& Fixtures for the Hand Tool Woodworker
Published by Popular Woodworking Books, Ohio USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 181
Most large projects and, indeed, many small ones, are made easier by employing some sort of jig or fixture during the course of their construction.
One common reason for their use is where a third hand is needed to hold something in place while the woodworkers own two hands are otherwise occupied. Another is where the device is used in some way to assist in maintaining the accuracy of a repeated action such as marking, cutting or shaping.
Most of these devices lose their importance immediately the project is finished. But there are also jigs and fixtures that are sufficiently universal in nature to be able to contribute to many quite different projects.
This book focuses on devices which fall within this category but which are also designed specifically for the hand woodworker.
The author begins with a definition of the differences between tools, fixtures and jigs: 'A tool works directly upon and alters the workpiece. A fixture holds the workpiece and a jig guides the tool.'
Although he goes on to qualify these definitions by adding that sometimes all of these functions are combined in a single device, they are helpful in understanding the division of the book into its 8 chapters.
Chapter 1 covers Jigs and Fixtures for Holding. These include bench stops ranging from simple pins or v-blocks to not-so-simple cam-fixed or screw-fixed pins.
Then there are vice fixtures, many of which are designed to hold oddly shaped workpieces securely and safely.
The presentation for each device consists of a (hand) drawing and descriptive text. The latter provides details of methods of construction, typical uses and, in many instances, options that may be applied to either or both.
The same presentation is used for all of the devices described in the book.
Chapter 2 addresses Jigs and Fixtures for Measuring and Marking. Of course, these include the well-known Straightedges, Story Sticks, Dovetail Marking Guides and Winding Sticks, but Brick Batten Stops, Pinch Rods, Corner Scribes and the Cylinder Marking Cradle will probably be much less familiar. So will the Grasshopper Gauge which the author points out is a surprising omission from the range of generally available manufactured marking tools.
Chapter 3 introduces a series of Jigs and Fixtures for Sawing. They include guides and supports for sawing as well as such ingenious devices as the Dowel Length-Stop which makes short work of cutting dowels to prescribed lengths.
Chapter 4 is devoted to Planing, Chapter 5 to Joinery, Chapter 6 to Boring and Chapter 7 to Assembling and Finishing. The final short Chapter 8 deals with Sharpening.
Some of the jigs and fixtures described in this book are very simple; others are relatively complex. All, however, appear easy to make and - despite the authorís stated objective - many could justifiably claim a place in even the most modern workshop.
The book should therefore appeal to both novice and experienced woodworkers regardless of their preference for hand or power tools.
Units of Measurement: Imperial
1 - Jigs & fixtures for Holding
2 - Jigs & Fixtures for Measuring & Marking
3 - Jigs & Fixtures for Sawing
4 - Jigs & Fixtures for Planing
5- Jigs & Fixtures for Joinery
6- Jigs & Fixtures for Boring
7- Jigs & Fixtures for Assembly & Finishing
8- Jigs & Fixtures for Sharpening