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Spline Jig

Make your ‘MegaSled’ into a store workhorse. 

Previously, we constructed the MegaSled – a desk noticed sled designed to accommodate a collection of joinery jigs. The jigs and attachments I cowl on this article are only the start – and with them, you may reduce flawless finger joints, tenons, lap and bridle joints, and even splined miters. Once you see how they work together with the distinctive options of the Mega Sled itself, chances are you’ll be impressed to create your personal distinctive equipment.

Finger-joint Jig

Refer to the cutlist to chop out all of the elements on the outset, or put together your elements one jig at a time (I like to recommend utilizing hardwood-veneered plywood from the house heart). Whatever course you are taking, you’ll want to label each bit with its assigned letter. Cut each bit so that each one corners and edges are sq., and as you assemble them, examine every half with a mixture sq. to maintain all the pieces true. A pneumatic brad-nailer will scale back clamping time.

Tenon Jig

Most of the jigs are designed to connect to the T-track within the sled fence with T-bolts and wing nuts or star knobs. Wait to bore the holes for these bolts till every jig is accomplished. Then place the jig on the fence and mark the areas of the holes straight on the jig.

Micro-adjusters & Stops

Micro-adjusters. A spring between the blocks is what makes these work.

One of probably the most helpful options of this sled design is its skill to make correct, repeatable crosscuts. A easy cease, made up of elements A and B within the diagram above, attaches to the T-track on the sled’s fence and fence extensions.

Stop. The micro-adjuster means that you can fine-tune the cease place on the T-track.

To fine-tune the cease’s place, I  designed a pair of micro-adjusters. Refer to the diagrams to arrange their elements, paying cautious consideration to the place of the holes, all of that are 14” in diameter. Parts C and E must be glued collectively earlier than the opening is bored via them. Slip a T-bolt via the opening and place a washer and wing nut on the tip. Slide a carriage bolt via the holes in elements C and D, place a spring in between, then safe them with a wing nut and washer.

Miter Fences & Hold-downs

Miter fences. These are mirror pictures of one another – one for all sides of the sled.

Table noticed sleds are all about security and accuracy, and these miter fences are designed to realize each. They’re easy: a mirrored pair of two″ x 18″ strips of plywood with a 516” slot reduce 38” from the sting, stopping 2″ from one finish and 4″ from the opposite. This slot, mixed with T-bolts and wing nuts, secures the fences to the mating slots within the sled’s base panel whereas permitting for full adjustability.

Held down. The miter fences use the sled’s base slots. Hold-down clamps may be connected to the T-tracks.

A T-track is embedded within the reverse edge, making it attainable to connect hold-down clamps to safe your workpieces in the course of the reduce, or to connect a selfmade cease for repeated cuts. But these fences aren’t just for slicing miters – you might also use them to safe any small or oddly formed workpiece to the sled for secure slicing. Simply connect a fence subsequent to the workpiece and use its T-track clamping function.

MegaSled Jigs Cut List

No. Item Dimensions (inches) Material Comments

t  w   l

Micro-adjuster, stops & miter fences

❏ 1 Stop cap 34 x 2 x 2 Plywood A

❏ 1 Stop physique 3Four x 2 x 3 516 Plywood B

❏ 2 Upper adjuster blocks 3Four x 1 x 1 78 Plywood C

❏ 2 Main adjuster blocks 3Four x 1 x 1 78 Plywood D

❏ 2 Lower adjuster blocks 3Four x 1 x 1 78 Plywood E

❏ 2 Miter fences 3Four x 2 x 18Plywood

Tenon jig

❏ 1 Fence bracket cap 3Four x 6 x 2 14 Plywood F

❏ 1 Fence bracket face 3Four x 3 7Eight x 10 34 Plywood G

❏ 2 Clamping blocks 34 x 2 x 10 14 Plywood H&I

❏ 1 Alignment strip 3Four x 1 x 8 Plywood J

❏ 1 Main physique panel 34 x Eight x 12 14 Plywood Okay

❏ 2 Panel assist brackets 3Four x Four x 4 Plywood L1&L2

Finger-joint jig

❏ 2 Adjuster blocks 34 x 1 78 x 1 14 Plywood M1&M2

❏ 2 Fence caps 3Four x 1 7Eight x 12 Plywood N1&N2

❏ 2 Face panels 34 x 3 7Eight x 12 Plywood O1&O2

❏ 2 Sacrificial face panels 14 x 3 7Eight x 12 MDF P1&P2

Spline-joint jig

❏ 1 Rear prime panel 3Four x 3 7Eight x 12 Plywood Q

❏ 1 Rear again panel 3Four x 3 7Eight x 12 Plywood R

❏ 1 Rear backside panel 3Four x 51 116 x 12 Plywood S

❏ 1 Box platform 3Four x 7 5Eight x 12 Plywood T

❏ 1 Box platform base 3Four x Three x 12 Plywood U

❏ 1 Fence base panel 3Four x Three x 6 78 Plywood V

❏ 1 Fence panel 34 x Three x 6 78 Plywood W

The Tenon Jig

Tenons, lap joints and bridle joints are attainable with this jig. To construct it, put together elements F-Okay by slicing the shapes and boring the holes specified by the diagram. Parts H and I are glued collectively, and a pair of 38” holes are bored within the seam, 1″ from every finish. Attach half G to half Okay, utilizing the 2 triangular brackets (L1 and L2 in exploded diagram) to assist and sq. up the meeting. Glue and brad nails will shorten clamping time all through this undertaking. Attach strip J to half Okay, simply to the precise of the lacking nook; make sure it’s perpendicular to the highest edge. Part F attaches to the highest fringe of G. Two items of 14” threaded rod ought to subsequent be epoxied within the holes within the physique of the jig.

Assembly. Only one bracket (L1) may be seen on this view. The second (L2) is mounted beneath it.

This jig works very similar to every other desk noticed tenon jig. The workpiece is held perpendicular to the highest of the noticed, and secured in place with the clamping mechanism.

Square up. Check all elements for sq. as you’re employed.

Attaching the fence. The fence slides onto the threaded rods. T-bolts via the vacant holes partly F will safe the jig to the sled.

What makes this tenon jig distinctive are two options: First, the sled’s base itself retains the tip of the workpiece from dragging throughout the highest of the noticed, and probably shifting misplaced in the course of the reduce. Second, the place of the jig could also be fine-tuned by attaching one of many micro-adjusters subsequent to it on the sled’s fence.

Tenon jig in use.

Cut the tenon’s cheeks with the jig, then the shoulders on the sled itself.

In utilizing this jig, I sometimes reduce my tenons a bit outsized, then use the adjuster to nudge the jig towards the noticed blade, fine-tuning the tenon’s measurement with a number of gentle passes on reverse cheeks, till it completely matches my mortise.

The Finger-joint Jig

There are two assemblies to the finger-joint jig, and they’re mirror pictures of one another. The small rectangles (M1 and M2) connect to the lengthy, slim elements (N1 and N2). Then these connect to the lengthy edges of the massive rectangles (O1 and O2). Next, connect a pair of metal angle brackets to the tip of every meeting as proven within the illustration.

One aspect. Here’s one of many two finger-joint assemblies. The holes are for mounting it to the sled’s T-track with T-bolts and wing nuts.

All collectively. The two assemblies for the finger-joint jig are mirror pictures. Note how the angle brackets are connected to the ends.

In the diagram, notice the pair of 14“-thick items labeled P1 and P2. These are non-compulsory sacrificial faces. Because you’ll reduce into the jig along with your dado stack throughout use, chances are you’ll want to set up these faces later. One covers the kerf within the jig, offering new, zero-clearance assist on your subsequent joint; the opposite serves as a spacer to maintain each halves of the jig on the identical airplane.

This jig works like many pin-based finger joint jigs, besides that it’s totally adjustable. Both halves connect to the sled’s fence with the fingers (the angle brackets) on the precise aspect of your dado stack, going through each other. The steps required to arrange and make the cuts are proven within the accompanying pictures. You shall be slicing each halves of the joint collectively, utilizing a dado stack that’s equal to the thickness of the fingers you want to reduce.

It will not be essential to clamp the workpieces to the jig, however take care to carry them firmly in opposition to the bottom of the sled and the face of the jig throughout every reduce. Also, preserve a watch out for sawdust buildup alongside the bottom of the jig, blowing it away as wanted.

Step one. Use a spacer to set the gap between the enamel of the dado stack and the inside finger; lock that half of the jig to the sled’s fence.

Step two. Make a setup block by putting its finish in opposition to the inside finger and making a reduce.


Step three. Use the setup block to set the outer finger’s distance from the inside finger.

Step 4. Set the dado set barely greater than your workpiece is thick.

Step 5. Place one workpiece in opposition to the inside finger, whereas offsetting the opposite by a finger’s width (a spacer is beneficial on this case).

Step six. As you make every reduce, slip the most recent kerf over the fingers, shifting the workpiece to your proper and positioning them for the subsequent reduce.

The proper match. If your fingers are too tight, add a shim to your dado set. Too unfastened? Remove a shim.

The Spline Jig

Splines strengthen or accent mitered joints on containers and frames. While slicing your elements to measurement in keeping with the cutlist, add 45° bevels to the perimeters of elements Q and S. Part T  requires a groove 2″ from an extended edge, large and deep sufficient to suit your T-track. In the photograph abovw, you may see how the 5 main elements come collectively, with half T resting at a 45º angle. To assemble the fence, connect half W to the sting of half V, place the meeting on the jig, mark the opening location via which the fence connected to T-track, and bore a 516” gap.

The spline jig must be positioned in opposition to your sled’s fence, the place you’ll bore holes via the portion that overlaps the T-track, and connect it as you probably did the opposite jigs. The first time you employ the jig you’ll kerf via it. You would possibly reduce a couple of kerf via repeated use, however it’s clever to align a beforehand reduce kerf with the noticed’s blade to increase the lifetime of the jig.

To place your work for slicing, slide the fence to the precise or left throughout the jig and place the field in opposition to it. This means, you shift the place of the field, somewhat than your entire jig, when a joint requires a couple of spline.

Keep it regular. The backside fringe of the fence meeting helps retains it sq. as you slide it throughout the jig – so mount it as near 45° as attainable. Attach a hold-down clamp to the T-track to safe the work in the course of the reduce.

And that’s only the start of what the MegaSled can do – however with simply these jigs and equipment, this crosscut sled is already an actual workhorse in my store. And I’m already considering up new methods to make use of it! 

Product Recommendations

Here are some provides and instruments we discover important in our on a regular basis work across the store. We might obtain a fee from gross sales referred by our hyperlinks; nonetheless, we’ve got fastidiously chosen these merchandise for his or her usefulness and high quality.

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