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A simple jig makes it safe and easy to rip thin strips

A simple jig makes it safe and easy to rip thin strips

Ripping thin strips with your tablesaw fence positioned close to the blade is a no-no. At the end of the cut, the strip trapped between the spinning blade and fence can become a dangerous projectile. To safely rip the strips, build the simple jig shown from 3⁄4″ scrap. (For the #8 screws used to attach the cleat, drill countersunk 5⁄32″ shank holes with 3⁄32″ pilot holes.) Do not glue the cleat to the guide—that way you can replace the cleat when needed. The cleat ensures that the strips clear the blade at the end of each cut.

To use the jig, mark the desired strip thickness on the end of the workpiece. Place the jig against your fence and the workpiece tight against the jig guide and cleat. Then position the fence, aligning  the inside of the blade teeth with the mark on the workpiece. Now rip the strips, as shown in the photo, repositioning the workpiece tightly against the jig for successive cuts. Note that you’ll cut through the cleat with the first cut, creating a zero-clearance backer. To rip strips with a greater thickness, replace the cleat to ensure proper support.

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