Assembling the Jig

Well, it’s time to “get the troopers on the flats” and assemble the jig.  The first order of business was to build the legs.  I’m 6′ tall and decided on 16 1/2″ leg length.  The plans suggest 2×6 stock, I elected to use 2×4 stock I had on hand.DSC00001I then dry fit the pieces to get a sense of how the jig comes together.  The bottom 3/4″ plywood piece was mismarked (it read Stbd on the Port side).  After staring at it for 30 minutes, I decided to carry on and keep building.  All other pieces went together just fine.DSC00006In addition to these pieces, you will need several 2×4 for cleating.  I ripped the stock into halves, which made nice size cleats.  DSC00009Use a straight edge for alignment when you screw in the supportive gusset.  This gusset proved to be too large and got in the way of the cleating.  It had to be replaced with a wider/narrower gusset.  DSC00018Garage floors aren’t level.  Mine is designed to drain all water toward the overhead doors.  Hence, It took me a great deal of time to get everything level and true.  The diagonals were right on at 128 1/2″.

DSC00012Redwood shims proved very helpful in getting everything level.DSC00021Some legs took a lot of shimming, while others took little or none at all. 

What I learned:

  1. This is a three (3) Mountain Dew step.  It took an entire Saturday to complete, but be patient.  Sage advise from others is to not rush this critical alignment step.
  2. The instructions for building the jig are definitely lacking some content.  My advise is to build the box on a large bench, as if you were building a casket.  This will help you keep everything level and square. Then, move the box to the legs and shim up all the legs to achieve levelness.
  3. The cleating around the inside edges of the jig take up space, so cut your gussets small enough to allow for the surrounding cleating.  Otherwise, you’ll be removing it and cutting it again (yup…all three gussets needed to be recut/reshaped/reinstalled).

Afterwards, I went for a nice cool down bicycle ride with my 3 sons.  Life is good!

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One thought on “Assembling the Jig

  1. Looks good, Brent. And I agree getting everything level is critical. If you know the jig is level then you can use a level to check that other parts are aligned correctly. For instance, to check that the mast trunk is vertical when you get to that point. — Dave

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