Cutting coves with a table saw seems like an impossible job,
Ultimately, a table saw was made to make straight cuts, not cove cuts.
Yet it is perfectly possible and can easily be done with this cove cutting jig for the table saw.
You can easily build this jig by adapting the free downloadable plans, that you can find on this page, to your table saw unless you also have the Makita MLT100 table saw.
In this step-by-step guide, I will teach you how to build this cove cutting jig and how to set up a cove cutting jig to make your own cove moldings.
In addition, this jig can also be used to make raised panels on a table saw.
This jig opens up opportunities for building unique projects in the future in your woodworking workshop, so let’s get started right away.
Watch the video here
Before we start building this cove cutting jig
To prepare you for building this cove cutting jig, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this cove cutting jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! protect yourself!
Materials I used for this Cove cutting jig / raised panel jig
(power)Tools I used for this Cove cutting jig / raised panel jig
- Makita MLT100 table saw Watch my Unboxing video and my review video if you want to see more about this tool.
- Makita 3709 router
- Makita AF505N Brad nailer. Watch my Unboxing video if you want to know more about this tool.
- Brad nails 25mm
- Air compressor
- Drill press
- Hilti cordless drill SF144-A
- Kreg KMA multi mark and measuring tool
- Pica pencil to mark all the pieces.
Building these 2 in 1 cove cutting jig / raised panel jig step by step
Step 1 | Preparation
To make this cove cutting jig, start by cutting all the parts you need. Use the free plans that you can download in this blog and adjust the sizes to your table saw.
With a little preparation, you plan the cuts in such a way that with a minimum number of settings of the table saw you can cut the parts for this cove cutting jig in the shortest possible time.
Step 2 | Making the cove cutting jig
Holes and slots must be made in the widest fence of the cove cutting jig.
I started by drilling the holes. The endpoints of the slots were also provided with a hole.
Later, I could use that drill hole to insert the router bit to make the slots with my palm router.
All holes were drilled with a 10 mm Forstner bit.
Once all the holes had been drilled I could make the slots with the router and a straight router bit.
To make perfectly straight cuts I used a simple router jig, which I made in an earlier video. You can watch the video here.
The two slots that I made in this fence make it possible to clamp the cove cutting jig to the table saw and place it in the angle I need to cut coves.
To hold the cove cutting jig in please I’ll be using some homemade t slot bolts
I made another video showing you how to make these bolts. You can see that video here.
To connect the inner fence with this fence I made these four pivot points.
These points are made from a square piece of plywood in which I drilled a larger hole for the head of the bolt and a smaller hole all the way through the wood.
I secured the bolt with epoxy glue and once that glue was dry I attached these pivots to the fences with wood glue and brad nails.
A pivot point was attached at each end of the two fences.
Step 3 | Making the knobs
To lock the two fences and place I made some homemade star knobs.
This was done with a jig that I have build a while ago.
If you want to build this star knob jig yourself you can see how I did it, and also see how you use the jig in the demonstration of this video.
You can download the free plans to build this star knob jig yourself on this blog.
Step 4 | Clamping system to attach the feather board
To make sure the piece won’t lift when cutting a cove, I’ll be attaching my feather board to the cove cutting jig.
I made this feather board for the fence of my table saw a while ago, and now I can use it on this jig too.
I just need to add a system to the jig, so I can lock this feather board in place.
The clamping system I made was a simple T-slot made out of pieces of plywood. You can see the result on the picture below.
To attach the pieces of wood together I used wood glue and brad nails.
After drilling some extra holes into the feather board, I was able to lock it in place with some homemade star knobs.
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How to use the cove cutting jig
Before cutting, it is good to draw the cove you want to make on the end grain of the wood.
This way you can take some measurements to set up the jig.
In my case the depth of the cove should be 1.5 cm …
… And the width of the cove should be 7 cm.
The first thing you need to do is lift the saw blade to the maximum depth of the cove.
After that, you need to place the fences of the cove cutting jig and the distance between the two fences should be the width of the cove.
Once the fences are locked in place, you can angle the jig until the saw blade kisses both edges of the fences.
If you have the right angle, you can mark it on the table saw. You can do this with a pencil, but I chose to do this with masking tape.
Now you can reset the fences of the cove cutting jig in a way that the wood can slide between the two fences.
Lock the fences in place and move the jig until the marking lines are in the center of the jig opening.
Then you can clamp the jig to the table saw and set up the feather board.
Now you can start making cuts. Do this by lifting the saw blade in small steps at a time until you reach the marking lines you made on the end grain of the wood.
This was the result of the very first test cut I did with this cove cutting jig.
Pretty good, isn’t it?
How to use the raised panel jig
You can also make raised panels with this cove cutting jig.
That’s why I drilled two holes on the other side of the fence.
These holes are drilled for two reasons. First, So you can lock it perfectly perpendicular to the saw blade, and second to prevent that the opening where the saw blade is will close when you push the workpiece along the fence.
After you lock the jig in place, you can slide the wood along the fence to create a raised panel.
Here you can see the first test piece I made.
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