Table saws are great for making a wide range of basic cuts using just the saw and the table saw fence, but if you built up a collection of jigs, you will really be able to unleash your woodworking creativity.
The good news is, you won’t need to spend a whole lot of money to obtain the necessary assortment of jigs because you can make a large number of them yourself at home.
We had a look online and came up with a selection of useful plans and videos that will give you an idea of the kind of table saw jigs you can DIY easily – and what you can use them for.
1. Circular jig
The best way to cut a circle of wood, especially ones with larger diameters, is to use a table saw – and as this plan explains, all you need to do it is the right jig. Here, you will also be able to read about why using a table saw is a better solution than bandsawing or routing for making this kind of cut.
This plan is very simple to follow and there are plenty of clear instructions as well as photos and diagrams to explain what you need to do at each step. All you have to do is work through the plan and you will have your own DIY circular jig for quickly cutting circles in your workshop.
2. Four Jigs for the Price of One
This plan doesn’t just tell you how to make one jig – here, you get plans for four of the most useful jigs you can use with your table saw.
The first, the small parts jig, is a much safer way to cut smaller pieces of wood – which may otherwise end up flying dangerously off the saw. You will also find a plan for a thin rip jig, a crosscut sled and a taper cut jig.
What we like here is that there are easy-to-follow instructions for building each jig as well as photos to help explain – followed by an explanation of how to use the jigs for the best results. These are four useful jigs that it’s worth the time and trouble to make.
3. Miter sled
A miter sled is one of the most important jigs any woodworker can have for their table saw, and here’s a handy plan that tells you how to make one for yourself.
As the explanation tells you, you can make one of these from scraps you may have lying around in your workshop, meaning it won’t cost you anything – however, owning one of these will allow you to make this kind of cut much more quickly and easily than before.
The instructions are quite limited, but the plan is not difficult to follow – and by replicating this plan, you will soon have a DIY miter sled for your table saw.
4. Table saw sled with integrated stop block
Here’s a video telling you how to make a different type of sled, this time a crosscut sled with an integrated stop block.
The presenter of this video has a lot of character and a good sense of humor, making it fun to watch. He’s also obviously a talented woodworker, so most people will be able to learn a thing or two from him.
The video moves on at a good pace while the presenter explains everything he did and why, throwing in a few general woodworking tips along the way.
We always enjoy this kind of video, watching each step as the final piece gradually takes shape. Best of all, it’s very easy to follow – so anyone who wants to try at home shouldn’t have a hard time copying it.
5. Three basic jigs
This video teaches you how to make not one but three useful jigs that you can use with a jobsite table saw.
The first one he makes is a very basic crosscut sled – as he explains, there are more complicated designs, but he is just trying to keep things as simple as possible.
He then goes on to make a zero clearance insert – which he admits is not technically a jig – before finishing off with a joiner sled, a highly versatile jig, as he explains.
The point of this video is that with a regular jobsite saw, it can often be hard to make the precise, professional-level cuts you would expect from a cabinet table saw – but with the addition of the simple DIY jig, you can significantly improve the quality of your work. With that in mind, these are three jigs that are well worth the time and effort to make.
6. Another three basic jigs
Here’s a video from one of our favorite YouTube woodworkers. His videos are always very well-made and the explanations of what he’s doing are always easy to follow and understand.
This is another very skilled woodworker, and you can always pick up a lot of tips from him. In this video, he also makes the valid point that sometimes it’s easy to get carried away trying to make complicated jigs when something simple is often the best way to go.
That’s what he demonstrates in this video – so have a watch and see how he makes three more highly useful and effective jigs. In case you’re wondering, the jigs he makes are a basic sled, a panel jig and a straight edge jig.
7. Three jigs Part I
This is another video showing you how to make three more jigs – in the first of a two-part series. The second part we’ve also included below as #8.
In the video, the presenter shows us how to make a thin strip jig, a crosscut sled and a miter sled attachment for the crosscut sled.
One thing we like about this video is the attention to detail in his work. For example, one of the first things he does is make a handle for his first jig, taking the time to make it comfortable and with grips molded to his hand.
For anyone hoping to make these jigs at home, there is also more detailed information on his website – so this is a video that is well worth a watch.
8. Three jigs part II
In this video, the same presenter from the video in #7 shows you how to make three more jigs, a tapering jig, a spline jig and a box joint jig. If you copy all six plans from these videos, you’ll be providing yourself with everything you need to make a whole range of accurate cuts – all from jigs that you can easily DIY at home.
One thing we like about these videos is the graphics he includes to show what you’ll be making. With these kinds of images, sometimes it’s clearer than just showing the real thing.
As with before, the presenter is a meticulous woodworker with a great eye for detail – and for anyone hoping to replicate these designs at home, there is more info on his website.
9. Box joint jig
Here’s a fun video all about how to make a box joint jig by a presenter with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. We always enjoy watching videos made by people who so obviously know their craft and also clearly enjoy doing what they are doing.
As you can see in this video, making a simple box joint jig will allow you to make a range of useful items, making this another invaluable jig to own. At first, it might seem a little complicated, but as you watch the video and understand what the woodworker is doing, you will quickly realize how simple it really is. Definitely another one you can have a go at making at home.
10. Box joint jig second version
If you want a bit more information about making box jigs and you prefer reading about it rather than watching a video, here’s another plan that should help you out.
As the plan explains, box joints are not as strong as dovetail joints (see #11 below) but they are a lot easier to make. With this plan, you can learn about a slightly different technique for how to make a jig for making box joints from very basic materials you probably have lying around in your workshop.
This is a high-quality plan with clear explanations and useful photos to help you understand – well worth checking out.
11. Dovetail jig
As we just mentioned in #10, dovetail joints are harder to make than box joints – but they are much sturdier and durable. If you want to learn how to make them with a DIY jig you can make at home, here’s an informative video we found that will show you how.
What we found interesting here is that at the beginning, the woodworker in the video didn’t have any plans for making the jig herself. She knew she wanted the jig but didn’t know how to make one – so she set about coming up with the idea herself.
It’s fascinating to watch and listen as she explains how she came up with the solution – and having watched her work out the answer for herself, you will then be ready to have a go at home. Full marks for ingenuity.
Ingenious but simple
As the guy in #6 said, the key is keeping it simple. You don’t need to make anything too elaborate for it to be effective – and, in fact, often the simplest tools are the best. If you have a table saw at home and are hoping to expand your woodworking capabilities, putting together some of the jigs in these videos and plans would be a great way to get started.