Friday, August 11, 2017

Kerf Maker

If your kerfs are not exact you are not alone. If you are starting out or advanced sometimes making precise cuts can be frustrating. You can buy a kerf jig, but they can be very expensive.

Here is an easy jig you can  make and get excellent results. It is very small but still opens to 3/4". I find this is all I need right now and I  have too I can always make a larger one.


You can use a dado blade but this will work if you're in a hurry or you don't want to switch blades. 
To see the tools I use visit this  page, any tools purchased through these links helps supports my channel.

I will start with a piece of maple and Brazilian cherry. Both are hard woods and are good for making jigs and will last a long time.

The blocks are cut to the right size and since everything is set up it is easy enough to make a few kerf makers. It's nice to own two and give away a few. 

A small slot is cut on the bottom block, this was done on the table saw. I just ran it through and moved the fence  a few times until I had the right size for a t-bolt.

Next thing to do is make a mark for drilling a slot. I used a pocket marking gauge to make a centre line. Now you can use a brad point drill bit and create a perfect slot.

If you don't have the right size T-bolt you can always make your own. Just grind down the head of  bolt. Take off just small amounts and measure until you get the right size to fit the slot.

The top block is marked and drilled for the bolt. Then a slot will be cut out for the brass knurled nut. 

The T-nut is put in the jig along with the brass nut,  then I used my  mini hacksaw to make a mark so I can cut the rest with an angle grinder.

A small piece of wood is glued to the bottom block, this will work like a stop block.

This is a very simple jig and these are all the pieces for the kerf maker.

The last thing to do is to trim the top block. The cut is the thickness of a standard saw blade which is 1/8".

First box I made I used  3/8" plywood. This was made as a test piece and turned out not too bad. I will test a few more pieces then move on to nicer projects.

The kerfmaker is complete and here is the second box I made in minutes. After I cut a 5 small pieces of fir I tried out the jig and made 6 kerfs on three of the pieces. The pieces snapped together very nicely. I later glued and sanded it giving me a very nice looking box. 


This  small jig can fit in your pocket or could even be made into a keychain.

Very easy to make and  easy to use. You can test and make some small boxes to start with because they can snap together easily to see what works. You can then move on to larger projects. 

If you need to make it larger to open more than 3/4" just make it a bit longer. 

I have a few projects in mind that I will be making using this jig.

What kind of Kerfmaker do you own?

You may also like:
           Bevel Gauge                                                                                Spline Jig


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