects, the process of designing and building intriguing solutions is in itself a fascinating pastime.

Jigs and Fixtures A Taunton’s complete illustrated Guide by Sandor Nagyszalanczy
 ISBN 978-1-63186-084-3


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