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WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Quick & Easy Jigs and Fixtures

Quick & Easy Jigs and Fixtures
by Kerry Pierce

Popular Woodworking Books: 2005
Paperback, 128 pp., $24.99
ISBN 1-55870-709-3

     It's always fun to read tips and tricks from a profesional craftsman's shop. Kerry Pierce has for many years specialized in making chairs and Shaker furniture. Here he shows the reader how to build and use shop aides for holding devices, drawing and layout, feeding stock to different machines and how to prepare for a complicated glue up. He includes shop made fixtures for the tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press and lathe. There are drawer clamping jigs, U-block supports and cradling devices, vertical marking gauges, and homemade toolrests for spindle work on the lathe.
     All the way through, the author includes hints and tips on how to do things: shims for consistent openings between hinges, tips for bandsawing octagons, creating repeat mortises with gauge blocks, and making solid mobile stands for benchtop equipment. Pierce has an unusual method for fitting drawers in casework. He makes the drawers purposely narrow, then applies a fitting strip to each side, which is easily planed for a perfect fit, and reduces friction when the drawer is opened and closed. At the back of the book, he shows layouts and photos of several one-man shops, plus a new lumber rack that solved his problem with thirty years of stored cutoffs.
     Pierce's jigs are clean and unfinished, and made to do a job and be put to work. We can all benefit from this expert's experience. When we see his side- and front-rung mortising jigs, they look efficient and interesting. But reading his advice in the text, "This guarantees the center line of all the rungs on one side of a chair ladder will lie in the same plane," that's when you realize not using such a jig is probably going to lead to trouble. This is an excellent book, with lots of helpful and shared knowledge.

. . . Barb Siddiqui