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Rockler Cove Cutting Table Saw Jig
I am building a bookcase from an old issue of Wood Magazine in the federal style and after weeks of planning I found myself facing a job I dislike very much. The job is cutting a large cove molding. I don’t have a 3 inch cove bit for my router nor do I have a shaper so this left me with making the best of an old method where you clamp two boards diagonally to the table saw, running the board through the saw a dozen or more times hoping the clamps don’t move and ruin the project. After a little research, I found a way to cut custom coves on my table saw without juggling all those fences and clamps. The Rockler #22395 Cove Cutting Table Saw Jig includes everything you need for safe, easy cove cutting in one easy to use package. The jig accepts stock up to 7" wide and 1-1/2" thick. This lets you cut huge crown moldings that would cost a fortune from the lumberyard. The jig features an ingenious clamping system that secures the fences using the 3/4" miter slots on the saw table, and also sports a feather board kit that holds stock firmly to the table for added safety, precision and repeatability. Now I have cut coves on the table saw many times and was never comfortable doing it. I always felt like the fences were not safe and they often moved. I also needed to use push blocks on the wood to make it stay down on the table and it was at best a risky operation. But that all changed the day this great little jig arrived. The jig is made of MDF with a melamine coating on both faces. There are slots that hold the wedge blocks in place and then you simply follow the easy instructions and set up the right angle to cut the cove.
The cove for my bookcase is about 3 inches wide which was well within the 7 inch limit of the jig. The jig also has a unique feather board system that holds the board down to the table right over the blade. You still have to make a dozen passes over the saw but they are much safer and easier than a homemade jig would be. We use jigs to make things repeatable safer and faster, and this jig delivers on all those points. It currently sells for around 90 dollars and performs very well. The feature that won me over was the vast increase in safety. Its clamping system is totally secure and the wonderfully effective feather board feature allows for repositioning so the pressure is always centered on the work piece.
When I rate a tool I follow a lot of rules to be consistent and I really worked hard to validate my rating for this jig. While I truly love this tool, I feel it should sell in the 60 dollar range. Yet I would not want to be without it when the needed, so I believe it merits a high score. I decided it was a little over priced but not so bad that I should knock the rating down a lot so I am giving this tool 4.8 stars on my 5 star performance scale The 2 tenths are for it being a little too costly, but it does not reflect on a quality concern or a performance concern as the product works very well and I would not want to go back to a homemade jig for this operation.