By Bob Fremgen
If you’ve been woodworking for a little bit, you’ve run across this problem: you have a longboard, and you need to move the short end across a table saw or router table. You are presented with the awkward task of running an 8-foot board perpendicular to 2 feet of the table.
Unless you have 9-foot arms (or handy helpers) your chances of getting a straight cut or routed edge are slim to none.
I recently was hanging out at a buddy’s shop, and I saw he had a pretty cool jig to help him deal with these situations. A simple drawer slide mounted on a 2×4, clamped into a workmate.
If your shop is a single person shop, you know the value of jigs like these when you don’t have an extra pair of hands to help out.
- Scrap wood. I used about 2 1/2 feet of 2×3, but any board will work. I also used 19” piece of 2 x 8. I’ll explain why I varied from my buddy’s design in a minute.
- A drawer I opted for the Accuride 24” – 3832E.
- Some screws.
- A workmate. A sawhorse will also work.
That’s it. Pretty simple.
Don’t set aside too much time to build this thing. Mine took about 30 minutes, and that included setting up the chop saw and a phone call to my friend going over the job one more time.
Measure the distance between the two clamping screws on your workmate. Then cut the 2×8 a touch shorter than that measurement. Mine was 19”.
Unlike my buddy, I used a 2×3 fastened to a 2×8. You’ll see why mine is better. I think even he will agree.
As for the 2×3, I made mine a touch longer than my workmate, but as long as it is longer than your slide, you are golden. Now mount the 2×3 on top of the 2×8 so the center of each board lines up. Then just screw the drawer slide onto the top of the 2×3.
Now clamp the jig into the workmate, so that the slide is on top. The beauty of this design over my buddy’s is that you can adjust the jig up down so that it the same height as the tool you are using.
So now when you need to cut the short end of a longboard (say for a cutting a tenon), place the business end on the table saw and the free end on your new jig. As you slide the board past the saw blade, the long end will slide in perfect unison with the working end, allowing a perfect cut.
I haven’t had it long, but I can already tell this outrigger slide (that didn’t take long to build) will save me tons of headaches in the future.
Do you have an idea for a slide-based hack that helps woodworking? We want to hear from you! Pitch us an idea for a hack and we may just send you a free pair of slides to make it possible!
Just leave a comment or reach out to us on social media!