Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Charley's School Of Woodworking: Lesson #1-Straight Up Jigga

Google me this: What came first, the jig or the right angle?  You really need one to make the other and it had to start somewhere.  Find me a right angle in nature and I will send you a free t shirt. I don't care who you are.  They are out there but it took me a long time to find one.  You want a shirt? Show me the natural 90. It is the quintessential man made object.  It is what most separates us from nature.

First thing to do is build a jig.  I build jigs to build jigs. I have built mini jiglettes for jigs that I have made to make real jigs.  It's a good thing because if your jigs are tight, everything else falls into place.  And that is an especially good thing when you are routing in the dark.  It gets dark early in these parts, this time of year. Below is a picture of me routing this evening at the main or "upper" manufacturing facility.  I can only plug three things in at once.  Two routers and a radio.  Even though I can't hear the radio over the R rated scream of the router, it is comforting knowing some NPR bozo is yammering away somewhere. I don't need light, thanks to jigs.  I hardly need anything at all!

I set up the camera to give you a better idea of what it is really like.


2   [rout]  Show IPA–verb (used with object)1. to hollow out or furrow, as with a scoop, gouge, or machine

 The benches I am making in the dark, cold rain are going to be boss.  Honkin' dovetails, tight, tight grain, and a weighty girth.   A real bench's bench. 


  1. OH! Can't wait to see the finished bench.

  2. How about a tree growing on a horizontal plain, that makes a 90 degree angle right? Maybe the idea came from that. Or the way we stand.