Frontier Log Jigs

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tdubnik
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Frontier Log Jigs

Post by tdubnik »

When I made the Frontier Logsfor my grandson, my goal was to use a lot of small and narrow wood that had accumulated from various projects. Most of these were to small to use on any major projects and to good to just throw away. Since many of these pieces were narrow I really didn't have the option of cutting the dados first. I wanted to make the logs safely and minimize the risk of injury to myself so I devised a couple of jigs.

The log plans are the Shopsmith ones found here.

[ATTACH]15574[/ATTACH]

The base of the jig is 1/2" plywood and the cross pieces are 3/4" MDF. You will notice that there are two channels in the jig. These are sized to hold the 3/4" x 3/4" logs without any slop. I also used to runners on the bottom of the jig that fit the Shopsmith table. The Shopsmith is set up with a 3/4" dado stack and the height is set to 3/16" above the plywood base. On the first pass over the dado blade you will cut a slot that the remainder of the jig will reference from.

[ATTACH]15575[/ATTACH]

The top slot is used for the initial cut on the log. I set a stop block that leaves a little bit to be trimmed from the log to get the proper length.

[ATTACH]15577[/ATTACH]

To make the first notch, set the log against the stop block and run it over the blade.

[ATTACH]15578[/ATTACH]

Next flip the log over and make a pass on the other side.

[ATTACH]15576[/ATTACH]

To make the remaining notches in the log you would use the bottom slot. To set this one up I made a locator block 3/4" x3/4" x 1/8" thick. I glued this block into the slot so that the leading edge was 2 1/4" from the dado groove. This serves as the positioning block for the remainder of the notches in the log.

(to be continued)
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log jig 2.jpg
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log jig 3.jpg
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log jig 4.jpg
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log jig 5.jpg
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tdubnik
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Log jigs continued

Post by tdubnik »

Frontier log jig continued:

[ATTACH]15579[/ATTACH]

To make the rest of the notches in the log, flip it around and locate the first notch over the locator block and cut your second notch.

[ATTACH]15580[/ATTACH]

Continue moving your log after each notch is cut until you get to the end of the log. Your desired finished log length doesn't matter at this point. You're just cutting the notches until you run out of length. The logs will be sized later.

In the next post I will show the log sizing jig for cutting your logs to the desired length.
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log jig 6.jpg
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sawmill
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Post by sawmill »

When I made them I cut the notches before ripping into narrow widths. The jig is a real good idea. After I cut the to finished size I ran the thru my surface sander to save time on sanding them
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Excellent!

Post by bffulgham »

I'm looking forward to the next installment!

Great job!
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tdubnik
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Post by tdubnik »

sawmill wrote:When I made them I cut the notches before ripping into narrow widths. The jig is a real good idea. After I cut the to finished size I ran the thru my surface sander to save time on sanding them
Normally, I would have done that too. The thing is I was trying to use up some of my "scrap" wood and I was mostly working with pieces less than 2" wide and various lengths.
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Frontier Log sizing jig

Post by tdubnik »

This is the jig I made for sizing the logs. I made this to work on my Ridgid table saw but it would work just as well on the Shopsmith. The jig is universal so it will work with any size log.

In my pictures I am showing a square log but when I made my logs I took the square logs and rounded the corners before cutting to length. I did this on the router table using Gripper push blocks. This allowed me to round the corners of the narrow stock without constructing any feather boards or other hold down devices.

[ATTACH]15582[/ATTACH]

This jig is built similar to the other jig in that I used 1/2" plywood for the base and 3/4" MDF to make the channel to hold the logs. A miter slot runner is attached to the bottom and the sled is trimmed for zero clearance.

[ATTACH]15583[/ATTACH]

Just like the other jig, I made a 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/8 locator block and attached it 3/8" from the edge of the sled. This gives you the correct sizing for the ends of the logs.

[ATTACH]15584[/ATTACH]

To use the sled, first place one of the end notched over the locator block and trim the end to length.

[ATTACH]15585[/ATTACH]

Next decide what length you want your log to be. In this case, I chose to make a two notch log so I moved the log so that two notches were hanging off the right side of the jig.

[ATTACH]15586[/ATTACH]

After this cut you will have a two notch log with one end trimmed and the other end too long.

(To be continued in my next post)
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log jig 8.jpg
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log jig 12.jpg
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log jig 13.jpg
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tdubnik
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Frontier log sizing jig ... part 2

Post by tdubnik »

Frontier log sizing jig ... continued:

[ATTACH]15587[/ATTACH]
Flip the log around and make a cut to trim the other end to the correct length.

[ATTACH]15588[/ATTACH]

Now you have a finished log (assuming that you rounded your corners before cutting to length.)

Once you have your jigs made you can make as many logs as you want pretty quickly.

I hope these jigs provide some inspiration and help should you choose to use up some "scrap".
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log jig 14.jpg
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log jig 15.jpg
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fiatben
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Great minds...

Post by fiatben »

Great minds think alike (well, saying it makes me feel better anyway). I made logs for two grandsons this Christmas and built a jig based on one seen on lumberjocks. Now I have a request for more and started rethinking the jig. Basically I came up with a scaled down version of the one shown here. It's about half-built in the shop. When I get it done, I'll try to take pics and post here to let everyone see another version. That is if I don't just make one like this. Mine is smaller, made from one piece of wood, but uses the same concept of capturing the 3/4" square blanks.
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Post by JPG »

Good jig!:cool:

I think I would soften the edges prior to notch cutting.;)
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Post by tdubnik »

[quote="JPG40504"]Good jig!:cool:

I think I would soften the edges prior to notch cutting.]

I tried that but got less tear out doing it this way. The sled provides a zero clearance for the dado blade and the router cut was so small I got virtually no tear out on it.
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