You know you can’t just slap together a project and expect it to be perfectly straight, square and at right angles.
A squaring jig is a good first step on the path to woodworking near-perfection. Let’s face it, you’re not going to make a perfect project, and anyone who claims perfection needs to being wearing high boots.
This jig is simply a right angle with raised edges. There are tons of ways to make one, but that’s the basic principle. I’ve created permanent jigs and temporary jigs, but for each one I’ve used an engineer’s square to set the right angle.
Invest in a good quality square because you can use it in tons of applications, not only in created a squaring jig, but in calibrating tools too. And store it in a safe place where it won’t get lost, banged up, or borrowed (I don’t lend mine out – ever).
Now about the jig. An easy, basic one can be made simply with a hardwood plywood base, and hardwood rails for the raised edges. You’ll need to make sure those rails are dead-straight.
You can also use metal angles found at your local home improvement center. In either type, use the engineer’s square to set the raised edges at a right angle and attach them to the plywood base using screws. You’ll want to countersink the screw holes – make sure you use the proper countersink bit for the metal angles. I’ve used an old bit that was needing to be replaced and tossed when doing this – it certainly was ready to go by the time I was done.
One more tip – make sure your edges are plenty big enough to allow for clamping along their sides.