Last June I bumped into our former (retired) family dentist. He said he'd heard I was a woodworker and he was wanting some help with a project. He showed me a rosary he had in his pocket. He asked if I thought I could cut the parts for the wooden cross. He wanted to make rosaries as gifts to family members, friends and donations at his church. I looked at it and said I thought I could come up with what he needed. He indicated he was going to spend the summer in Montana fly fishing ( I gave him no sympathy!). He said he'd call me when he got back.
The 2 pieces of the cross are 5/16" wide, 3/16" thick. One piece is 1 1/8" long....the other piece is 1 7/8" long.
I thought I could cut them in a similar fashion as I cut plugs to plug holes......ripping, and cutting on the face of piece of wood...then stand the block on edge and ripping them free. It worked but getting a consistent depth due to having to move the t/s fence produced a lot of failures and a very low success rate.
I take two woodworking magazines....FWW and Woodsmith. I found a free plan for a jig at the Woodsmith website. It basically serves as a stop to set the width of the rip and you don't have to rely on measuring each time you move the fence. I spent Tuesday running around town looking unsuccessfully for the parts. I ordered what I needed from McMaster-Carr and found some usable temporary substitutes at my local Ace Hardware.
Yesterday I spent the day assembling the jig only to find out I couldn't get repetitive thicknesses. I was stumped.
Last night I studied the problem a little closer and decided to check the alignment on my t/s fence and to change my technique a little by using less pressure when sliding the fence and the material up to the jig.
Today after aligning the fence, changing my technique....it worked great. I was ripping 3/16" pieces with no problem.
Then I made a zero clearance backstop/table top for my SCMS. I was able to accurately cut off the 3/16"x 5/16" pieces without any chip out while keeping fingers away from the blade.
Tomorrow I will make a sled to notch the pieces with a notch 5/16" wide and 3/32" deep......
Then start producing some pieces for him........
Jigs for repetitive accuracy and safety!