A CROSSCUT JIG FOR THE TABLE SAW
Attaching the runners to the base
A crosscut jig custom-made for your table saw like the one shown above is especially valuable if you are working with unwieldy stock. Refer to the illustration for suggested dimensions. Start by cutting two 25-inch-long hardwood runners to fit your miter slots. Bore and countersink clearance holes for screws into the undersides of the runners, 3 inches from each end. Place the runners in the slots and slide them out to overhang the back end of the table by about 8 inches. Position the jig base squarely on the wood strips, its edge flush with their overhanging ends, and screw the runners to the base (left). Slide the runners and the base off the front end of the table and drive in the other two screws.
Installing the support frame and guide
With the runners still in the miter slots, attach the support frame along the back edge of the jig and glue on the reinforcing block, centered between the runners. Then make a cut through the support frame and three-quarters of the way across the base. Turn off the saw and lower the blade. Screw a reinforcing block to the guide and position the guide along the front edge of the jig, using a carpenter’s square to ensure that it is square with the saw kerf. Clamp the guide in place (above) and screw it to
the base from underneath the jig, making sure you countersink the fasteners. Glue the safety block to the outside face of the guide, again centered on the kerf. Raise the saw blade and finish the cut, sawing completely through the guide but only slightly into the safety block. Mount a clear plastic sheet over the saw kerf as a blade guard, fastening it to the reinforcing blocks with wing nuts or screws.
For making repeat cuts to the same length, screw an extension to the right side of the guide and clamp a stop block to it. Cut a notch in the block to hold the clamp in place when it is loosened. To use the jig, fit the runners into the miter slots and slide the jig toward the back of the table until the blade enters the kerf. Hold the workpiece against the guide, slide the stop block to the desired position, and clamp it in place. With the workpiece held firmly against the guide and the stop block, slide the jig steadily across the table (left), feeding the workpiece into the blade.